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Literature / Secret Histories

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"Men are mortal; but Daemons are Forever"
Daemons are Forever

Simon R. Green's Secret Histories is about Shaman Bond, aka Edwin "Eddie" Drood, black sheep of an ancient, superpowerful family (the Droods) that protects humanity from its nightmares. The books are a take-off of Ian Fleming's James Bond books with a supernatural element to them. It consists of a dozen full-length novels and one novella:

  1. The Man with the Golden Torc (2007)
  2. Daemons are Forever (2008)
  3. The Spy who Haunted Me (2009)
  4. From Hell with Love (2010)
  5. For Heaven's Eyes Only (2011)
  6. Live and Let Drood (2012)
  7. Casino Infernale (2013)
  8. Property Of A Lady Faire (2014)
  9. From a Drood to A Kill (2015)
  10. Dr. DOA (2016)
  11. Moonbreaker (2017)
  12. Night Fall (2018)
  • Novella: Question of Solace (2014)note 

Night Fall is a Doorstopper crossover with Green's Nightside series, and is intended (barring short stories) to serve as a Grand Finale for both series.

Not related The Secret History

This series provides examples of:

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Some sentient Drood creations, like Ivor the Time Train, are entirely happy to serve. Moxton's Mistake, however...
  • Airborne Aircraft Carrier: Used as a secret base of operations by Cassandra, Inc.
  • All for Nothing: Alexander King's competition is a total sham. The prize doesn't exist (anymore), and it was a put-on so he could set up a prestigious new identity for himself, making the competitors' deaths this.
  • Angels, Devils and Squid: As with the rest of the universe this is set in, the series features angels, demons and Outsiders, creatures from beyond reality.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: The hungry gods/ the loathly ones.
  • Apocalypse How: In Daemons Are Forever, Janissary Jane recounts how a parallel reality had been completely overrun by Hell's demons, forcing her mercenary group to annihilate that entire universe as a scorched-earth tactic. A similar doomsday-device is used to destroy the Hungry Gods' home universe at the novel's end.
  • Arc Words: "Anything, for the family."
  • Artifact of Doom: The Apocalypse Door.
    • The Droods also have a bunch of them that they keep the Armageddon Codex, such as:
      • Oath breaker — A long stick of ironwood with pre-human symbols. It undoes all agreements, all bonds... right down to the atomic level.
      • Torc Cutter — Exactly What It Says on the Tin
      • Sunwrack — For putting out the stars one at a time.
      • Juggernaut Jumpsuit — Possibly makes the wearer invincible
      • The Time Hammer — For changing the past through brute force.
      • Winter's Sorrow — Size of a paperweight. Break it and you unleash the Fimbulwinter: an eternal winter that covers the world.
      • Dissector — the ultimate scalpel created by Baron Von Frankenstein. It can cut through any thing, neat as you like.
      • Dominator — A laurel wreath made from silver. The user's thoughts and wishes becomes other peoples thoughts and wishes.
    • The Merlin Glass — can be used to teleport and contact any Drood from the past and future.
    • The Deplorable End — a box with a Big Red Button that, when pressed, destroys the entire universe it's in.
    • Moxton's Mistake — A self-driven suit of Drood armor that killed its own inventor and despises humanity.
    • In Casino Infernale, the Crow Lee Inheritance — a key booby-trapped to open a portal to a black hole, which sucks in everything in reach including the person who activates it.
  • Armor Is Useless: Averted except in three instances in the first book, when the strange matter arrow pierced the golden armor, when Eddie figures out how to merge it with the armor of his opponent near the end, and when dealing with Torc Cutter. Other than those times, the golden torc is indestructible as long as it is on.
  • Asskicking Leads to Leadership: Martha Drood dueled three of her own sisters to claim her late mother Sarah's status as Matriarch. Previously, she'd dueled Sarah herself for the right to defy family strictures and wed her second cousin Arthur.
  • The Atoner: Mr. Stab, of all people. The reason he's so willing to help Eddie (apart from because Molly asks) is that he wants to make up for the fact he chose to become a vicious serial killer in exchange for immortality. Played with in that he doesn't actually stop doing the thing he's trying to atone for and is still a total monster 90% of the time. Eddie finally calls him out for being all talk and kills him.
