Hex and the City by Simon R. Green
I will forgive Green the godawful pun in the title if not for the story he’s telling. This one is all about the Nightside and it’s sinister past. Lady Luck hires John Taylor to find out the history of how the Nightside was created. And because of the potential of that information, everyone is out to get John Taylor. This book is when shit gets super fucking ugly for Taylor, and we’re all the better for it.
Everyone wants to stop Taylor, even as he has to hunt down ever more powerful and elder figures to try to find the truth. The prize is the identity of his mother. Which is pretty damn important. Shotgun Suzie and Razor Eddie are not in this tome, instead we get help from Madman, Sinner and Pretty Poison. Madman is someone who looked too far into the reality behind reality and went bonkers. And now he can literally bend the world around him with his madness. Which he has a tenuous control on. Sinner made a deal with the devil to find true love for ten years. The devil sent him a succubus to satisfy him, and he fell completely in love with her. Then when ten years ended, he was cast into hell, where Sinner was still in love. Since he felt true love in Hell, Satan cast him out, and Heaven didn’t want a damned soul. So he walks the earth, rejected by Heaven and Hell, and invulnerable because of it. Pretty Poison is the succubus that Sinner loved, and now she loves him back. She appears as whatever the person viewing her most desires. And THESE ARE HIS SIDEKICKS.
The book itself goes through some imaginative lengths with the various folks John has to hunt down. He learns a lot of painful truths in this book. Who the forces are that are sending attackers after him and why they are doing it. Who they send as the ultimate weapon against him. And finally who his mother truly is. With Green bending into various mythologies, I wasn’t sure who it would be, but it was a pretty damn good choice. And in line with the Green formula, so I should have seen it.
But the books are building nicely. It’s hard to write individual reviews per book without giving anything away. Kind of like writing about individual issues rather than the graphic novel that collects them all. But I shall not relent.