Book Review: Paths Not Taken by Simon R. Green

Title: Paths Not Taken (Nightside #5)

Author: Simon R. Green

Blurb: 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 before 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…

My Thoughts:

So, this book took a slightly more adventurous route than the previous books in the series by having John go on a trip to the past, giving the reader a glimpse of the evolution of the Nightside over its many centuries of existence. I liked this approach to the storyline because it widened the scope of the great world-building considerably while crafting a serviceable plot that forced John to make difficult choices and push forward his character development.

In terms of character growth in general, I enjoyed seeing the shifting dynamics in John and Suzie’s relationship, particularly because Suzie was more or less a minor character up until this point and the changes in this installment brought her characterization more into focus. The antagonists in this book were also interesting, and the contrast between their present-day selves and their past selves allowed me to see their characterization in a whole new light.

This book didn’t really fix any of the technical issues I have with the series—the overly long and unfocused paragraphs and what not—but I’ve gotten so used to that at this point that it’s not really hurting my enjoyment of the books anymore.

Overall, this installment took the series in a new and interesting direction, but it’s still roughly on the same level as the last couple books.

Rating: 3/5 stars

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