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Something More Than Night Hardcover

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1 edition (December 3, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765334321
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765334329
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #319,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


The Coldest War is like a cross between the devious, character-driven spy fiction of early John le Carré and the mad science fantasy of the X-Men…eloquent and utterly compelling.”
Kirkus Reviews

“An excellent journey into an alternate Britain and should please fans of Harry Turtledove and Naomi Novik.” —Library Journal on The Coldest War

“A white-knuckle plot, beautiful descriptions, and complex characters—an unstoppable Vickers of a novel.”
—Cory Doctorow on Bitter Seeds

Bitter Seeds may rival Naomi Novik’s Tales of Temeraire as a sustained historical fantasy.”

About the Author

IAN TREGILLIS is the author of the Milkweed Tryptich--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.

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Customer Reviews

This is probably a 4.5 star book for me, so I'll round up to 5.
Sneaky Burrito
This applies to the main characters as well; one key protagonist is transformed purely by a deus ex machina partway through the book.
Geoffrey Brooks
Yet, while his many ideas are interesting, I eventually found this story tedious and I was more annoyed than enlightened by its end.
Matthew T. Smith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Steven Halter on December 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover
"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 By Scott Knight on December 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sue B. on December 3, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Mixing angels with noir mystery and physics sounds like a shortcut to a hot mess, but Something More Than Night makes it work. The voice of Bayliss, the angel and part-time first person narrator, is pure Raymond-Chandler-Dashiell-Hammet-Humphrey-Bogart and feels absolutely true to that era. Only gradually does it become apparent that this is a different time, and a whole series of different "memory palaces." The very complex world-building of this novel is done with style and elegance--so much information is given unobtrusively. There are many arcane, (at least to me), references to physics, philosophy, theology--but the story is never obscured or weighted down with them. The scene is set, the characters are fully realized and delightful, and the plot zooms along, building suspense and altering reality. I did slow down to really enjoy the writing, especially when Bayliss is talking. I would recommend this to noir fans, urban fantasy fans, and anyone who liked the movie "Dogma"--(whenever the Metatron is mentioned I always think Alan Rickman). Ian Tregellis is an awesome talent. Thanks to the publisher for my advance copy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sneaky Burrito on December 31, 2013
Format: Hardcover
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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