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Something More Than Night [Kindle Edition]

Ian Tregillis
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Ian Tregillis's Something More Than Night is a Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler inspired murder mystery set in Thomas Aquinas's vision of Heaven. It's a noir detective story starring fallen angels, the heavenly choir, nightclub stigmatics, a priest with a dirty secret, a femme fatale, and the Voice of God.

Somebody has murdered the angel Gabriel. Worse, the Jericho Trumpet has gone missing, putting Heaven on the brink of a truly cosmic crisis. But the twisty plot that unfolds from the murder investigation leads to something much bigger: a con job one billion years in the making.

Because this is no mere murder. A small band of angels has decided to break out of heaven, but they need a human patsy to make their plan work.

Much of the story is told from the point of view of Bayliss, a cynical fallen angel who has modeled himself on Philip Marlowe. The yarn he spins follows the progression of a Marlowe novel--the mysterious dame who needs his help, getting grilled by the bulls, finding a stiff, getting slipped a mickey.
Angels and gunsels, dames with eyes like fire, and a grand maguffin, Something More Than Night is a murder mystery for the cosmos.
A Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction Book of 2013

Editorial Reviews


Superlatives seem superfluous. Just-wow. (Kirkus Reviews)

About the Author

IAN TREGILLIS is the author of a triptych of alternate history series, Bitter Seeds, The Coldest War and Necessary Evil. He lives near Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he works as a physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory. In addition, he is a member of the George R. R. Martin Wild Cards writing collective.

Product Details

  • File Size: 773 KB
  • Print Length: 305 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0765334321
  • Publisher: Tor Books (December 3, 2013)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,495 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, razor tight combination of noir and SF December 16, 2013
"Something More Than Night" by Ian Tregillis is a wonderful, razor tight combination of noir and physics-both meta and quantum.
When Ian first posted the idea for the novel on his blog in February of 2012, I thought it sounded great as I am very much a fan of Chandler and my expectations were high. I was not let down at all. The book is fantastic; the writing is lovely.

We begin with the death of the angel Gabriel. Gabriel was one of the Seraphim and was very dead as his reentry set the sky aglow and drifting bits cause an odd snow in Australia. Bayliss, one of our narrators notes this and reminisces about Gabriel that:

" He wasn’t just lovely, he was the kind of lovely that could make a bishop stomp his miter and curse a long blue streak on Easter Sunday."

Bayliss is also an angel although he has bummed about on Earth and has adopted the mannerisms of a hard-boiled detective. Hard boiled, but like the best of them, he seems to have a soft spot for women in a tight fix and a desire for knight-errantry. That and a touch of rye in his coffee.

During the light show of Gabriel's fall, Bayliss clues us in to why the humans moving around him with downcast eyes aren't noticing much:

"But nobody looks up anymore. That stopped soon after the last satellites died. In the minds of most monkeys, thirty years of meteor showers was weak tea compared to the loss of decent long-term weather forecasts."

This also gives us a nice piece of world-building. The story happens in the not too distant future (50 or so years I would guess) and there has been a war that destroyed the satellites and prevents any new ones from the debris layer.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Ian Tregillis, the author of the Milkweed Triptych, follows up that series with Something More Than Night. Defying genre description, Something More Than Night is part Raymond Chander noir, part angel mythology, and part quantum (I think) physics. Mixed together, this story is unlike anything I've read.

Bayliss is an angel with a Philip Marlowe fixation. He's sent to find a replacement for the arch-angel Gabriel, who has been murdered. His attempts to choose a mortal go haywire and he ends up with Molly. Things kind of ramp up from there, as Molly attempts to reconcile her fate and help Bayliss figure out who killed Gabriel and why. At the risk of creating any spoilers, I'll refrain from anymore plot summary.

This was a very interesting book, and I found myself getting caught up in trying to figure out the whole twisty mess. The characters were engaging enough to keep me wanting to know more about them and caring what happened to them. The setting was definitely unique, as a large portion of the story took place in the Pleroma, a not-quite-heaven where the angels live. Bayliss is a great unreliable narrator, sliding into the noir model very well. As the publishers description states, the maguffin is grand and the payoff to the story is well worth it.

I did find some of the slang and physics descriptions a little distracting, but not enough to keep me from reading on.

Overall, this was a good book. It wasn't exactly my cup of tea, but it was definitely unique. Props to Tregillis for trying something new, different and clever. If your a fan of Tregillis's writing, or like a new spin on old noir favorites, then definitely check out Something More Than Night.

