For Heaven's Eyes Only: A Secret Histories Novel
by Simon R. Green
Review by Drew Bittner
Roc Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 0451463951
Date: 07 June 2011 List Price $25.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Eddie Drood saves the world on a regular basis. That just might be a bit harder now that he's dead.
So begins For Heaven's Eyes Only, the fifth Secret Histories novel by Simon R. Green. Eddie Drood's family has been fighting against supernatural evil and keeping a lid on all sorts of trouble for millennia. This time, though, they're up against a satanic conspiracy planning to damn the entire world in one fell swoop.
Although the Droods have their incredible armor, made of strange matter and impervious to virtually anything on Earth, and an unparalleled ability to spy on everything under the sun, this challenge requires a bit more work. Eddie has to be brought back from the Great Beyond, for one thing (a minor detail, per his witch girlfriend Molly Metcalf), and then sent on a trail that involves a supernatural arms bazaar in the Himalayas, a stopover in the depths beneath Parliament, and an encounter with the most powerful telepath on Earth.
Along the way, Eddie must handle a spectacular betrayal of the family, a trap intended to kill most of the Drood family, and an excursion into a literal bit of Hell on Earth.
Eddie and Molly, with help from Eddie's uncles the Armourer and William the Librarian (and more), trace the conspiracy to a headquarters building. A hasty infiltration, accompanied by Molly's formidable sister, gives them a name for their project: the Great Sacrifice. Surely it's only a coincidence that nearly every political leader on the planet uses that phrase in the following 24 hours...
But what is the Sacrifice? And how does it connect to the village of Little Stoke, which the Satanists transformed into a hellscape? To get at some answers, they need the Librarian fully functional again, so they enlist Ammonia vom Acht, the world's greatest telepath. This flushes out an enemy hidden in their midst, resulting in a titanic battle against a former ally and the revelation of a surprising friend in the Droods' Old Library.
Time races on, however, and Eddie and Molly struggle to catch up with the Satanists. If they can't get ahead of this conspiracy and prevent the Great Sacrifice, mankind's damned and the world will fall.
Simon R. Green has authored another great installment of this series, which has shaped up as a worthy counterpart to his Nightside novels. Eyes... is seamlessly integrated into the larger tapestry of his universe, with the opening featuring the return of a bygone character from a different lineage altogether, as well as shout-outs to his new Ghost Finders series. It's those kinds of Easter eggs that delight his many fans.
He's also given Eddie and Molly a worthy threat, one that is as much spiritual as physical. In the past, Eddie's enemies have been overcome easily with the Drood armor; this time, the enemy has a way around that, nullifying that advantage (and thus enhancing Eddie's stature as a heroic character). Eddie takes a hellacious beating in this book, refusing to back down when it counts, and that gives him a chance to display his inner toughness apart from the armor. It's a much-needed moment for Eddie in particular.
There's also a cliffhanger ending that will come as a gut-punch to fans of this series, making them howl for the next installment as soon as possible. Green's never gone this far with his endings, so be prepared.
That said, Green continues to deliver enjoyable, fast-paced and fun entertainment. This one is not to be missed.