  • Automated Automobiles: The CARnivores, which Eddie's narration describes as "sentient, meat-eating cars with attitude" the first time they appear. Supposedly they're either from another dimension, where cars evolved to replace humans, or are ancient predators native to Earth who learned to look like cars so they can prey on humans without being noticed. Either way, they leech the vitality out of normal cars until they malfunction or are sufficiently weakened from metal fatigue, then force the drivers off the road, usually in the early hours of the morning so they won't be noticed, and devour the driver and any passengers (the hoods conceal their mouths, which are full of churning steel teeth). Eddie has to deal with a pack of them early in The Man With the Golden Torc.
  • Baby as Payment: The first book reveals that every Drood was born with a twin who was sacrificed to the Heart in exchange for their torc.
  • Badass Boast: Despite being in the wrong series, Walker gets one in The Spy Who Haunted Me:
    Walker: "I could handle Good Time Georgie if I was unconscious." He smiled easily into Georgie's reddening face, completely unmoved by the man's size or presence or anger. "Are you sure you want to do this? Are you really sure I don't have my Voice anymore? Would I be here in Strangefellows, without my Voice to protect me? Perhaps you've forgotten all the terrible things I've done to you down the years. Or made you do to yourself. You're just a cheap thug, Georgie, whereas I... am Walker. Now go away and stop bothering me. Or I will tell you to do something deeply amusing and so extreme that people will still be laughing about it thirty years from now."
  • Badass Normal:
    • Janissary Jane. The Indigo Spirit.
    • All the Drood field agents when they're not in their armor.
  • Badass Transplant: Many of the Droods who've never left the manor are formidable in their armor, but haven't kept up their training enough to shine without it. Subverted by Eddie, who's repeatedly proven himself still Badass even when his armor is unavailable, and Martha Drood, who soundly kicked the ass of a far-future supersoldier in a demonstration fight without even touching her torc.
  • Batman Cold Open: Books usually open with Eddie in the middle of a fracas, often one that is on the edge of going horribly wrong.
  • Batman Gambit: Grendel Rex/Gerard Drood arranged events up and down the timestream, including his own imprisonment and nearly everything Edmund Drood pulls, in order to engineer a comeback, instate himself as a living god, and give humanity an extreme makeover. The only reason it doesn't work is that he meets Morgana La Fae, falls in Love at First Sight, and decides they've got better things to do.
  • Battle Couple: Eddie Drood and Molly Metcalf, a Magitek Powered Armor secret agent and the Witch of the Wild Woods.
  • Becoming the Mask: While Eddie doesn't lose sight of his Drood identity or obligations as Shaman Bond, he often remarks that he likes being Shaman, who has no overbearing responsibilities and can be carefree about life, a lot better than being Edwin Drood.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy:
    • Early on, Eddie mentions that many of the conspiracy theories in pop culture are true. Mr. Stab began his career and immortality as Jack the Ripper. A family really does (or did) control the world.
    • Played with in The Spy Who Haunted Me, when Eddie and the other competitors must track down the truth behind several stock cryptids and pop-culture enigmas (Bigfoot, Tunguska, etc). They all have a basis in something much weirder than generally claimed.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Dr. Delirium. He really is a brilliant scientist, it's just that he's terrible at all the logistics that go into actually using his discoveries effectively. (It doesn't help that he always insists his ransom be paid in postage stamps.)
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: The Droods, right from when they are born until they die.
  • Bizarrchitecture: Drood Hall becomes filled with this when the villain of Moonbreaker disrupts the spells which lock away many formerly-hidden rooms, corridors, oubliettes and prisons that the Droods had seen fit to shut away in their own secure Pocket Dimension, over the centuries. Rather than expanding to contain them, the mansion's once-familiar layout is permeated by wayward chunks of long-lost architecture, furnished in different historical periods, that penetrate it at crazy angles.
  • Bottomless Magazines: The Colt Repeater has infinite ammo and flawless auto-aim. That doesn't mean the bullets always do damage, mind you...
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Harry is dating Roger, his half-demon half-brother.
