Reviews and Recommendations by Mel Odom, Professional Writer


Simon R. Green Something From The Nightside

Something From The Nightside took me three attempts before I finally got through it. The first time I was reading it, I was busy and couldn’t stay with it. The book is one of those slim volumes packed with energy and excitement that are meant to be devoured in no more than two or three sittings. I couldn’t meet that requirement the first time. So I put the book aside.

A couple of my college students read the book and told me I needed to finish it. I tried, but it was too soon and too much of the book was familiar to me. So I waited about a year, until I had time to sit down and thoroughly immerse myself in Simon R Green’s weird world, and I tackled it again. This time I slid through easily from beginning to end and enjoyed the read. Now there are seven other books for me to pick up and devour as well.

On the surface, this is one of those books that I should love. It’s a bombastic collision between fantasy and private eye noir with British overtones. John Taylor, Green’s interesting hero, has a mysterious tie to the Nightside, the quirky and dangerous city located in the shadows between worlds in downtown London.

Taylor has a cool power: he can find anything. Missing people. Missing weapons. Missing fortunes. Put him on the trail, and he can find it. Abstractly, the power can also be used to find the means to destroy individuals and places, which concerns the denizens of Nightside greatly. Many believe that John Taylor is a walking apocalypse with a short fuse.

Ironically, the one thing that Taylor can’t find is his mother. She left him at an early age and there are lots of mysteries concerning who and what she rarely was.

I really enjoyed Taylor’s laid back character, and his power fascinated me. Green brings him to life on the page almost effortlessly, delineating his likes and dislikes as a matter of course as the investigation proceeds. Initially, Taylor is hired to find the wayward daughter of Joanna Barrett, a rich society woman who shows up at his office. The case takes weird turns and leads Taylor through the more dangerous sides of the Nightside. He hasn’t been back in five years and things have only gotten stranger.

One of the best aspects of the book was the Nightside. I loved imagining a dark world where it’s always 3:00 AM, and the streets are filled with strange and unbelievable people and things. I want to know more about Taylor and his relationship to people in this world, especially Razor Eddie.

The first-person narrative makes the book immediately accessible, and the short length powers through the plot. This isn’t one of those doorstopper fantasies, but the series promises a lot of fun and wonderment to come.


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