I picked up Something From the Nightside on Jim Butcher‘s recommendation and I enjoyed it for what it was: not high literature, but a fast fun read.
John Taylor is a private detective with a gift for finding things. He takes a case about a missing girl that forces him to confront his past and enter the Nightside. John Taylor has a serious reputation in the Nightside and he thought he had left that world behind years ago. Now it seems he has to return, and he uses his old contacts and his dubious reputation to crack the case.
Simon R. Green does a very good job of giving you the feel of the Nightside. I like the world he created — it’s a creative mix of a lot of dark fantasy places we’ve seen before. Overall the story was fun and fast-paced. The cast of violent self-loathing characters, although colorful, got tiresome after awhile, but there are hints of more depth to come in future volumes.
Green’s writing style in this novel is cliché to the point that it starts to feel repetitive. He successfully recreates the private eye noir style, but at times I just wanted him to stop the constant reaffirmation of the Nightside’s weirdness:
- The Nightside is the secret, hidden, dark heart of the city. London’s evil twin. It’s where the really wild things are….
- It’s always night in the Nightside. It’s always three o’clock in the morning, and the dawn never comes….
- You can buy or sell anything in the Nightside, and no-one asks questions. No-one cares. There’s a nightclub, where you can pay to see a fallen angel forever burning inside a pentacle drawn in baby’s blood.
- Everything you ever feared or dreamed of is running loose somewhere in the shifting streets of the Nightside….
- You can find anything in the Nightside, if it doesn’t find you first. It’s a sick, magical, dangerous place….
That’s just from first half of chapter one; repeat similar descriptions ad nauseum throughout the entire book. I get it: the Nightside is a creepy, weird, and scary place. Please move on with the story. I’m hoping that since this is the first book in a series and the setting has now been established, that we can move on from describing what’s “in the Nightside” all the time.
Something from the Nightside should provide urban fantasy fans a great way to spend their time. I am definitely looking forward to the next books.
Yep. What Justin said. I listened to the audio version. Marc Vietor did a great job with it.