Simon R. Green: Ghost of a Chance (2010) A Ghostfinders Novel

Ghost of a Chance

Well, well. Or rather – not well at all. As  much as I enjoyed – in a guilty pleasure kind of way – the first of Simon R. Green’s Nightside novels (as you can read here), I can’t really find anything to like in this one, the first in a new series. I’d say he temporarily lost his writing mojo when he concocted this trashy, pulpy tale of five ghost hunters and their big adventure. Prologue and chapter 1 were promising enough but from there it went downhill rapidly. The characters are flat and clichéd, the story is pure humbug and the descriptions do a ton of telling instead of showing. There is something evil in the London underground system. It’s the most powerful and most unknown evil ever. What is it? Powerful, old and evil. Did I mention evil? And powerful? Ha! Now that’s descriptive. I can really see this old powerful evil thingy . . . In the end it gets a face but by that time it’s too late. The book has already been sacrificed on the altar of bad descriptions and abysmal storytelling. (I hate it when writers invent one coincidence after the other to save the plot and this happens on every page here.)

I had a look at the amazon reviews and there were many by die-hard Simon R. Green fans and with the exception of one or two everyone hated this novel big time.

Green is a prolific writer. He has a unique imagination, macabre, silly and naughty too. He displays this in this book as well, but other than that it was really bad.

It’s unfortunate that this sorry effort is my second contribution to Carl’s RIP VIII. I was debating whether or not I should write about it but I decided people deserved to be warned.

My verdict: there isn’t a ghost of a chance that anyone will like this.

I’m sure that the RIP review site will provide reviews of much more interesting books. Should you want to join the challenge here’s where you can sign up.

24 thoughts on “Simon R. Green: Ghost of a Chance (2010) A Ghostfinders Novel

  1. Sorry to know that you didn’t like this book, Caroline. It is sad when a writer whom we earlier liked comes up with a book which doesn’t measure up. When I read ‘humbug’ in your post, it made me remember Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ 🙂 Hope your next RIP read is better. Happy reading!

    • Thanks for the wishes, Vishy. I hope so too. I really have to stop finishing all the books I read.
      It had moments where I was ashamed I read it. It was so bad.
      Humbug sums it up. 🙂

      • Actually, I find it really admirable that you finish all the books that you read. You are an inspiration for the rest of us. Unfortunately there are books like this which make us question ourselves.

        Looks like sleepy Mr.Cat has woken up 🙂 I love this picture even more! Happy Sunday!

        • Yes, he woke. I realized later that I like this one more, it looks more like him. Not totally in line with the title but then again . . . 🙂
          I always see people compliment other people for not finishing. There are only a very few books I haven’t finished. Occasionally, when it’s a very long book I put the aside and ten they wait to be picked up again. Sometimes for years.
          My habit of finishing has rewarded me more than once. There really are novels that need the whole space to fully reveal their potential.

  2. Thanks for the warning, Caroline. What a shame. It’s one thing to read a lousy book, but it’s even worse when it comes from a writer you really like.
    I do like the cat photo in your header. 🙂

    • Yes it was a disappointment as the premise sounded good and the first chpater was promising and the all of a sudden it tumled down.
      Thanks, Carole. I thought the cat looks better than the bubbles. 🙂

  3. No way I would have bought that, had I stumbled upon it. Sorry you had a bad time with a book.
    (PS: nothing you read should make you feel guilty.5th of the 10 rights of the reader by Pennac. you have the right to read anything. )

  4. I have heard of Green but have not read him . Based upon your comments I suppose that he has written better books. It is surprising that someone of his reputation has fallen into so many cliches and poor writing habits here.

    • It happens sometimes with authors who are very prolific that they get lazy after a while. The weird thing is that it happened with a first in series. I think when you start a new series you should be more careful.

  5. Well, that’s a shame. To be honest it’s probably not a book I would have picked up but I really do appreciate a truthful review. At the end of the day I think it’s a lot more difficult to be negative about a book even when you don’t like it so I appreciate the honesty.
    Lynn 😀

    • Thanks, Lynn. I always feel bad about negative reviews especially ones like this weher I say I find the book bad, not just that I didn’t like it. I’m not entirely sure anymore why I picked it up.

  6. Your review matched the feeling I got from the cover. I think I would have passed it up just on account of the cover.

  7. The premise sounds really interesting, but I am not sure this particular genre is for me. It’s quite popular right now–I see loads of books like this (or about vampires, werewolves, night creatures….you get the picture) at the supermarket (though you know–or maybe you aren’t familiar with what it is like here–this is really the standard fare of supermarket checkouts–nothing terribly literary), but they always fail to tempt me. Maybe it was just churned out riding the wave of the popularity of this genre?

    • In this case you really didn’t miss anything.
      I know there is a huge production by now, just like romance novels, most of it isn’t good at all.
      I think Green is still above average but this one was so bad.
      I usually rather like “dark fantasy” than what they call “urban fantasy”nowadays. One is more literary but the boundaries are not distinct.

  8. Auch! Too bad the book doesn’t work. As bad as it might sound, I often judge book by its cover…and looking at that covet, I’ll pass even before reading your review 😉

    …at least you finished it 😉

  9. An interesting review. I have read a little of Green’s “Spy” series (Secret Histories) with Edwin Drood, or Shaman Bond, as the protagonist. I enjoy it, will probably continue it at about a book a year, but I have heard his books vary in quality.

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