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Paths Not Taken: Nightside, Book 5 | [Simon R. Green]

Paths Not Taken: Nightside, Book 5

"I'm John Taylor. I was born in the Nightside, that square mile in the hidden center of London where it is always the hour of the wolf, where gods and monsters walk side by side and where every dark question ever asked can be answered - for a price. I left for a while, but I did come back, to make my living doing what I do better than anyone else: Finding things - lost or stolen, real or imaginary. Recently, I found the most dangerous thing of all: the true identity of my long-gone mother."
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Publisher's Summary

"I'm John Taylor. I was born in the Nightside, that square mile in the hidden center of London where it is always the hour of the wolf, where gods and monsters walk side by side and where every dark question ever asked can be answered - for a price. I left for a while, but I did come back, to make my living doing what I do better than anyone else: Finding things - lost or stolen, real or imaginary.

"Recently, I found the most dangerous thing of all: the true identity of my long-gone mother. Turns out she's a being who's been around since beore the dawn of history. Then, she created the Nightside - and now, for her own warped reasons, she intends to destroy it. To stop her before she even gets started, I've got to do some hard traveling - back in Time, through endless eons, into the very distant - and probably deadly - past...."

Listen to the entire Nightside series.

©2005 Simon R. Green; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"A great entrée into the series for new readers." (SF Revu)
"I was really, really impressed at how well the narrator, Marc Vietor, does in creating a believable cast of characters who each have their own distinctive voice." (Green Man Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    09-23-10
    09-23-10 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Green Man Review's Review"

    I was once again really, really impressed at how well the narrator, Marc Vietor, does in creating a believable cast of characters who each have their own distinctive voice. I yearn to have him narrate all of the Raymond Chandler Philip Marlowe mysteries, as he would be the perfect person to give voice to those works!

    This novel is entertaining look at the early history of the Nightside as initially John, Tommy, and Susie travel backwards in time with the assistance of Father Time. Later in the story, Tommy gets tossed back to present day Nightside, though John and Susie keep going backwards towards. . . . Oh, I'm not saying as you'll discover that yourself.

    I will single out two highlights of the novel for me.

    First, the look at the earlier incarnations of The Londinium Club -- where those with real power go to indulge in pleasures best not described here -- adds a nice touch to the texture of the Nightside story. I particularly like that the Doorman is apparently immortal! The Londinium Club is reflective of London as it grew around this magical place and Green revels in telling its story.

    Second, and a real treat for me, was the long look at Herne the Hunter, His Court, and the Wild Hunt. (Yes, John being the prey. A truly bad idea for Lord Herne as John doesn't play fair. Indeed, Herne will suffer badly for taking on John.) I think I've said before that I considered the Nightside novels to be fantasy, but hearing them makes me think that they are more properly treated as classic English horror as the detailed descriptions of the beings herein and what they do is rather visceral when heard.

    Suffice it to say the story, though not resolved, is advanced properly.And the usual high production values of everything Audible does is evident here.

    Cat Eldridge / Green Man Review

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    02-08-09
    02-08-09 Listener Since 2008
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    "The secret is out!"

    I am still enjoying this series and its good to finally know who John Taylor's mother is!! Normally, a long series tends to get tired, but I'm finding that the plots are still interesting and its nice to have a familiarity in the characters and watching them develop.

    I find the narrator in this series to be excellent and I'll be getting the rest of the series.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine St. Johns, FL, United States 02-27-14
    Katherine St. Johns, FL, United States 02-27-14 Member Since 2009

    I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!

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    "Visit the Nightside of the past"

    Originally posted at Fantasy Literature.

    Warning: Contains spoilers for previous NIGHTSIDE books. If you haven’t read them, please start at the beginning with Something from the Nightside. Otherwise you’ll be lost.

    Paths Not Taken is the fifth book in Simon R. Green’s NIGHTSIDE series. In the previous installment, Hex and the City, John Taylor investigated the origins of the Nightside and discovered that Lilith, his own mother, was its creator. Now, in Paths Not Taken, John and Suzie Shooter travel back in time to discover why and how Lilith created the Nightside. That might help them figure out why she now wants to destroy it and how they might be able to stop her.