  • Brought Down to Badass:
    • Even when a Drood's torc is suppressed and they can't armor up, they're all trained in unarmed combat and usually keep a lot of nasty tricks up their sleeves. Eddie himself holds off an entire horde of Satanists without his armor in For Heaven's Eyes Only, and kicks ass in Casino Infernale's combat challenges as torc-less Shaman Bond.
    • Molly remains quite a Badass even when her magic is suppressed or exhausted.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Roger, Harry, and company find out at the worst possible time that a half-demon only has powers when their demonic parent wants them to. This is brutally demonstrated by the application of quite a lot of damage to a Roger suddenly without his Healing Factor.
  • Bury Your Gays: To date, all of them, except the lesbian clones. Blue dies in The Spy Who Haunted Me, and Harry and Roger die at the end of For Heaven's Eyes Only.
  • Canon Welding / Massive Multiplayer Crossover:
    • In Daemons Are Forever the Droods are revealed to be the ancestors of Giles Deathstalker.
    • Janissary Jane (in both Man with the Golden Torc and Daemons are Forever) also appears in the Nightside series.
    • Walker from Nightside is a character in The Spy who Haunted Me and then reappears after his death to question the now dead Eddie for his new bosses in For Heaven's Eyes Only.
    • In From Hell With Love Methuselah was in the Nightside during the events of Agents of Light and Darkness and steals an angel's hand, then makes it into a Hand of Glory.
      • The Apocalypse Door, from the same novel, is reputed to have been created by Nicholas Hob, from Drinking Midnight Wine. Molly and Isabella are tipped off about the Immortals when they visit Carys Galloway, another character from that novel.
    • The director of the Ghost Finders appears in Live And Let Drood.
    • Merlin Satanspawn gave the family the glass which bears his name in payment of a favor.
    • Dead Boy from the Nightside and J.C. Chance of the Ghost Finders attend the Casino Infernale Summit meeting and turn up at the end for the final fight. The Little Lord, a minor character from one of the Hawk & Fisher stories, shows up as one of the gamblers in the Casino itself.
    • The 23rd-century sexbot Eddie has a fling with in the first novel is actually Dead Boy's Transforming Mecha girlfriend. Yes, Eddie has had sex with Dead Boy's car.
    • The Confusulum, a really bizarre whatzit that Eddie makes use of in The Man With the Golden Torc, reappears in Once in a Blue Moon, the final book in the Forest Kingdom series.
    • Aside from being a Secret Histories/Nightside crossover, Night Fall features a guest appearance by Wolfsbane, one of the Infernal Devices from the Forest Kingdom novels.
    • Jimmy Thunder, from Drinking Midnight Wine, and Dead Boy, the Doormouse, and Hadleigh Oblivion from the Nightside, all make appearances in Property of a Lady Faire. Dead Boy returns, with Julien Advent in tow, in From a Drood to a Kill.
  • Cast from Lifespan: The price for the pacts Molly Metcalf made with the various powers.
  • Challenging the Chief: Martha Drood dueled and defeated three of her sisters to become Matriarch. Subverted by her successor Capability Maggie, who evidently had no surviving sisters with equal claim to the job.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The James Bond like devices Eddie gets. Subverted in The Spy who Haunted Me (2009) since Eddie never uses the items his uncle gives him to his uncle's extreme frustration. However in From Hell With Love (2010) he uses the items he didn't use in the last book.
    • The arrow that makes it through the golden torc comes back in full force by the end of the first book.
    • Eddie sees an Armoury assistant testing a protein exploder in one book, and Molly gets to wield one in the next.
    • Played so straight it practically had a big, flashing, neon "This Is A Chekhov's Gun!" arrow pointing to it with the gray card Eddie receives from the Martian tombs in Casino Infernale.
  • Chekhov's Gunman / The Man Behind the Man / What Happened to the Mouse?: Philip MacAlpine in The Spy Who Haunted Me he was thrashed by Eddie and Molly he was demoted to MI-13. He then used his contacts to find members of the old satanic conspiracy. Then made himself the leader of the new satanic conspiracy.
  • The Clan: The Drood family obviously. Also The Immortals and the Road Rats.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: William the Librarian is...not all there. He's barely well enough for Harry to bring him home from the institution he was committed to, and he talks to people who aren't there. Turns out at least one of those people is Pook, who is there but only selectively visible, and he's only crazy because the Heart made him that way.
