From left to right: Melody, J.C., "Happy" Jack Plamer
A new series by Simon R. Green
, Ghost Finders
follows closely in the same vein as his two other urban fantasy series (Nightside
and Secret Histories
). It follows the adventures of a team from the Carnacki Institute, which wants to Do Something about ghosts (and other weirdness) - JC Chance, a perpetually optimistic, arrogant blowhard (who always turns out to be right, in the end); Melody, the team's tech guru who turns into a Lovable Sex Maniac
after hours; and Happy, a "class 11 telepath" on enough drugs to empty out a pharmacy, who can almost never think positively
(unless on certain types of the aforementioned drugs).
On their tails are members of the rival group, the Crowley Project: agents like Natasha Chang, a sadistic Rich Bitch
of a telepath, and her sidekick (against her will) ErikGrossman,
a physically and socially repulsive scientist with similarly repulsive scientific interests. At their backs, the indomitable Catherine Latimer, uncompromising head of the Institute who won't give in to bureaucratic foot-dragging, hidden traitors among her own senior agents, or whinging pleas for overtime. And on every side, the teeming forces of the supernatural, ready and waiting to overthrow the safe-and-sane daylight world for the legions of unquiet dead ... or the far more inhuman, destructive powers that would use ghosts and Ghost Finders, alike, for their own ends.
The series books are -
- Ghost of a Chance (2010)
- Ghost of a Smile (2011)
- Ghost of a Dream (2012)
- Spirits From Beyond (2013)
This series provides examples of:
- Batman Cold Open: If it's Simon R. Green...
- Came Back Wrong: Kim isn't alive, but she's also much more than a ghost. JC does this on the train, thanks to the Light - he's fine, but his eyes shine through even his sunglasses.
- Canon Welding: Not too overtly done in the first book, but the reference to Timeslips and making certain Nouns proper pretty much places this in the same universe.
- The Chimera House researchers seem to have more or less duplicated what the old Soviet scientists had been doing at Tunguska in The Spy Who Haunted Me.
- Some cross-references to Julien Advent and the Droods turn up in the third book.
- In the fourth, JC tells Kim he's been asking around the Nightside about ways the two of them might be able to touch one another, at least temporarily.
- Chekhov M.I.A.: Happy detects three minds outside of his team. We only meet two for most of the book.
- Combined Energy Attack: Merging the minds and willpower of the entire team, so they all share in the "glow", often saves them when all else fails.
- Crapsack World: It's part of the same universe as just about every other Simon R. Green novel... compared to all the others, though, this one takes the cake.
- Dating Catwoman: Humans and ghosts aren't supposed to date, no matter which group you're a part of. Which is admittedly part of why JC does it.
- Deus ex Machina: JC's manifestation of the Light.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Twice in the first book. The first happened in the Batman Cold Open, where they sent a primordial Presence packing by feeding it a ghost, thus giving it spiritual indigetsion. Then, at the end, they do it again to Fenris. Despite its psychic assaults and the sheer overwhelming power of its presence, the team(s) have been trained to face off against something like him; so, when they finally see him face to face, they merely laugh in its face and throw it way off balance while they formulate a plan.
- Distaff Counterpart: Natasha is a twisted mix of Happy and JC. Erik is the Spear Counterpart of Melody, also twisted (and downright inverted in a lot of areas...)
- Eldritch Abomination: Considering this is Urban Fantasy by Simon R. Green, it'd be disappointing if there WASN'T at least one. In the first book, it's Fenris Tenebrae, the Wolf of Shadows who will devour the sun and moon. Or would have, if the team hadn't kicked its ass (metaphorically) back to whichever afterworld it came from. In the second, a new Big Bad example called the Flesh Undying is introduced, and it's making its presence felt more directly by the third.
- Foreshadowing: In book four, Happy remarks when they arrive at the inn that a storm is coming, and it's going to be a monster. Turns out the storm is the monster in that novel.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: JC Chance seems to have the good equivalent.
- Ghost Shipping
- Haunted House: Surprisingly averted for the first four books: they've had haunted factories, subway and train stations, corporate facilities, theaters and inns, but no houses (yet).
- Humanoid Abomination:
- in Ghost of a Smile the new people and Gog And Magog.
- Ghost of a Dream The Faust.
- Ironic Nickname: Happy Jack Palmer
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits:
- Shout-Out: The Institute's and series names are a reference to Carnacki The Ghost-Finder, who explicitly exists in Green's Verse.
- A handsome, overconfident team leader in spotless white, a techie girl genius who needs artificial means to See phenomena her companions can, a gorgeous redhead who vanishes from time to time, and a self-deprecating coward who has to scarf down something addictive to work up his nerve? All that's missing is the big talking dog...
- Noodle Incident: The team has been working together for several years. These pop up quite often.
- Who You Gonna Call?