I continue to slog through Simon Green’s Nightside series. I forgot that I had put a book on hold at the library, and since it was waiting for me today, I thought I should go ahead and read it.
That’s my excuse for reading The Nightingale’s Lament, which I made short work of. This is the third book in the Nightside series, and either the books are getting better, or Green’s noir style is wearing me down. In Nightingale, our hero John Taylor takes on the case of a singer known as Rossingol (that’s French for Nightingale) whose singing drives listeners to suicide. Nightingale also introduces the character of Dead Boy, who I’ve encountered before in an anthology of short stories. Dead Boy is, in fact, a dead 17 year old boy. He’s been dead for thirty years, though, so I suppose he’s going on 47. He drives a magical car from the future.
Nightingale offers a few more hints about Taylor’s mysterious, inhuman mother, and includes the revelation that Taylor is sometimes referred to as ‘the little prince’ or the ‘king in waiting’. Based on these allusions, I’m guessing Taylor turns out to be some sort of Arthurian/Neo figure, who saves the Nightside from itself, or destroys it. The questions surrounding his parentage are far more interesting to me than the details of his cases, which unfortunately comprise the bulk of the stories thus far. (I’ve been trying to decide why Green frustrates me so, and I think it is that he suffers by comparison to Jim Butcher, as Taylor (at least for me) can’t measure up to Butcher’s wizard-for-hire, Harry Dresden. I hope to expand and expound on this later on.)
I’ve placed several more Nightside novels on hold at the library – I’m willing to tough it out a little longer, if Green will reward me with the story of Taylor’s mother:
I have enemies who want me dead. I don’t know how or why, but they’ve been sending agents to try and kill me ever since I was a child. It has something to do with my absent mother, who turned out not to be human. She disappeared shortly after my father discovered that, and he spent what little was left of his life drinking himself to death. I like to think I’m made of harder stuff. Sometimes I don’t think about my missing mother for days on end.
Simon R. Green, Nightingale’s Lament