Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Rosy's scrawled book recommendation: The Nightside series by Simon R Green

The Nightside series
Simon R Green


Something from the Nightside
Agents of Light and Darkness
Nightingale's Lament
Hex and the City
Paths not Taken
Sharper than a Serpent's Tooth
Hell to Pay
The Unnatural Inquirer
Just Another Judgement Day
The Good, the Bad, and the Uncanny
A Hard Day's Knight
The Bride Wore Black Leather

(Plus some short stories)

Blurb for Something from the Nightside

John Taylor is not a private detective per se, but he has a knack for finding lost things. That's why he's been hired to descend into the Nightside, an otherworldly realm in the center of London where fantasy and reality share renting space and the sun never shines.

Solaris Books (UK)

Rosy's scrawlings on The Nightside series
This is one of my favourite kick back on a Friday night series. Plus any other night, of course, but you get what I mean instantly when I say Friday night. This is B-rated monster heaven for many a reader or even avid movie watcher written with style and kept short and snappy. My saying B-rated might make you think the writing isn't up to par or the subject matter lacks a certain something in morals or life lessons but you'd be wrong, although you could ignore all that if you like and just focus on the monster mayhem. The B-rating is entirely due to the monster movie parallel that pairs it with greats like Evil Dead: one of the ultimate Friday night movies.
In this series you'll find all the best and some new creatures, beings, monsters and gods and their relationships within the under-London/alternate-London/alternate-world or dimension called The Nightside are anything but friendly. Schemes are spun for power on a day-to-day basis, deals are done for survival and everyone is on the run from some other monster, which includes the most powerful of The Nightside. The one who inspires such fear in most, as well as a hefty dose of hatred and disdain amongst other things, is John Taylor. He's an odd pick for a monster of monsters considering he's mostly human, mostly reasonable and on the run himself. Still, he manages to play the role of the monster's monster rather well. His ability is truly fearsome, when he chooses to use it.
Within The Nightside series almost everyone has an ability that sets the apart and few are human anymore, if they ever were. But the general inhabitants of The Nightside aren't those that John Taylor tends to play with. Instead he deals with the god of the razor blade, post-apocalyptic monsters from the far future, the adventuring hero of heroes, the god of skin and other such worrying creatures. Not to mention a rather warped version of Merlin, a son of the devil. John Taylor is mostly unwanted and unwelcome so in order to deal with any at all threats are slung and some followed through on. Blood and gore flows, darkness is held back (just), and the worst mother of all time is sent packing (John hopes).
The Nightside series, as you can probably now tell, is a Friday night B-rated horror comedy movie writ large. And, like Terry Pratchett's light fantasy comedy works, there's much wisdom and insight to be found if you choose to pay attention. Best of all though, this series is fun, quick to read, engaging and well-rounded. The Nightside may be a contained domain but its presence and impact bleed out not just into the world beyond but into your mind as you're reading. It is a dark fairyland for the morbid and playful to enjoy.

I'd recommend this series to: those interested in quick paced dark fantasy, dark comedy and monster stories. Also, anyone who typically watches movies and TV shows rather than reading books will find this a great way to crack into the world of books.

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