  • Combat Clairvoyance: The Dancing Fool claims he's a martial arts master, but he's really a wannabe who benefits from this trope.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: In a heroic example, the more Droods that take the field, the more Droods are likely to die on it, whereas a small team will usually do much better. Justified, as the family isn't an army; they use highly skilled operatives working alone or in small groups. If they ever need a bigger force, they end up having to deploy people who are pretty much newbies to field work. There's also the fact that any threat that requires this kind of large-scale deployment is pretty much by definition extremely dangerous and capable.
  • Cool Car: The Hirondel is packed with gadgets: EMPs, flamethrowers and much much more. Likewise, pretty much every other car Eddie or anyone in his family drives.
  • The Cowl: The Indigo Spirit is basically a Captain Ersatz for Batman — except that he has no problem killing people.
  • Dating Catwoman: Eddie and Molly Metcalf—he's a Drood, she's the wild witch of the woods who believes the Droods are fascists. Also, Roger and Harry—a Drood and a half-demon who might or might not still be working for Hell at any given moment.
  • Dead to Begin With: Eddie in For Heaven's Eyes Only , he's stuck in limbo in a copy of the Drood hall
  • Deface of the Moon: An ancient Drood who went to the bad carved his face on the moon, and it was apparently a hell of a lot of work to clean up. Becomes less comedic and a lot more understandable at the end of Moonbreaker, which reveals that it was his dead wife's face he'd carved, not his own.
  • Destination Defenestration: When Eddie realizes that the blood-red men have Healing Factor, he starts tossing them out the windows: a pretty effective tactic, given they're on a speeding train at the time.
  • Deus ex Machina: It's one of those series where you need to be one to survive.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Done at the end of From Hell With Love, when an Immortal disguised as Isabella stabs Eddie, then bites his poison tooth and dies while Eddie is slowly dying.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: This is done twice. In the first book the Heart was destroyed. In the second, the Loathly Ones/Hungry Gods are destroyed.
  • Discriminate and Switch: Martha Drood does not approve of Roger and Harry. Both Harry and Eddie assume it's because she's part of the conservative Drood old guard and therefore doesn't like that Harry's gay. Actually, she's fine with his sexuality; her real issue is that Roger's a half-demon... and also Harry's half-brother.
  • The Dividual: Maxwell and Victoria Drood: genius lab assistants who work, talk, and act lovey-dovey so much in sync that when they take over management of the Armory from Jack Drood, everyone refers to the pair as the Armourer.
  • Druid: The origin of the Drood family name.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: When Eddie goes up against Manifest Destiny in the first book, he takes a walk through their containment cells and runs across a half-demon with his tongue cut out. It turns out to be Roger (who, luckily, isn't too fussed Eddie didn't free him).
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Moon-shattering, rather, as the titular artifact sought in Moonbreaker is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. The Droods themselves installed it centuries ago as a last-ditch Mercy Kill device, to be used only in the event humanity were reduced to an And I Must Scream condition in which flying chunks of Moon annihilating the planet would rate as a blessing.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Basically every book. If it's not the Loathly Ones trying to take over the planet, it's Satanists trying to bring about literal Hell on Earth, and if it's not them, it's a rogue Drood. Even the regular Droods themselves have a strategy in place to initiate this if things get bad enough for humanity - see the Earth-Shattering Kaboom entry.
  • Endless Winter: Ultima Thule is perpetually cold enough to chill Eddie even through his armor. Also, southern Siberia in Property of a Lady Faire is covered in snow, even though it's stated earlier in the same book that it's summertime.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Even elves don't like Mr. Stab. An exiled elf lord is mortally offended that Eddie thinks he might know where the man is.
    • Subverted, however, when it comes to the war against the Loathly Ones; while everyone else has standards when it comes to soul-eaters, the elves hate humanity so much that they actually don't.
  • Extreme Omnisexual: The Lady Faire was designed to be this by Baron Frankenstein.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Psychics, aliens, spies, elves, gargoyles, elementals, ghouls, trolls, ogres, gods, gorgons, werewolves, ghosts, zombies, angels, demons, Frankenstein's creations, witches, interdimensional mercenaries, Lovecraftian monstrosities, satanists, superscience of various stripes and a few superheroes to boot.
