"Assignment: Joanna Barrett hires me to track down her teenage daughter, who decided to forgo the circus and run away to the Nightside. The kid has no idea what she's getting herself into...You can find anything in the Nightside-if it doesn't find you first."
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.
Listen to the entire Nightside series.
©2003 Simon R. Green; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.
"A fast-paced, macabre excursion into an entertaining world of twisted heroes and rampant weirdness." (Locus)
I'm obsessed with audible
The Nightside is a parallel World or maybe just a parallel London? that can be accessed through London's Tube system for those in the know. A pretty Dame walks into John's office wanting him to find her runway daughter that is rumored to be "IN THE NIGHTSIDE".
Why did I use the word 'Dame'? Why did I all cap "in the nightside"? Well. It's because this reads sort of like a cheesy clichéd old school private eye movie and the words "in the Nightside" were used SO many times that if you were playing a drinking game, you'd have been dead several times over. (Another reviewer mentioned this)
No one talks like that and what kind of writing and editing is that? It almost drove me MAD.
The world building is lacking in spite of John saying almost every sentence how it is "in the Nightside". There are supernatural entities and other bad guy humans with gifts of their own. John's gift is "finding things" and it only works "in the Nightside" (lol). We experience him open his mind to get a ghostly image of the girl's trail. Unclear? Me too. His gift also seems to change or pick up extra skills as needed when they're in trouble. The book is short. Time could have been taken to explain so much.
Anyways, it had intermittent moments when it was almost really good, but was an overall flop because it wasn't fleshed out enough. I feel like I just experienced first hand someone's vague dream memories upon waking. I kept thinking the entire time that I could be continuing to reread Harry Dresden, which is the void I was trying to fill.
Narration: Marc Vietor has a great voice. He does decent female voices and each character is identifiable and unique. However, his lilting cadence is a bit too much sometimes.
I couldn't make it through this audiobook (and I'm really not that picky.)
-I was initially turned off by the helpless naive woman and jaded white knight scenario. Yaaaawn.
-The author tells the reader how strange and mysterious and creepy his make believe world is without ever showing us. It's a little grungy, but I never heard anything that made me think, "Wow, what an interesting, dangerous, creepy place."
-The author repeatedly alludes to the protagonist's powers and sordid past, making a huge fuss about it all. I never made it to the big reveal, but hopefully it's worth all the buildup.
Instead of spending a credit on this book, listen to Jeff VanderMeer's Finch (talk about creepy), or Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, or any of the Dresden Files books.
Repetitive. How many times do we need to her "in the dark side"?
Writing was so heavy handed I couldn't bear it. It has all of the horror and desperation but none of the wit of "The Dresden Files."
I have been searching for an urban fantasy series even half as good as the Dresden Files. Don't waste your time here. The writing is heavy-handed and cliché. It is very hard to be sympathetic to the protagonist. In addition, his supernatural gifts swing from ineffectual to omnipotent right at the climax of a conflict, and what is the fun in that?
I listened all the way through, hoping the writer would get stronger, but that didn't happen. Never mind the film noir stuff – it's simply written badly, and left a horrible taste in my mouth.
I would not touch a book by Simon Green again.
I might be willing to give the narrator another try, if the material were of better quality.
At the end, I felt extremely let down.
Simon R. Green? no
Marc Vietor? YES
Not worth it
John Taylor. His gritty portrayal was perfect.
If he says "In the Nightside" one more time, I'm going to punch something.
We already know that the characters are "in the Nightside". You don't have to remind us every page. I mean that literally. The main character says or thinks "in the Nightside" once or twice a conversation.
This felt like a TV script with dramatic pauses written in for really long commercials. I don't think I would have finished reading this, but the narrator was good enough that I finished listening to it.
While it was enjoyable at $4.99, I would not spend my monthly credit on it or pay full price for it or any others in the series.
Admittedly, I had a bit of difficulty getting into the book at first. I found the somewhat repetitive nature of the character alluding to the "Nightside" every other sentence, as if you are not aware of where you are, a bit distracting. Once I became accustomed to Mr. Green's writing style, I went on to enjoy the storyline.
Marc Vietor did an excellent job with the reading and his various voices added to the flow and tempo of the audio.
Overall I liked the book and have gone on to read the rest of the series. However, I find this first installment to be my least favorite of the series. This is of course understandable; as Green gradually develops the characters and plot lines in later books, you begin to fully appreciate his talent for storytelling. It's worth the time and effort.
Good effort and interesting short story. Good value and fun listening. I will probably listen to more of these stories.
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