    The best part of Paths Not Taken, as usual, is the setting. This time it’s fun to learn what the Nightside was like throughout history, not just by being told, but by actually going back to experience it. (If you thought the modern Nightside was bad, you should have seen it in the 6th century!) As we go backward in time, the past mixes up with the possible futures John has already seen in a previous book (thus the title Paths Not Taken) and we see how John has been unwittingly influencing events all along. We get to visit some familiar people and places and we learn what happened to Merlin’s heart, where the Lamentation came from, and how Suzie becomes disfigured in the future John has been worrying about. Green purposely creates all sorts of time paradoxes which will make your head spin. I’m just starting to realize how well he planned out the NIGHTSIDE series.

    Paths Not Taken suffers from the same problems this series has had from the beginning, mainly the repetition of ideas and language within and between books. Green repeats himself so often that I wonder if he has certain phrases typed into a macro. For example, “… I opened up my inner eye, my private eye … and it was the easiest thing in the world to….”, “… they all remembered they had urgent appointments somewhere else.”) This was a real problem for me, so I’ve decided to take a break from NIGHTSIDE before revisiting it in the next book, Sharper Than a Serpent’s Tooth.

    I’m listening to the fabulous audio production narrated by Marc Vietor. I wouldn’t think of reading NIGHTSIDE any other way.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    melrailey Georgia, United States 08-12-12
    melrailey Georgia, United States 08-12-12 Member Since 2007

    Mel

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    "Time-Travelling John Taylor"
    Any additional comments?

    This is a good addition to the Nightside series. I am always impressed with Green's ability to play on words and fiddle with history just a bit. I'm not too sure how I feel about this series become more of a mythology series than a Taylor solving the most recent mystery series. I feel now that it becomes imperative that each book be read in order and that I understand what's happening with all the characters because I might miss something in future books.

    Marc Vietor is a wonderful narrator and I hope to listen to more of his work in the future. If you want some good, easy fantasy books to listen to during your commute or while working around the house, I'd recommend the Nightside series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph Ocean Shores, WA, United States 05-08-10
    Joseph Ocean Shores, WA, United States 05-08-10 Member Since 2003

    Began reading sci-fi 71 years ago, at age 4, will continue until my clock quits ticking.. Best education one could have ever wished for.

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    "not worth the listen or price"

    Mr. Green seems to have gotten trapped in his own nightmare. These novels are definitely redundant page after page, hour after hour to literally impossible unending mayhem and destruction.
    There is some very dark humor that does at one time or another surface to keep the reader almost laughing, but otherwise the repition of personal histories goes on and on and on, much like the energizer bunny. I will not invest another hour or dollar in this series. Very disappointing indeed!

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
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  • Miss
    London, United Kingdom
    8/8/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The fun continues"
    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Definitely.


    Any additional comments?

    Mark Vietor continues to do a great job bringing to life the Nightside books.

    However, he is starting to have problems with the English accent. His main 'voice' is great Another reviewer thought that his accent in the first Nightside book was a problem, but I did not agree at that point. However, when he tries to do the accent of someone a little "foppish", (case in point: Tommy Oblivion) he's not getting it right. It's neither the upper-class accent of today nor the upper-class accent as it was spoken in the days of the black and white movies.

    However, I found that it did not interfere with my enjoyment. Possibly because of the artificial nature of the Nightside itself I was more accepting of one character who had a very phoney accent, Or maybe it was just that I found Mark Vietor did such a good job of the rest of it that I did not really mind.

    I find the middle trilogy to be the weakest of the Nightside books (there is a lot of padding, and I just wanted the Lilith plot to be over already). Nevertheless, they're still a great way to pass the time for a few hours.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Chantal
    Arusha, Tanzania
    7/8/13
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    "Great series of books"
    Any additional comments?

    This is a great book, with lots of fun action, clever banter and dry wit. I found myself laughing out loud often, or shaking my head at how cleverly the writer had twisted the plot. The main characters are interesting and really likable and I found myself missing them when one book was finished. I have all 12 in the series and cant' wait to listen to the next one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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