Tuesday, March 23, 2010

"Just Another Judgement Day" by Simon R. Green

Book 9 in Green's Nightside series opens with our usual scene in the dark spot of London, that place where it's always 3 a.m. and the streets are full of strange and fearful things. John Taylor, the man who can find anything, son of Lilith, has been summoned to meet the New Authorities; they are already in need of his services. And the New Authorities are a group that John is all too familiar with...

Julien Advent, the legendary Victorian Adventurer, is now the editor of the "Night Times". He's also leading the New Authorities as such. Jessica Sorrow, the Unbeliever, is part of the new group, although her fellow Authorities are uncertain as to how stable she truly is. Annie Abattoir is the only other woman in the group, a spy, assassin and courtesan. Count Video, lord of binary magics, King of Skin, ruler over the world of porn and sleaze, and Larry Oblivion, the dead detective, round out the rest of the seats. John is uneasy around the New Authorities; he's seen the same group in a future time-line, a future in which these same people were the last survivors of humanity - and his enemies. The group had sent back a future Suzie Shotgun to kill John and prevent the awful reality that they inhabited.

The New Authorities want John to stop the Walking Man, a personal embodiment of the Will of God. He was merely human until he made a deal with God to become more than a man, wiping out "evil" in God's name. He cannot be killed "as long as his faith remains true and he walks in Heaven's path". He has guns that never run out of bullets (and never miss), he can open any door, he can find any evil, etc. Truly unstoppable - and truly frightening to those living in the Nightside. John will be aided in his quest by his girlfriend, Suzie Shotgun (aka Suzie Shooter) and Chandra Singh, a holy warrior from India who has killed his fair share of monsters.

This was a very good entry in the world of John Taylor and the Nightside, very philosophical if you will. Oh sure, there's still a lot of weirdness going on and all the favorites make an appearance, including Eddie, Punk God of the Straight Razor (and he appears on the Street of Gods, no less). The deep stuff comes when the characters start discussing God, whose God is the "right" God, the stronger deity, etc. And the whole idea that the Walking Man has God on his side - does he really? Or is he just killing in His name? My favorite quote comes from Chandra during one of these scenes; he tells John "In my travels, I have met many who claimed to hear the Voice of God instructing them to do things, and most of them had to take a lot of medication. Few of them were in any way worthy of the God they claimed to worship".

Visit the Nightside soon, if you haven't already. They're waiting for you...

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