Review of THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UNCANNY by Simon R. Green
A NOVEL OF THE NIGHTSIDE
Ace, January 2010
Elves are always trouble. When an elf demands that private investigator John Taylor help him cross Nightside, after first making Taylor meet him in the drug den that almost destroyed Taylor, the PI wants to refuse. Still, he takes pride in his job and agrees. The lord of Nightside, Walker, does everything he can to stop Taylor and the elf, throwing goons, werewolf motorcycle riders and other monsters into the hunt and Taylor is forced to draw on his talent to stay alive.
While still recovering from the first adventure, an old acquaintance of Taylors approaches. He wants to find the brother who's been missing for years... and reminds Taylor that he'd left his brother under Taylor's care. The hunt for the brother brings Taylor into contact with Walker... who wants Taylor to take over his job... and with the mysterious Collector. Finally, Taylor confronts past and present overlords of Nightside.
Author Simon R. Green (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of fantasy by Green) writes a fast-paced urban adventure. Taylor carroms from disaster to disaster, trying to keep a self-defined moral compass. Walker, the primary antagonist through the story, is an interesting character because his intentions are basically good--he wants to preserve Nightside in the face of those who would attempt to turn it either to good or evil. I especially enjoyed Taylor's first assistant, a cross-dressing self-proclaimed superhero who drives a pink limousine.
I enjoyed THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UNCANNY and found it a fast read. I did, however, find it to be episodic, more like three stories glued together rather than a coherent single story, and the whole Excaliber thing turned out to be a setup rather than anything actually explored in this novel. Bottom line, though... this is a fun book.
Too generous? Too stingy. Or did I miss the whole point? Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll publish the best letters I get so let me know if I can use your name.
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