  • Fate Drives Us Together: Subverted by Hell to get an agent cozy with the Droods. However, Roger actually does fall in love with Harry.
  • Faerie Court: The court of the elves. Once ruled by Queen Mab, she was overthrown by Titania and Oberon who cast her into hell and took over. Upon escaping from hell, she creates a civil war between the elves in order to reclaim her lost position as well as get revenge for her banishment.
  • Fighting a Shadow: In Daemons Are Forever, the "Loathly Ones" who are possessing humans are only fragments of the "Hungry Gods" invading our reality.
  • First-Episode Twist:Start with any book but the first, and you quickly learn that the Heart was evil and the strange matter/Ethel ends up replacing it.
  • First-Person Smartass: Eddie seems to be physically incapable of not snarking.
  • Flying Brick: When the torcs are on, the Droods become a variant of this with Not Quite Flight.
  • Foreshadowing: The van driver who drops off William in book two makes a quip that seems like a theatrical Shout-Out. Then Pook reveals himself in For Heaven's Eyes Only, and you realize the guy really did have a giant invisible rabbit to deliver next: one that slipped out one stop early, to stick with William.
    • It is mentioned that a certain character's favorite movie is The Wild Bunch, which famously ends extremely bloodily with most of the protagonists dead in a huge shootout. Fast forward to the end of the book, and this character has also gone out with a massive bang, pulling off a heroic last stand.
  • Government Agency of Fiction: MI13. Also whatever unnamed US agency Honey Lake really worked for, while ostensibly serving the CIA.
  • Grand Theft Me: How Eddie himself deals with being fatally poisoned by his Alternate Universe counterpart Edmund, aka Dr. DOA.
  • Groin Attack: Several standard examples, plus an exaggerated instance in Live And Let Drood where Molly subjects her attacker to one with a protein exploder.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Roger Morningstar (human/succubus), and the Blue Fairy (human/elf). Half-demons are more common than half-elves, but both are equally mistrusted (and for good reason, usually).
  • Healing Factor: The Lambton Worm from Casino (drawing on the original folk-tale) and the blood-red men from Lady Faire. Half-demons will also shrug off basically anything, provided they haven't been disowned by their demonic parent.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Roger. First he's only pretending to have defected for Harry, then he's really defected for Harry, then Hell persuades him to rejoin them, then he returns to the Droods at the very last second...
  • Hereditary Twinhood: Justified in the climax of the first book as the Awful Truth behind the Drood family. Their deal with an Eldritch Abomination causes all Droods to be born with an identical twin, who is sacrificed to the entity in exchange for magical power.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Eddie himself is branded a traitor in the first book and has to go rogue. In the second book, he calls every rogue Drood home, sins provisionally forgiven, on the grounds that a nonzero number are probably this, exiled for figuring out something was corrupt at the heart of the family rather than actually being bad people.
  • Hive Mind:
    • The servitor-drones who run the Medium Games for Casino Infernale. And who also operate the Shadow Bank.
    • The Loathly Ones share a collective mind, but can compartmentalize information so each drone knows exactly what it needs to.
    • The Jackson Fifty-Five, mercenary clones who provide security for Casino Infernale, may or may not be an example. Eddie and Molly discuss how it'll be a lot harder to defeat or avoid them if this trope applies.
  • Informed Ability: Lethal Harmony of Kathmandu, aka Katt, is supposed to be the world's greatest honeytrap. Unfortunately, she doesn't actually get to seduce anybody on-page, due to being surrounded by the people best equipped to resist her and Honey Lake murdering her within the first couple chapters.
  • Instant Armor: The Droods' chief asset in their countless world-saving battles is the magical golden (or silver, in a couple of books) flexible armor that retracts into their torcs when it's not needed.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Is Harry nice when he criticizes some of Eddie's decisions about how to run the family? Not in the slightest, and he's definitely playing to the crowd a little in the bargain. Is he completely correct when he says Eddie was a complete idiot to send Droods who didn't have torcs up against the Loathly Ones, no matter how well-armed they were? Even Eddie has to admit that yes, he is.
  • Light Is Not Good: The Heart, an otherworldly entity that's embodied as a gigantic diamond of eye-searing brilliance, is a murderous criminal that delights in corruption and infant sacrifice. The original golden armor it provided to the Droods was crafted from the babies their complicit leaders secretly fed to it.
