Thursday, September 4, 2014

WTMI, broadcasting at 10000mHz

As I've said in more than a few review on here, Simon R. Green is a little less like reading and more getting swept up in his silliness.

Voices From Beyond, the newest Ghost Finders, again keeps this idea alive.

The difference being, of course, that Ghost Finders focuses on 4 investigators, rather than narration by one particular character. These 4 are less super powered than other Green protagonists, however, they are just as cheeky.

In this case, JC, who's eyes have been changed by powers from Bayonne, finds out his ghost Girlfriend has been working for his boss under his nose. Melody and Happy (she of the super science and he of the telepathy) are still coupled and dealing with Happy's drug habit that would seem to make both Crowley and Leary seem like teetotalers.

We get a preliminary investigation into a suburban haunt where a Professor of Psychology accidentally opens a door to another realm, letting his 4 students get sucked into a rather obscene world. JC and Kim combine like the Wonder Twins to rescue the students and close the door behind them. Which leads into the main scenario of the book, wherein our team gets called out to Radio Free Albion to investigate voices breaking in during broadcasts warning of horrible fates befalling listeners. Needless to say, the staff isn't happy with this development.

We get a heads up of what awaits us, when a future version of JC greets him at the door, bleeding out and missing eyes of any kind. In fact, all the Finders (except Kim), manage to see future versions of themselves, destroyed by some great beast.

It's kind of disturbing in a few places (this particular series is good for that kind of thing), but given most of the mystery revolves around the future and present colliding, one can't help but wonder why no one realized that if they fail, time would loop around for another go, rather than fully manifesting the Hell on Earth people keep seeing.

As it is, and since subtlety is not one of Green's strong points, the story finds a way around the problem of multiple futures eventually. Much in the British tradition, it goes straight there, not hanging around for sub plots or much character development beyond "Oh gee, I still want a body" or "The drugs are killing me, why not let me die?"

It's not a bad read by any stretch of the imagination. It holds attention and is honestly good fun. But it's not exactly undying prose either.