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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Just Another Judgement Day by Simon R. Green (#9)

Just Another Judgement Day (Nightside, # 9)Just Another Judgement Day by Simon R. Green

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jacket Blurb:  There's a new sheriff in town, and he's got the Nightside's rich and powerful quaking in their boots. He's The Walking Man, and it's his mission to exorcise sinners-with extreme prejudice. Problem is, the Nightside was built on sin and corruption, and The Walking Man makes no distinction between evildoers and those simply indulging themselves. He'll leave the place a wasteland unless someone stops him, and P.I. John Taylor has been handed the job. No known magic or science can affect The Walking Man, and if John can't discover his weakness, he'll be facing the very Wrath of God...

I thought this was the most interesting book in the series to date because it asked some very interesting questions about God, beliefs, and judgement through the actions of our protagonists and antagonists. Specifically, who has a right to judge other than [your] God? 

The Walking Man is God's enforcer.  He kills those who have wronged in God's name.  He is immune to bullets, swords, and magics.   The Walking Man begins his trip to Nightside by purposely showing Suzie Shooter and John Taylor a very black and white picture of wrong - a Nightside business has been enslaving children.  No questions there.  Wrong.  But then the grey starts to creep in - is it correct to kill the people who visited the business?  They didn't know about the children. Is it right to kill the employees who were on the salesroom floor?  They didn't know about the children.  It is the Walking Man's opinion that Nightside is a hot bed of evil and wrong and it's his duty to clean it up.

There is also an interesting philosophical discussion in the Street of Gods, that because people are worshiping 'false Gods',  they are therefore evil.  John raises the point that just because they choose a different God, doesn't make them wrong, that these people needed to start some where else.  Chandra walks the middle line, noting that it doesn't matter what we call 'god', it's the same being.

So, for a fantasy novel, this was actually a fairly philosophical read.  Scifi and fantasy are known for exploring religious themes moreso than other genres - I think it's because they can use alien worlds or alternative settings to do so. 

Recommended.  Whole series has been wonderful to read.

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