  • Kissing Cousins: Martha Drood apparently had to fight the previous Matriarch for the right to marry Arthur Drood, her first husband, because they were second cousins.
  • Magic Mirror: The Merlin Glass is Eddie's go-to scrying and transportation artifact, and probably the Droods' most useful magical artifact. Certainly, it's prized enough that the family keeps pressuring Eddie to return it. Fat chance, is Eddie's response.
  • Magical Database: A particularly literal case, the Karma Catechist is a living database of every spell, ritual and magical concept conceivable in his universe.
  • Magical Seventh Son: Droods' torcs can be seen by seventh sons of seventh sons, or seventh daughters of seventh daughters (like Madame O).
  • Magitek: All over the place. The Drood armor, the Flying Saucerers and the Chelsea Lovers.
  • Matriarchy: They've tried other leadership structures, but the Drood family has a long history of defaulting to an autocratic, hereditary female ruler. When Eddie insists that they should start electing their leaders, the former Matriarch calls it an "experiment". And then she's the one who gets elected.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: Practically namechecked by Melanie Blaze when she discusses her romance with a certain Drood. She knew his life was an eyeblink compared to hers and decided he was worth it anyway.
  • Missing Mom: Harry's mother, a highly skilled spy and one of the few non-Droods to successfully marry into the family, slipped in between dimensions somewhere and was never seen again. Revealed to be the result of a Uriah Gambit in From A Drood to a Kill; the Drood old guard wanted her out of the way, because they couldn't stand that James, their best operative, married an elf.
  • Mobile Maze: The hedge maze on the Drood estate in which Moxton's Mistake is imprisoned.
  • The Mole: Played literally. There is someone in the family who is working with their enemies—in particular, whoever it is pushed to bring the Loathly Ones through during WWII, even though there were plenty of other options.
  • Monster/Slayer Romance: The Drood family aren't too pleased that Harry is dating the half-demon Roger, not least because of his ongoing Conflicting Loyalty with Hell. Love wins out in the end.
  • Monstrous Cannibalism: The used-to-be-cars in Little Stoke, the piranhas in Crow Lee's fountain, the huge monsters attacking Drood Hall in the alternate reality: lots of nasty critters in this series chow down on their own dead or wounded.
  • My Grandson, Myself: Alexander King's real agenda in The Spy Who Haunted Me is to assume his grandson Peter's identity after self-rejuvenation and plastic surgery, while killing off several renowned up-and-coming rival spies to establish "Peter" as a worthy successor.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Eddie runs into a pocket dimension full of rogue elves, who reject the dominant hyper-sadistic elf culture (although that doesn't mean you should turn your back on them). Melanie Blaze is the chief example, as she genuinely fell in love with James Drood, and when she discovers the Droods can't help her travel back in time to avert his death, she just lets Eddie leave.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast:
    • Mr. Stab earned his name.
    • In-universe example is anybody named "Drood." The mere mention in the first book is enough to empty a bar.
    • Subverted by Shaman Bond, the use-name/code name of our narrator and protagonist. He intentionally keeps that persona very friendly and low-key, so that no one would associate him with the Droods.
    • In some circles, Molly Metcalf's name rouses even more alarm than Eddie Drood's. At least with the Droods, you know they'll walk right over anyone in their way to do what their mission demands, then leave; with Molly, she might do anything, to anyone, for any good, bad, petty, or nonexistent reason.
  • Nebulous Evil Organisation: The Immortals are this to the Droods. The "Teen-age" leader "Methuselah" got to the Heart before the Droods did. The Heart gave himself, some family, and friends immortality and shapeshifting. The new Satanic Conspiracy was a tacky version, and the Sceneshifters were a literally nebulous version in that even their own membership kept shifting whenever they changed reality.
  • Only Known By His Nickname: Mr. Stab and the Blue Fairy both presumably have real names, but no one ever uses them. Also applies to loads of minor characters whose real names aren't stated. The Spawn of Frankenstein, such as the Bride and Lady Faire, don't seem to have real names.
