Angels of Music. Book Review

Titan Books, p/b, 400pp, £7.99
Reviewed by Matthew Johns

Kim Newman is known to many as a film historian and movie critic with a penchant for horror movies, but his work as an award-winning author is what he really should be known for. He has a way with words that draw the reader in and keep them glued to the page.

His latest novel, Angels of Music is a truly entertaining romp through Paris starting in the late 1800s, and ending at the time of the legendary Parisian floods of 1910. Imagine, if you will, Phantom of the Opera combined with Charlie’s Angels, with a bit of Mission Impossible thrown in. Newman borrows prolifically from fiction through the ages, populating the ranks of his Angels with the likes of Elizabeth Eynsford Hill (aka Eliza from My Fair Lady), Irene Adler (Sherlock Holmes’ frenemy with benefits), Christine Daaé (Christine from The Phantom of the Opera), and many more – witches, detectives, occultists, martial artists, even a clockwork lady.

The villains that the Angels face range from a very Batman-esque character with a very innovative way of dispatching his victims, to a self-styled queen of Atlantis, a team of rogues running a Circus of Blood which is far from funny, a James Bond-type villain who hopes to start a world war and many more.

I could easily see this being adapted into an award-winning TV show on a certain streaming video service – the book is very episodic in style, and would lend itself well to a weekly format.