Hex and the City by Simon R. Green

Series: Nightside #4 Genre: fantasy, urban fantasy
Published: February 1st 2005 Available: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Rating: 3.5/5 Author’s website: http://simonrgreen.co.uk/

Blurb

 Lady Luck has hired John Taylor to investigate the origins of the Nightside--the dark heart of London where it's always 3 A.M. But when he starts to uncover facts about his long-vanished mother, the Nightside--and all of existence-- could be snuffed out.

Personal Notes

My journey in the Nightside continues, and also stops with the 4th book. I decided to give this series a rest and focus on other things: namely on books that interest me more and doesn’t drive me crazy (hopefully) with its writing. I’m not saying I won’t continue with the series in the future, but it just feels like a waste of money and time to continue at the moment. Things might have been different if I had acces to a library where I could get all the books for free, but since I live in a non english speaking country, I’m stuck with Amazon.

Review

John Taylor in this book is hired to investigate the origins of the Nightside in exchange of information about his lost mother – those who are familiar with the series know, that John has a mommy issue, trying to figure out who and where she is. Knowing he will upset a handful of powerful men – Walker and the Authorities included – John can’t refuse the chance and dives in head first. As usual. This time he requires the help of Madman and Sinner and Pretty Poision who is attached to him. Not exactly the most sane and rational companion, but somehow it works out. They encounter several Powers and Dominations and beings fallen from their glorious days during their investigation and John finally learns who sends the Harrowing after him every time he uses his gift. As well as what was her mother up to during the lost years.

The story is a bit more interesting than the one in the previous book, hence the better rating: 3.5 stars. The strongest point of this series is its side characters. They are unique, interesting and more engaging than John Taylor. Let’s take Madman. Sure, he is a total nutjob, but he has his own soundtrack! I wish that was a thing and I could project my mood anytime to people so they would know not to bother me or something. Sinner is a being exiled from Hell, because he never gave up his love for Pretty Poision and banned from Haven, because, well, he was supposed to be in Hell afterall.

The biggest problem is that while the side characters are amusing, the writing never improved. The book is full of repetitive lines and passages we’ve read countless times in the previous books and honestly, if someone got to this point then he/she is fully aware of John’s gift, his mommy issue, and how the Nightside works. No need to remind us every damn time. It’s also hard to understand why John talks to his companions like they just arrived to the Nightside and have no idea how it works or what being is what famous for. I get it that the author wanted to give us some insight and some info dumping, but come on, did he has to do it through conversations? Asolutely makes no sense. And somehow what I found so amusing in the first book, was totally lost on me by book 4. Feels like these books are only having some plot so the author could play and show off the different parts of the Nightside and dump a different set of characters on us in every book. Also, John Taylor is not a strong enough MC to carry such a series on his shoulders. Aside from his mommy issues he is not that interesting, his voice is not that unique or witty or interesting. The only thing he knows is how to get allies for his cases to hide behind when he needs it and get into action in the last minute to save the day, thus making himself a “hero”. But is he? Getting himself talked out of situations and using his own, mostly false fame to get on doesn’t seem like a treat a hero should have. Besides, he ends up having the perfect solution in the perfect time against anyone, even the strongest, most badass villains. Totally believable.

All in all, the Nightside series couldn’t live up to my expectations, which is a pity. I wanted to love this series, but couldn’t. When the only thing that keeps you reading is duty then you know you have to abandon it. There are much better books out there waiting for my attention.

My previous review about The Nightingale’s Lament can be read here!

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