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Agents Of Light And Darkness by Simon R.…

Agents Of Light And Darkness (2003)

by Simon R. Green

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1,387398,448 (3.94)32
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While not as entertaining as the first novel, Agents is still interesting to read. John Taylor has to find and retrieve the Unholy Grail while angels and demons wage war around him, threatening to tear the Nightside apart. Another fast read. ( )
  jrg1316 | Jun 20, 2019 |
Agents of Light and Darkness, book two of Simon R. Green's Nightside series, is my introduction to John Taylor. In some ways he's similar to the three other Simon R. Green heroes I've read about: J. C. (Josiah Charles) Chance, Eddie Drood, and Ishmael Jones. All four are flawed men with a bedrock core of principles, an unusual power or three, deal with nasty situations a sensible person would flee from, and wind up with a kickass girlfriend. J.C. works for theCarnacki Institute, Ishmael for the Organization, and Eddie more often than not the extended Drood family. John is different because he doesn't work for the Authorities of the Nightside. He's a private eye.

I haven't read book one, but this was the earliest I found to sample. Nightside is not a place that I would care to visit even if I were just looking out the window of some well-protected vehicle speeding through it.

Remember how the 'Batman: the Brave and the Bold' series would start an episode with Batman finishing up a case before getting to the menace of the week? This book starts with the last scene of a frightening case before John meets his client for the main story.

According to this book, the cup that Judas Iscariot drank from during the Last Supper became the Unholy Grail. It's EVIL in humongous flashing neon letters with little demons dancing up and down their sides. John has been hired to find it before it can cause any more trouble or corrupt anyone else. After all, John Taylor's gift is to be able to
find anything.

As if the likes of the Collector, or the Fourth Reich, or the Warriors of the Cross aren't bad enough prospects, both the Angels and the Fallen Angels are coming to the Nightside to acquire it.

Can John, partnered with the deadly Shotgun Suzie, find the Unholy Grail before there's an angel war in the streets?


Chapter 1: Taylor has two unpleasant encounters in St. Jude.

Chapter 2:

a. Strangefellows bar and Alex Morrisey are described.

b. Taylor is offered a job. Taylor mentions Grendel Rex (one of the Droods) as he shows off for the client.

c. Taylor meets three Mafia hit men.

Mentions: King Crimson rock band, the Olympics, smoke ghost, undines, Baron Frankenstein, 'Cheers' TV show, Graceland, Elvis, vampire, werewolf, reptiloids, angels, demons, fallen angels, St. Michael, the Vatican, Pilate, Torquemada, Rasputin, Adolph Hitler, and the Pentagon

Chapter 3:

a. Taylor meets interference when he tries to use his power. (Before that, he makes an observation about the Little Sisters of the Immaculate Chain Saw.)

b. Suzie Shooter, also known as Shotgun Suzie, and her place are described. It's been almost six years since Taylor was last there,

Mentions: Marilyn Monroe, Howard Hughes,third eye, Diana Rigg, Emma Peel, the British 'Avengers' TV show, Jackie Chan, 'Armour of God' film, Cleopatra Jones, Gillian Anderson, 'Girl on a Motorcycle,' Marianne Faithful, 'Easy Rider,' Roger Corman's Hell's Angels films, Bruce Lee, Clark Kent, Superman, and Boy Scout.

Chapter 4:

a. Taylor and Suzie visit The Pit nightclub. We get a description of uptown's Nightside. Five other nightclubs are named.

b. Walker talks to Taylor.

c. Taylor and Suzie visit the Fourth Reich's assembly hall.

d. Some of the real moveres and shakers of the Nightside are the Collector, Nasty Jack Starlight, the Smoke Ghosts, and the Lord of Tears.

e. The Speaking Gun is described. It was made by Abraxus Artificers.

f. The Bedlam Boys are explained.

