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Agents of Light and Darkness (Nightside, Book 2) (original 2003; edition 2003)

by Simon R. Green

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1,174346,871 (3.94)29
Member:msbhaven
Title:Agents of Light and Darkness (Nightside, Book 2)
Authors:Simon R. Green
Info:Ace (2003), Mass Market Paperback, 240 pages
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Agents of Light and Darkness by Simon R. Green (2003)

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Never before did I consider that I was attracted to horror stories, but Green has made me realize that I enjoy some pretty sick and twisted s^*t! In this Nightside installment John Taylor is going after the Unholy Grail, and recruits some fairly colorful sidekicks for this particular case. One thing that I'm finding about this writer is that you have to look past his love of cliches, and see the brilliance of his plots and love for detailed gore. Not much to review about in this one; so I am off to find the next installment.
Very spooky reading to you pretties! ( )
  wickedshizuku | May 12, 2014 |
I listened to the audio version. Marc Vietor did a great job with it.
( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |

A quest for the Unholy Grail-the goblet from which Judas drank at the Last Supper-takes private eye John Taylor deep into the secret, magical heart of London...called the Nightside.

AS mentioned in the blurb there at the start this is a quest for the Holy Grail. So, once again John Taylor has to use his own particular gifts to hunt the object down. Of course as with all things Nightside, it isn't so cut and dry. The Holy Grail isn't some peaceful relic, it is in fact very, very dangerous. Way too dangerous for anyone in the night side to possess.

When the Vatican *and* the Authorities of the Nightside ask John to help find the Grail he basically laughs in their faces. Things quickly escalate and then no one at all is laughing.

Throughout the book John once again pulls in a couple of friends, and sometime enemies, to help: Shotgun Susie, sometime friend and enemy is a bounty hunter whose best friends are her weapons. Also, Razor Eddie the "Punk God of the Straight Razor", who is a friend and working off some bad karma of his own.


This book also goes into The Authorities a bit more although they really are just a mysterious group behind the scenes at this point. We also spend some time with The Collector. He is a greedy, self-serving, jerk of a character who is not very sympathetic in this story. He, as can be guessed by his name, wanders throughout the world (and time) to collect interesting or important items. Not to show them off, but rather to hoard in his home base.

I felt this book was better than the last, everyone had clear goals and story lines here. Some of the characters you meet have good back stories and motivations that are expanded in this book as well as the rest in the series.

A quick entertaining read! ( )
  Sarah_Buckley | Jan 3, 2014 |
John Taylor is back in the Nightside with his ability to find anything, anything at all, anywhere.

Which makes him in high demand when the Grail disappears – the Unholy Grail. The cup that Judas drank from. A cup that corrupts all those around it, a cup that could very well bring about the end of the world.

It’s in the Nightside and lots of people want it. More than people – the Angels of Light and Darkness want it as well – and they’re willing to rip apart the entire Nightside to get it. They’re not subtle and they’re awful investigators, but no force can stand against them for long, and everything risks being utterly destroyed before they’ve finished.

Which leaves Taylor the problems of finding the Grail, deciding who to give it to – and making sure the people who want it don’t get the Grail first and don’t kill him to stop anyone else getting it. And with Nightside under threat, the big powers of the strange world come out to fight.

This book is fantastic. It seems to be a theme of the series – the fantastic. The Nightside is a place that contains literally everything – in all its wonders and its horrors (mainly horrors). The world has no rules and anything exists there – the richness of the imagination of this place is incredible. From magic to sci-fi, gods to aliens, monsters – to things I can’t even describe, things that don’t fit in any category, they’re all amazingly imagined.

And it’s all very dark and very gritty. Nothing is pretty or sweet or generous or kind in the Nightside. Even the apparently harmless is dangerous and there’s a well maintained theme of constant risk, of constant menace in the book. There is no downtime or safe space – and that isn’t just because of the story, but a constant theme of the Nightside itself. The only safety the characters earn is because, as John Taylor and Shotgun Suzie, they have a reputation as people who are extremely dangerous. The only safety is being a bigger threat than those who want to hurt you. And it’s not just menacing, it’s disturbing. It’s never as simple as just bad guys who want to kill you – bad guys who want to kill you are nice and kind combined to what half of what the Nightside does. The menace here is a surreal, almost nightmarish quality and linked to just how strange and fantastic the world is.

What I find most impressive is not how both of these are introduced – the fantastic and the constant menace – but how it is constantly maintained with little references, new figures, new powers introduced just to show another facet of this strange and terrifying place.

This maintenance of theme also did a lot to establish the sheer might and fury of the angels (even if they started out almost dismissed when Taylor artfully turns the two factions against each other). No matter how many horrors we saw, how much power the Nightside shows, the invasion of the angels was destroying it. It also serves a lot to establish Taylor’s power – he rarely overtly shows his abilities in a menacing way and the ability to find anything does sound pretty minor – but the way everyone is afraid of him establishes his menace far more than dramatic displays of flashy abilities.

Read More ( )
  FangsfortheFantasy | Sep 20, 2013 |
I liked this book even more than the first one. I just love the twist ending, I never see them coming. This series is definitely unpredictable, which I really like. I notice that a lot of things go unexplained which I kind of like because I am hoping it just building to an even bigger mystery. ( )
  AdriaFaye | Jul 18, 2013 |
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Epigraph
I'm John Taylor. A private eye who operates mainly in the darker areas of the Twilight Zone.

The Nightside is the sick, secret, magical heart of London, where gods and monsters go to make the deals and seek the pleasures they won't find anywhere else.

I find things. It's a gift, and sometimes... they find me.
Dedication
First words
There is only the one church in the Nightside.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
"Taylor is the name. John Taylor....My card says I'm a detective, but what I really am is an expert on finding things. It's part of the Gift I was born with as a child of the Nightside - the hidden heart of London where it's always three a.m., where inhuman creatures and otherworldly gods walk side-by-side in the endless darkness of the soul.

"Assignment: Locate the Unholy Grail, the cup Judas drank from at the Last Supper. It corrupts all who touch it, but it also grants enormous power. So I've got some competition - from angels, devils, sinners and saints - in the search for the dark goblet."

Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0441011136, Mass Market Paperback)

The New York Times bestselling author takes readers back to the Nightside.

A quest for the Unholy Grail-the goblet from which Judas drank at the Last Supper-takes private eye John Taylor deep into the secret, magical heart of London...called the Nightside.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:54:42 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Working in Nightside, the dark underworld beneath the streets of London, John Taylor, gifted with the ability of finding things that are lost, is determined to locate The Unholy Grail--the cup, rife with power and corruption, that Judas drank from at the Last Supper--before it falls into the wrong hands.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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