Walker has always been a central force in the morally grey Nightside -- he'll do just about anything, good or bad, to maintain the status quo.
But all that changes in the eleventh Nightside book, along with a lot of other stuff in the mystery zone between good and evil. Unfortunately "The Good, The Bad and the Uncanny" is a mixed bag of supernatural plots: it seems less like a cohesive book than a trio of interlaced short stories, and two of them suffer from some severe issues with pacing... but the subplot about Walker and John is tragically, horrifically brilliant.
As usual, John has weird cases -- first he has to get an elf lord (nicknamed Screech) from one of the Nightside to the other... and Walker is determined to stop him (cue werewolves, Neanderthal bikers, etc). As payment, Screech has some mildly freaky news for him. Then John is hired by Larry Oblivion, a zombie detective who wants to find his brother... except John can't find him. Oh yes, and his brother Hadley Oblivion, the terrifyingly divine Detective Inspectre, is back in the Nightside.
Finally, John is contacted by Walker, who reveals that he's terminally ill, and wants John to be his successor in the Nightside. Of course, John refuses -- and as he investigates the whereabouts of Larry's brother, Walker keeps popping up to show John the good, the bad and the uncanny about his job. The problem is, he isn't revealing everything to John -- and John starts to realize that Walker is more dangerous than ever before.
"The Good, the Bad and the Uncanny" is probably the wobbliest Nightside novel thus far -- it's basically a novella with two short stories twined around it, with very little connecting them.Read more ›
Paul TapnerTOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 May 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Latest volume in the Nightside series. These are fantasy novels about John Taylor, a private investigator in the Nightside. Which is London off the beaten tracks and round the dark corners. Where you can find anything and anyone you can possibly imagine. And everything that you can't.
This is the tenth in the series and whilst most of them are quite accessible for new readers there is a fair amount of backstory by now so you're better off starting with the beginning book Something from the Nightside.
Regular readers read on.
This one runs for two hundred and seventy five pages, and is divided into eleven chapters plus a short prologue and epilogue. John has a couple of cases over the course of the book, firstly escorting an elf across the city in order to deliver an important message. And then helping find a missing person.
At the same time Walker, the man who runs the nightside, has a job offer for John. One that he can't possibly refuse.
Although he's certainly going to try to...
As ever with this series there's a fantastic amount of invention, with interesting characters and concepts and sights being described in throwaway lines that make the Nightside such a fascinating creation. But this one, as mentioned in other reviews, does come in sections and also exists to set up changes to the series.
Roughly the first third is one long chase scene leading up to a plot point. Although this section is hugely entertaining, thanks not to least to a character called Ms. Fate. A superhero with certain gender issues.
Then there's a long flashback as one character fills John in on some important information.Read more ›
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Things are changing in Nightside. An elf--never trust an elf--hires PI John Taylor as an escort across Night. Then Larry Oblivion, the Dead Detective, asks to help him find his brother who disappeared during the Lilith War. But the biggest concern is Walker, who runs Nightside on behalf of the Authorities. He wants to retire and have PI John Taylor assume his position.
A book with a compelling opening is a joy, and Green writes great openings. I am always staggered by imagination and his ability to make the unreal seem real, unpleasant as that sometimes is.
This book blends humans--sometimes loosely defined as such--monsters and mythical characters, such as Puck; but not Shakespeare's Puck. To balance the graphicness, Green employs a delightful humor and includes references to contemporary culture and the occasional nod to Shakespeare. In fact, the book itself has a rather Shakespearean feel to it.
These are not pure fantasy books; there is some real substance and insightful observations and truth tucked in amongst the action, including a rather sad but honest observation on drugs. When John asks Walker whether the power ever goes to his head, Walker responds "...There isn't one of them that really likes or even respect me. It's the position, and the power that comes with it." Isn't that true for most people who are famous or powerful--people agree with them and laugh at their jokes not because of who they are but because of the power they hold.
At one point, Taylor talks about the value of the less important..."Is their pain any less? Their deaths any less final"...leading me to think of Shylock's speech about the Jews "...If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh?Read more ›
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