Ian Tregillis made a very big impression on me with his debut trilogy, the Milkweed Triptych. Something More Than Night is something completely different. The Milkweed Triptych was a fantasy pseudo-science-ish time-hopping alternative history. Something More Than Night is a noir Angel 10-minutes-the-future-science-fiction (post-great plankton die-off). I’ll leave the intricate plot for the book, but the story starts with the death of the Archangel Gabriel and an angel straight out of a Raymond Chandler novel.
Tregillis takes advantage of the setting, his hard physics background, and serious talent with words to patch together prose that’s a mix of noir detective-speak and theological physics mumbo jumbo.
“A heavenly aroma greeted us, like a whiff of God’s own aftershave. Say what you will about the monkeys, but a side of bacon cures a lot of ills.
“The vipers bit me again. It wasn’t deadly, their venom, but it didn’t tickle, either.”
“The bulls hate it when you have something to hide, but they hate it even more when you don’t.”
‘They all carry it, the monkeys, the secret dark yearning for redemptive violence. Some might hide it better than others, but it’s always there. Never let anybody tell you otherwise.”
Something More Than Night is refreshingly different and shows a powerful range. It is not, however, on the level of Tregillis’ masterful Milkweed Triptych. The physics jargon and the noir detective speak eventually get old. The first Big Twist is masterful. The second Big Twist, unfortunately, is nonsensical. Nevertheless, Tregillis has my attention.
4.5 of 5 Stars.