Mentions: Robert Johnson, Glen Miller, 'Pennsylvania 6-500' song, Buddy Holly, the Lizard King (Jim Morrison?), Shadows Fall (a fictional town), John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Rip Van Winkle, Faustus, the Holy Grail, the Maltese Falcon, Nazis, and Lot's wife

Chapter 5:

a. Taylor calls his secretary, Cathy Barrett. See book one, Something From the Nightside for her story.

b. The Hot 'n Spicy franchise is described.

c. We get the Bedlam Boys' backstory just before Taylor and Suzie encounter them.

d. John and Suzie experience their worst fears.

e. John learns more about the Speaking Gun.

f. They encounter Nasty Jack Starlight and his living rag doll partner at the Styx theatre (British spelling of 'theater').

g. There's an outside troubleshooter named Augusta Moon in the theater's history and posters for plays we don't have on its walls.

h. Suzie explains the scene of her worst fear.

i. Razor Eddie calls John.

Mentions: the Caledonian Tragedy (Macbeth), the Seeker's 'The Carnival is Over,' Pierrot, Harlequin, Columbine, 'Sweet Little Jazz Baby, That's Me.' the Roaring Twenties, the Charleston dance, Leader of the Pack joke, and Rennes-le-Château

Chapter 6:

a. There's a scene going on in Time Tower Square. Major Players in on the action are Lord of Thorns, Count Video, King of Skin, and Bloody Blades.

b. John and Suzie go to Big Sergei's Warehouse, which the Warriors of the Cross have rented.

c. John and Suzie meet with Razor Eddie. The description of his smell sounds almost as bad as Discworld's Foul Ole Ron. He tells them where the Collector's lair is.

d. Walker shows up. He and John have words about John's parents.

e. Belle drops in. Can't say I care for her wardrobe. She and John worked together on the Hellstrom business six or seven years ago.

Mentions: Tiger Tanks, dragon, and Armageddon

Chapter 7:

a. We see Count Video again.

b. John uses a special card Alex Morrisey gave him 'some time back'.

c. Merlin Satanspawn is described.

d. John's missing mother comes up in conversation again.

e. We meet the Collector.

Mentions: Sodom and Gomorrah, the Morningstar, the Anti-Christ, and Nimue,

Chapter 8:

a. The Collector has interesting security guards.

b. The date given on one crate is 1936 instead of 1930, but I thought of a famous H. P. Lovecraft novella and laughed aloud.

c. We learn the connection between the Collector, Walker, and John's father. The Collector says something that enrages John.

Mentions: Antarctic, Roswell, Jericho, Grendel, and the sword of Daun

Chapter 9:

a. Walker shows up again and uses his Voice.

b. John's client says what the angels of light are doing about the damage they caused. Given what's said in future books, I gather there were things those angels couldn't put right or they didn't bother with the damage the fallen angels caused.

Mention: the Wandering Jew

Yes, I enjoyed the book. The menaces were suitably menacing, and there's humor running through the horror. There's a subplot about John Taylor's missing mother whom he doesn't know. If you've liked Mr. Green's other series, you should like this one, too. ( )
  JalenV | Sep 4, 2018 |
I didn't enjoy this one as much as the first. I will keep moving through the series. I like the clever idea. ( )
  melanieklo | Jul 25, 2018 |
Meh, I dislike overblown protagonists and hyper inflated enemies. Angels and Demons have both come to Nightside looking for the unholy Grail (Judas' cup from the last supper) which is supposed to have surfaced in the Collector's hands. John is approached to find it before it gets into either of their hands, and turn it over to the vatican for safe keeping. Lotso fo things get blown up while John just about runs away repeatedly as he follows one lead to another. Yet another even bigger power steps in to save his bacon, and everything gets resolved as you might expect.

2nd in the series and not really showing any signs of development of plot or character that's going anywhere interesting. We don't learn anything new about Nightside or John. ( )
  reading_fox | Feb 25, 2018 |
Dark and bizarre ( )
  Navarre1963 | Jan 28, 2016 |
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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.
First words
There is only the one church in the Nightside.
'We don't use the Judas Cup,' said Mr. Blood. 'It uses you. It is temptation and corruption, and the seduction of fools. It gives nothing that it does not take away, and damnation follows in its wake. Even such as we are frightened of the Unholy Grail.' (chapter four)
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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."

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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:05 -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)

» see all 2 descriptions

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