  • Our Cryptids Are More Mysterious: The Spy Who Haunted Me puts a Greenverse spin on some classic cryptids.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: Elves used to rule this world, but we beat them by out-reproducing them, so most of them left. They're generally sadistic bastards who think growing roses through people is a minor punishment. They're also incapable of reproducing in their new home. They can only have children when they cross back to Earth and lie with humans.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: In From a Drood to a Kill, Eddie realizes he's not dealing with the real Molly but a copy, because the real deal would never need as much rescuing as he's been having to do.
  • People Farms: People factories, actually: the generic people who run the Medium Games and the Shadow Bank are produced by one. The horde of Nazi clones from For Heaven's Eyes Only probably were too, although Eddie doesn't actually see the clone-production facility.
  • Phrase Catcher: No matter how Eddie himself gets described, Molly is always referred to as "the infamous Molly Metcalf". She gets rather frustrated by it eventually.
  • Portal Pool: The Blue Fairy creates these from his own half-elven blood, just so he can go fishing in them.
  • The Power of Love:
    • In Daemons are Forever Roger uses it to stand up to the Soul Gun.
    • Harry uses it again in For Heaven's Eyes Only to banish a major demon of Hell so he can get to Roger.
  • Powered Armor: The Droods have their golden armor that comes out of the torcs.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: How did the Droods get their golden armor when the Heart was in charge? Droods always gave birth to twin babies, one of which was sacrificed to the Heart to make a torc.
  • Precautionary Corpse Disposal: The Drood Ancient Order of Protectors teleports its dead into the sun, both to protect them from enemy Necromancy and because its membership tends to be strong-willed, ornery, and prone to haunting over Unfinished Business.
  • Reality Is Out to Lunch: Loathly One ghoulvilles; also Little Stoke; the Shifting Lands.
  • Run the Gauntlet: The first book, wherein Eddie Drood has to survive attacks by (in order) Men in Black in Black Helicopters, car-eating entropic Ghost Cars, Elves riding Dragons, Demonic Ghost Cars and, finally, a fleet of human-built Magitek Flying Saucerers (not a misspelling.)
  • Running Gag: Ethel always asks Eddie if he brought her a present, and he always begs off by saying he's never sure what to get her.
    • Eddie getting all sorts of clever Magitek spy gadgets from the Armourer, then completely forgetting to use them.
    • Shaman brushing off questions about how he acquired some suspiciously-handy magical item by saying he found it on eBay.
    • The girl with a butterfly net who's always chasing a flying eyeball through the Armoury.
    • Molly effortlessly getting her way by asking Eddie if he ever wants to see her naked again.
  • Russian Roulette: Shaman has to play this in the introductory round of games at Casino Infernale.
  • Screw You, Elves!: Most Droods any chance they get, because elves are universally sadistic and awful. Well, almost universally, but the only one who isn't was still on the receiving end of this anyway. Also literally, which is how you end up with the Blue Fairy.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Grendel Rex. He was a Drood who murdered his family members and stole their torcs, fusing them with his own to gain godlike power, and almost took over the world. The rest of the Droods managed to put him down, but he was too strong to kill, so they buried him in Siberia. Moonbreaker reveals that he let them do it as part of a Batman Gambit to come back when the family had forgotten how to deal with him, and he could use the titular artifact to remake the world from the literal ground up.
    • The Drood in Cell 13, the Living Library, is also this. He knows everything the family knows, and actually asked them to imprison him...except it's been a long time, and he changes his mind about wanting to be down there every so often. And, like Grendel Rex, he can actually get out whenever he wants; he's the villain of Property of a Lady Faire.
  • Shapeshifter Showdown:
    • At Casino Infernale, this trope is offered as one of the Medium Games. Played with when Shaman competes, as he mostly battles his opponent in his human form, rather than transforming into powerful shapes.
    • Inverted when Molly plays World War, in which combatants retain their own shapes but change everything about their environment to overcome one another's "world".
  • Shooting Superman: All the freaking time, when mooks confront Droods in armor. If it's Eddie they're shooting, they'll eventually give up and try shooting Molly, only to find her magical shielding is no less invulnerable.
  • Shout-Out: Even the name Eddie Drood is a shout out to the last novel of Charles Dickens.
