I’ll be doing reviews for quite a few first in the series –books because a little while ago they were on sale at Audible.com and I got a bunch of them. I would have gotten more but, alas, some were only available for people living in US. It’s also quicker for me to listen to a book than read it.

This is the first in the Nightside –series which is a fantasy detective series. It’s pretty grim and noir in tone. The reader got the tone very well.

Good: Tone, Nightside
Not-so-good: main characters are pretty bland
Bad: –

John Taylor is a man who has a talent for finding people. While he’s not exactly a private detective, his job often resembles one. So, when a mysterious rich woman comes to his office and wants him to find her daughter, John isn’t surprised. However, he does have his misgivings. Joanna Barrett’s daughter Cathy has apparently run away to the dark side of London, to the Nightside. John was born and raised there so he knows just how unforgiving and hard Nightside is. However, he agrees to take Joanna there to find the teenaged girl.

Nightside is the place where everything weird gathers; demons, demi-gods, people with magical talent. It’s always dark there and newcomers are usually in a lot of danger. However, John is known to most of the denizens and they either leave the two alone or try to kill them.

Both John and Joanna are pretty bland characters especially compared to the odd minor characters and the strange things happening around them. On the other hand, they act as anchor of normalcy to the reader. Especially Joanna is put into the role of the ignorant newcomer and John spends a lot of time telling things to her. But that works because these things have to be explained to the reader as well. Although, I did hope that they would be a bit more quirky themselves.

The story flows well and there are enough twists and turns. There are also some hooks for the next book. Nightside itself is a very intriguing place. Every creature and person we meet there could well have a story of their own. The Sidefellows bar is quite a memorable place on its own. Its owner has been cursed to tend it and can’t leave until one of his blood relatives takes his place (too bad that he’s the last of his line).

The tone is very dark, hopeless, and noir. The strangeness of Nightside only adds to that. Nobody is happy and the story can’t have a happy ending.

Setting: fascinating, horrifying, creepy.
Characters: the minor characters are more intriguing than the main ones.
Plot: moves along briskly.

Overall: mightily entertaining in small doses. I’m looking forward to the next one.