[Book Review] Something From the Nightside by Simon R. Green

SomethingFromTheNightsideIn my lifetime, it’s very hard to come across a book that fails to meet my literary expectations but still end up loving it. Not only that, but, for the most part, loving the entire series.

In Simon R. Green’s Something From the Nightside, I found a book I couldn’t help but hate to love.

The book, which is the first in an ongoing series, came out in 2003. I read it when it was a new release…and I’ve read it once more after that. This time around having been my third. While perusing the ‘New Release’ shelves in the science fiction section at my local book store I saw that Green had released yet another in the series. Having been out of the loop for a while, I decided to start over again rather than pick up the new title and miss out on previously released back story.

The story revolves around a private eye with special talents name John Taylor. You won’t forget that name because it’s repeated about 1,000 times within the title’s 230-ish pages. Having been in the “normal” world now for a few years, a damsel in distress draws him back in to the seedy side of London, a completely dark and sadistic side of London known as the Nightside. The Nightside is also a name you will not forget, as you are constantly reminded of its name with every turn of the page.

This damsel has Taylor following her daughter into the bowels of this unearthly, supernatural part of town. A place where magic is real, time has no real meaning and the cars can eat you.

Overall, this title is what I would consider ‘Popcorn’ reading. It’s light, fluffy and quick. At only 230-ish pages, it doesn’t take much time to go from cover to cover. But the real kicker is, with all the poor grammar, gaps in story and just in general mind-numbing amount of times the Nightside is mentioned…I couldn’t help but enjoy myself.

The story lacks in several areas…and in general lacks enough to sink your teeth into for long. The character development, although present, isn’t enough to really help you feel for the characters involved in the storyline. The climax was ok…not great or anything spectacular…just borderline on almost being disappointing, but not in the end.

What the story does have is a feel. By that, I mean it screams noir. Modern noir, but noir nonetheless. Green utilizes the Nightside in such a way that the world of today is shoved aside and a grittier side of reality is revealed to us. A place where a futuristic spaceman walks shoulder to shoulder with a knight in shining armor. Unbelievable, yes…but still one heck of a good time!

Give this one a shot. It’s short and well worth the time. Even if you can’t get into it enough to follow along by delving in the rest of the series, Something From the Nightside will most likely have some aspect to tickle your fancy.

Rating:  5.5/10 Gingered Digits.

Reasoning: Character Development (0.5/2), Climax (1/2),Entertainment (2/2), Plot  (1/2), Story (1/2).

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