Author: Simon R. Green
Blurb: My name is John Taylor. I’m a PI for hire in the Nightside, the dark and corrupt city within the city of London. Where the sun never shines and where pleasure and horror are always on sale—for the right price.
Not a nice place to visit or a nice place to live. So you wouldn’t think I would care that it was about to be destroyed, by none other than my very own long-missing, not-quite-human mom.
But I do. I was born here, I live here, and I got friends here. They might not all be acceptable in polite company, but they’re my friends, nonetheless.
I know that I’m the only one who can stop her. The trick is, how to do it without fulfilling this prophecy that says whatever action I take, not only is the Nightside doomed, but the rest of the world will soon follow…
This installment completes the three-book ARC that started with Hex and the City, so naturally, the plot of this book has a lot more action than the typical Nightside novel. On the one hand, the faster pacing resulted in less “fat,” that is to say fewer of the occasional infodumps that have plagued every book in this series so far.
On the other hand, there was so much action stuffed into this one book that at times the storyline became a bit overwhelming to follow, with John running from place to place, back and forth across the Nightside, engaging in fight after fight after fight, and encountering plot twists left and right. In essence, this book was like one big climactic sequence.
As a reader who enjoys a good share of action, I wasn’t too bothered by this, however, and I did feel that the actual structure of the plot was pretty solid. Everything made sense, and a lot of long-standing questions about John and many other characters were finally answered, bringing a number of sub-plots to a close.
Beyond the plot, I enjoyed the use of the ensemble cast, with a lot of characters John has met in previous installments getting involved in the action and showing us how they’ve changed since their last appearances. The characterization in general was so-so, which is typical when you have a very fast-paced book, but even so, I think John’s development was done well once again; he’s come quite a long way since book one.
My long-standing issues with the writing quality still remain, but at this point, I’m so used to the writing style, I don’t really notice the problems all that much. So, overall, I thought this book was entertaining and represented a solid step forward for the series, but it still had a few minor issues that prevented it from being truly great.