Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Book Review: The Good, The Bad, and the Uncanny

The Good, The Bad, and the Uncanny was provided to me for review by the publisher, Ace. It's the 10th book in the Nightside series, of which I had never heard of before - and I'm rather disappointed in that as this book makes me want to read the entire series!

Nightside is a wild supernatural section of London where it's always 3am. Magic-users, demi-gods, aliens, cyborgs, time travelers, demons, zombies, and normal humans, among many others, mingle together in a setting that defies description. There's much it owes to the noir genre, as well as science fiction and fantasy, mythology, horror, heck - sometimes it even feels kind of like a deranged Who Framed Roger Rabbit setting (and that's not a bad thing!). Nightside exists to keep the excess of these types of things from bleeding out into the normal world.

This being the 10th book in the series, it does an excellent job of standing by itself - not that it should, I want to read them all now and so should you! It also leads you right into the next book in the series (which I promptly started reading as soon as I finished this  - also provided by Ace for review). 

John Taylor is a human P.I. that excels at finding lost things and lost people. He uses his private eye, his mystical third eye to see beyond the ordinary, as well as a few other handy tricks to help him because he's no good at actual investigation. He also happens to be the person that Walker, the current Voice of the Authorities, wants to name as his replacement. John has an unusual cadre of friends and aquaintances that assist him from time to time, such as a cross-dressing super-hero(ine?) in a pink Fatemobile with fuzzy pink tires, and Taylor's wife Susie Shooter, aka "Dear God It's Her Run!"

There's an unusual story-telling method that I'm not sure is in each book. It starts out with an almost completely un-related story in the first quarter or so of the book that is practically it's own short-story, serving to introduce us to Taylor, his abilities, and the world. Once that adventure ends, another begins with a goodly portion being told from Larry Oblivion's point of view about an event not involving Taylor at all. Once that tale ends, Taylor and Larry set off to find Larry's missing brother, which quickly leads to Taylor and Walker going on a sort of walk-about as Walker tries to convince Taylor to take over his job. There is a common thread running through it all, a prophecy about something terrible coming to Nightside, something everyone has heard of, but is not what you think it is.

It all wraps up nicely with a lead-in to the next book.

The Good, the Bad, and the Uncanny was a wonderful introduction for me to the Nightside series. Darn it! Now I have another series I want to read!

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