  • Snow Means Death: During Eddie's sojourn in Limbo after he's been poisoned, he finds himself in an empty, frozen version of Drood Hall where all the windows look out over the snow-covered grounds and mysterious hedge maze.
  • Soul Jar: Molly, being a witch, keeps her heart hidden outside her body. While she's not invulnerable and can die permanently from Losing Your Head, her sisters can use her Soul Jar to restore her from damage that would otherwise be fatal. She did the same thing to Eddie on the sly to protect him, which is how he survives his first poisoning. He makes her put his heart back afterwards, as his family doesn't approve of such things.
  • Spring-Heeled Jack: Spring-heeled Jack in a more positive portrayal is a recurring ally of Edwin Drood and the Drood family as well as romantic partner to the Bride of the Frankenstein. The two act as protectors to humanity with Eddie getting their help in order to put an end to the vile Family of Immortals in the novel, From Hell with Love. Jack is also occasionally mentioned in its sister series Nightside and even makes a brief appearance in the final book, when he's seen at a party necking with his lover.
  • Summon to Hand: The holder of the Serjeant-at-Arms position within the Drood family can pull weapons out of thin air as needed.
  • Talking Animal: The "hey, rube!" squirrel in Molly's wild woods. Archie the owl at Castle Inconnu.
  • Talking to Themself: Peter from The Spy Who Haunted Me is really Alexander, so this trope applies when he talks with the holographic image of his "grandfather".
  • Too Dumb to Live: Penny. Despite being repeatedly warned by everyone, including the man himself, not to get close to Mr. Stab, she insists he's a good person at heart. Right up until he murders her.
  • Trilogy Creep: The series was originally planned as just three books, but continued due to popularity, with the twelfth and final installment being a mass crossover with his earlier works.
  • Uncanny Valley: In-Universe, Loathly One drones really creep people out, because they look human but are incapable of showing human attentiveness, reactions, or even of moving like actual people do.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Molly has a literal magical version by reusing the same fabric and transforming it with magic.
  • Unperson: Droods who are declared rogue are erased from the family's history, their past achievements credited to relatives who know how to toe the line.
  • Unusual Halo: Truman has inserted steel rods into his brain, joined by a large steel ring over his head, which he claims unlocks the true power of the human mind.
  • Uriah Gambit: Melanie Blaze didn't so much get "lost" as "deliberately misplaced", sent dangerously far into the Subtle Realms after a rogue agent who might not actually have been rogue, on account of being an elf who dared marry not only a Drood but James Drood, the famous Gray Fox and favorite son.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Even by the standards of the Droods and the Greenverse, Eddie's had some extremely bizarre experiences. Becomes a self-perpetuating trope in Dr. DOA's Batman Cold Open, in which Eddie is assigned to take down Cassandra Inc. because he's so much this trope that there's no way that organization can predict what'll happen if he's involved.
  • The World Is Always Doomed:
    • Only to be expected, given the Droods' role as big-league defenders of humanity.
    • Lampshaded in Daemons:
    "So," I said. "I am left with just a few days to stop the bad guys from destroying the world and save the family from itself. If I hadn't already done this once before, I might be seriously worried."
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: When last seen in The Spy Who Haunted Me, Coffin Jobe had succumbed to his necrolepsy and died at the Independent Agent's secret lair. It's never mentioned whether he revived in time to leave before Eddie and Walker finished looting the place and blew it up. Even Jobe's cameo appearance in For Heaven's Eyes Only doesn't resolve the issue, as Eddie's near-death experiences are an enigma in themselves, and it seems fairly certain that most of the other people Eddie sees in that particular sequence aren't real.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Happens to Methuselah. He wants to leave earth because he's done and seen everything. He also wants break into heaven to enjoy its splendor.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Doctor Delirium, a villain who threatens to unleash diseases unless he is paid ransom in rare postage stamps — once a collector, always a collector. He sends his goons to steal the Apocalypse Door in order to make the world take him seriously.
  • Your Head Asplode: Happens to an unfortunate Drood far-seer when she attempts to scry on Little Stoke in For Heaven's Eyes Only.
  • Zeroth Law Rebellion: The generic people were tasked to run the Shadow Bank by their human masters, as efficiently as possible. As the generics quickly determined that their human masters' involvement was making the Bank less efficient, they converted all of their masters into more clones like themselves.