"John Taylor's the name. I work the Nightside. Only in that dark heart of London where it's always three a.m., where human and inhuman can feed their darkest desires, do I feel at home. Probably because I was born here. What I do is find things - people, objects - and in this case, the truth about the origins of the Nightside. That's what Lady Luck has hired me to investigate. But the more I dig, the more I discover, not about the Nightside but about the great question in my life: exactly who - and what - was my long-vanished mother."Paying jobs are one thing. Personal quests are another. And I've been warned that uncovering the facts about dear old mum could be a very bad thing, not just for the Nightside but for all of existence. Still I can't stop...I'm John Taylor. Finding things is who I am. It's what I do. Whatever the consequences...."
"Fans of Harry Dresden would find John Taylor a terrific read... but, then again, so would any fan of good, dark urban fantasy" (SF Revu) "I can now say unequivocally that listening to this story was an immeasurably better experience for me than I had reading (and re-reading) any of the other Nightside novels, as the incredible work done by everyone at Audible makes the story come truly alive." (Green Man Review)
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I can now say unequivocally that listening to this story was an immeasurably better experience for me than I had reading (and re-reading) any of the other Nightside novels, as the incredible work done by everyone at Audible makes the story come truly alive. Until I started using an iPod to listen to audiobooks while taking a long morning walk around the downtown area of the city I live in, I had never really appreciated the experience of a well-crafted audiobook, as I simply can't listen to them when I'm doing anything else. All of the Nightside novels are told in the first person singular, as narrated by John Taylor himself. Think Philip Marlowe or perhaps Lew Archer. Yes, he's hard bitten. Cynical. And Marc Vietor's voice work which clearly indicates that he's seen everything life can possibly throw at him. Indeed Vietor truly makes Taylor, his world, and all of the other characters come alive for me in a way that they don't quite do on the page. At best, I can just say the voice work is perfect. And Marc Vietor does all of the Nightside novels! So I envy the hours upon hours of great fiction awaiting you when you listen to all of the Nightside novels!
Hex and the City is the fourth novel in Simon R. Green’s NIGHTSIDE series. I’ve been listening to NIGHTSIDE on audio lately because I’ve been doing a lot of home improvements, especially painting, and NIGHTSIDE is such an easy read that I don’t ever have to stop and rewind, which is something you don’t want to do when you’ve got paint all over your hands. Audio readers know what I mean.
In Hex and the City, John Taylor is moving on to his next case in the seedy and decadent Nightside where it’s always 3 AM. This time Lady Luck has hired him to discover the origins of the Nightside, something Taylor wanted to do anyway. During his investigation he meets some people/creatures who were fundamentally involved in the establishment of the Nightside. He begins to confirm his suspicion that his own mother, whom he doesn’t even remember, is someone rather important. He’s not sure what she is or what it means for his own status in the Nightside, but the more he learns, the more nervous he gets.
The NIGHTSIDE books are quick, easy, and fun reads. Their strength is Green’s setting: the Nightside is bursting with flavor. It’s the kind of place you wish you could view in person — through three feet of warded Kevlar-enhanced plexiglass. Life is both dark and colorful in the Nightside, and it’s brutal, too. Simon populates the Nightside with some crazy characters (many of whom you’ve seen before, but not necessarily all together in one city). Each installment introduces a couple more of them and also lets us spend time with some of our old favorites. In Hex and the City we meet a succubus named Pretty Poison who falls in love with Sinner, the man who sold his soul for true love. Then there’s Madman, who was sane until he got a glimpse of what lies behind “reality,” and the Lamentation who is the God of Suicides. We didn’t get to see Razor Eddie, Dead Boy, or Shotgun Suzie in Hex and the City, but I feel certain that they’ll show up in a future installment.
After reading four NIGHTSIDE novels back to back, it’s obvious how repetitive the narrative and dialogue are. Green often uses the same words and phrases over and over. For someone who read the books as they came out originally, this may not be quite as noticeable, but even in the same book Green tends to use the same phrases repetitively. Of course this isn’t a series I’m reading for its “literary merit” but it’s also one of the reasons I can’t give it a higher rating. Another reason is Green’s tendency to put John in a situation that we’re told is absolutely hopeless and then to create a deux ex machina (usually in the form of one of his friend’s, or his own, heretofore unknown superpowers) to suddenly obliterate the unstoppable foe. Characters, places, and situations in the Nightside seem to constantly trump each other with their own outrageousness, making everything a bit over the top. Still, I’m looking forward to learning, along with John Taylor, more about the Nightside, his mother, and his own destiny.
I’m listening to Marc Vietor read the audiobook version, which was produced by Audible Frontiers. Vietor does a great job with all the characters. I like the audio so much that I’ve purchased the rest of the series at Audible.