book review: through a glass, darkly

Dennis Detwiller’s Through a Glass, Darkly is a Delta Green novel. Delta Green is a setting for the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game in which you play government agents working as part of a shadowy conspiracy to fight the monsters from beyond space and time that threaten the world. Delta Green has a very 1990s feel to it, with its government collaborations with the little grey men and all of that (though it did originally predate the X-Files).

Through a Glass, Darkly is a novel set in the beginning of 2001 and follows an operation that has huge repercussions for the organizations involved. A couple of scientists have made a technological breakthrough that causes weird shit to happen and gives one of them godlike powers. Two Delta Green agents try to figure out what’s going on. Lots of stuff gets blown up.

Now, the thing that’s weird about a book like this is how it’s part of a game setting. In the Delta Green sourcebooks there’s a lot of information on a bunch of characters and organizations. If you’re reading this novel I guess it’s assumed that you’re familiar with everything from those sourcebooks, because there’s really not a lot to help you out in the text itself. I haven’t gone through the sourcebooks very carefully in quite a few years and I couldn’t remember what I knew from them and what might have come from some of the other short stories, or John Tynes’ novel or what.

I liked the book even though I feel like I was missing some crucial information. The BLUEFLY raid was great and horrific. Eddie Edwards was an excellently drawn character. There were a lot of good scenes. But if you aren’t already a Delta Green fan, I’d really recommend finding a copy of Alien Intelligences instead. It’s definitely a better introduction to the setting.

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