CBR #16 – And Now For Something Completely Sinister

Something from the Nightside by Simon R. Green

I select my books using a random generator spreadsheet on Google.  I usually try to read two books at once.  If it’s a new book in a series, I always read that one right away.  So since I already had the Sword of Truth series in spot one, I grabbed a second book.  Which turned out to be Simon Green’s Nightside series, which is something like 15 books long.  So now, I’m basically springboarding back and forth between the two massive series.  Got my next month planned!

I first read Simon Green’s Deathstalker series, a space opera about an all powerful family. It’s pulpy and delightful.  Then I read the Secret History series, which deals with the Droods, a family who protects the world from unseen dangers — which is usually them themselves — and they have super powerful armor that can destroy everything.  Now, I’m on to the Nightside series.

Nightside is a hidden underbelly of London where evil and sinister things can find anything their wicked hearts desire.  Our hero is John Taylor, a detective with a mysterious and powerful past who has the ability to activate his Sight and find anything. He never carries a gun.  So it’s kind of a fun hard boiled noir, only done in Green’s bombastic supernatural style.  With lots of blood and dry Brit quips and chaos.

I wish I had read Nightside prior to the Drood books, because some of the game has been given away by events in the Droods.  I kind of know what fate has in store for John Taylor, but it’s still fun to see it play out. Green’s got a formula: reluctant male hero who has a powerful female sidekick who hates him by now cares deeply for him.  They’ve always got a chosen one aspect — powers beyond their imaginations that are locked away.  They always butcher everybody, and jokes get recycled.  Taylor does the same trick where he takes bullets out of guns with his powers.  People always get their asses kicked.  Someone has a magic power that can disable the most powerful unstoppable creatures, and more often as not this is Taylor.

The Nightside books are really quick reads, so I fully expect to churn through four or five for every Sword of Truth.  I’d read the Deathstalker books first if you’re going to tackle Green.  I don’t know where the Carnacki Institute books come into play — though they get named dropped often — and I don’t know where Hawk and Fisher come in.  But those are the next two series of Green’s I have to read.

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