I received a preview copy of this book from Macmillan-Tor/Forge in exchange for an honest review.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fallen Angels March 25, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
The story here is too complex and ingenious to really summarize. However a clever storyline does not a readable novel make. Mr. Tregillis throws everything (angels, physics, noir detective parody, beautiful babe in distress, etc) but very little of it sticks. The protagonist/narrator is a fallen angel named Bayliss, living on earth as an ersatz Phillip Marlowe. Like all good noir detectives he is reluctantly drawn into a complex case, this time involving the murder of the Archangel Gabriel, theft of the Jerico Trumpet (don't ask) and a dissident faction of angels. In this version Heaven is populated by angels that have contempt for humans (called "monkeys") and there is no afterlife. Bayliss' Marlowe persona is established by using a truckload of thirty and forties slang - muggs and joes try to make a few beans and not get tossed into the sneezer. The whole thing is overwritten and takes a long time to get where its going and not worth the trip when you arrive.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars urban fantasy/hardboiled detective mash-up that works December 31, 2013
I've never read anything by Ian Trigellis before, so I didn't have any expectations going into this book. But I went through a stage in my life when I was really into hardboiled detective novels (read a ton of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett) and film noir. I still have a soft spot for that stuff, and that's what drew me to this book. (Well, that, and I've also started reading a bit more urban fantasy lately, so this was a great combination for me.)

Something More than Night is set in Thomas Aquinas's vision of Heaven, or so the book description says. I will admit to not having had any exposure to the writings of Aquinas (which I understand were extensive), so I can't comment on the accuracy of the depiction (for a quick primer, Google "Christian angelic hierarchy" and click on the Wikipedia link that comes up). I had a little trouble keeping all the different classes of celestial beings at first, but I was able to sort it out by the end, and everything seemed internally consistent within the milieu of the story. Many of the angels in this book turn out not to be particularly nice "people" and there appear to be different factions among them, which provides for a bit of tension.

From what I can tell, this book is set in Earth's not-too-distant future (at least the parts that occur in the mundane world). The cities and countries are the same (we visit Australia, Minneapolis, and Chicago, for example). Satellite communications have largely (or completely) broken down, but people are still traveling, still taking part in recognizable activities (environmental remediation, archiving paper books electronically, etc.). I thought Bayliss's visit to a retirement/nursing home was particularly interesting.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Whole scenes and conversations that were unnecessary to the plot
The premise sounded promising: a stereotypical noirish investigation of an angel's murder. How do you kill an angel? And who would do it? Read more
Published 14 days ago by Kingdaddy
5.0 out of 5 stars and was really pleased. As best as I can describe
I downloaded this novel on a whim, and was really pleased.

As best as I can describe, it is a futurist noir detective story starring a crafty angel as the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by J Walter
4.0 out of 5 stars I really liked the premise but at times it was a little ...
I really liked the premise but at times it was a little confusing. The explanations of the Mantle of Consistency and other angel-related things went over my head most of the time,... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jamie
5.0 out of 5 stars Angelic!
This is wonderful. This is "John Dies at the End" for physics nerds who growing up were forced to read angelology by day and sneaked Mickey Spillane under the covers at... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Drew Alfgren
1.0 out of 5 stars tedious
Preposterously mannered, try too hard noir SF, so ridiculously overblown as to be mind numbingly dull just to follow. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mr. Philip Malthus
5.0 out of 5 stars worth the buildup
It took me about half the book to figure out what was going on. In the beginning, I didn't understand why the story had to be set in a post war future or the fixation on a weird... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Rich and strange angelic yarn
After Tad William's Bobby Dollar, another noirish hard boiled speaking angel. Will this become a trope, one asks. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Ventura Angelo
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Tregillis - I love it!
This really was fantastic. Ignore the reviewer who panned it as knock of noir. It's supposed to be; that ends up being rather central to the plot, but I won't give that specific... Read more
Published 6 months ago by E.M. Tippetts
4.0 out of 5 stars A unique read
This book wasn't what I was expecting, but mostly for the good. I'm not normally into mystery novels, but the supernatural twist piqued my interest. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Allie
4.0 out of 5 stars And Now For Something Completely Different
Ian Tregillis made a very big impression on me with his debut trilogy, the Milkweed Triptych. Something More Than Night is something completely different. Read more
Published 8 months ago by H. P.
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