Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth by Simon R. Green
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Jacket Blurb: My name is John Taylor.
I’m a PI for hire in the Nightside, the dark and corrupt city within
the city of London. Where the sun never shines and where pleasure and
horror are always on sale—for the right price. Not a nice place to visit
or a nice place to live. So you wouldn’t think I would care that it was
about to be destroyed, by none other than my very own long-missing,
But I do. I was born here, I live here, and I
got friends here. They might not all be acceptable in polite company,
but they’re my friends, nonetheless.
I know that I’m the only one
who can stop her. The trick is, how to do it without fulfilling this
prophecy that says whatever action I take, not only is the Nightside
doomed, but the rest of the world will soon follow…
This was not my favorite Nightside book to date.
I think I was unsettled because a wonderful and interesting world had been created, and now, due to one character (Lilith) all the unique charms of the city and many of its denizens were in essence, destroyed. Upon reflection, for those readers who remember the Thieves World series, it was reminiscent of that. (For those who don't remember or never read, Thieves World was a multi-authored series in one setting where things got a bit out of hand and by the end, it was one big chaotic mass of destruction.)
I also became impatient with some of the description of said war and destruction. What comes to mind foremost was our protagonist John Taylor goes back in time to learn what he needs to do to avoid a War with Lilith, and he doesn't come back to the same point in time whence he left. He's about a week off. He goes to a magic shop and proceeds to scry the past through mirrors and bowls on just about six characters. I thought it didn't lend anything to moving the story forward but rather just bogged the plots progress down; the reader knows Bad Things Have Happened, let's get to a resolution.
Perhaps I will feel differently about Sharper than a Serpents Tooth once I read the next in the series. I liked the book, but with reservations.
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