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Something from the Nightside

Nightside #1

by Simon R. Green

genre: dark fantasy

Summary from Goodreads

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.

Review

Why I Chose the Book

A few years ago, I read The Good, the Bad, and the Uncanny (#10 in the Nightside series. It was brilliantly written with smart literary references used well. My introduction into dark fantasy, I found myself enjoying a sub-genre I didn’t think was for me. Since then, I’ve wanted to go back to the beginning. The Nightside series is not one you need to read in order, but it’s obvious you pick up more of the character references and offhand comments if you do.

Initial Thoughts

Not as good as The Good, The Bad, and the Uncanny but still good. There’s something glorious about reading a traditionally published author who clearly improves with time and experience. As i write this, I realize that reading John Dies at the End not long before Something from the Nightside may have colored my review a little more harshly than if I hadn’t. Both are dark fantasy, and there are certain elements that are similar between the novels. I said this in the review, but let me reiterate: Do Not Read John Dies at the End. It’s a terrible book that is so bad, it apparently ruins other books of the same genre.

Final Thoughts

Interesting characters and sublime character development. The literary references are sprinkled in wisely, done so well that if you don’t know the reference you miss it. All of them are relevant and none of them interrupt the story from Dante’s Inferno to Mary Howitt’s The Spider and the Fly and Who Watches the Watchmen? I am in awe of Green’s ability to seamlessly throw around quotes and references from other works.

Recommendation

Personally, I like reading books in order, but this one is a take it or leave it as long as you read The Good, The Bad, and the Uncanny.

Rating

4 out of 5 stars.

-Eliabeth Hawthorne

To see what other books we’ve reviewed, check out our book reviews page.

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