Book Review: Simon R. Green’s A Hard Day’s Knight

Posted September 29, 2011 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews, Young Adult readers

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Simon R. Green’s A Hard Day’s Knight

A Hard Day's Knight


Simon R. Green

urban fantasy that was published by Ace Books on January 4, 2011 and has 294 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Something From the Nightside, Mean Streets, Agents of Light and Darkness, Nightingale's Lament, Paths Not Taken, Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth, Hell to Pay, Just Another Judgement Day, The Good, the Bad, and the Uncanny, Hex and the City, The Unnatural Inquirer, The Bride Wore Black Leather, Home Improvement: Undead Edition, Hex Appeal, Man with the Golden Torc, Daemons are Forever, The Spy Who Haunted Me, From Hell with Love, For Heaven's Eyes Only, Live and Let Drood, Casino Infernale, Blue Moon Rising, Tales of the Hidden World, Blood and Honor, From a Drood to a Kill, The Dark Side of the Road, Dead Man Walking, Very Important Corpses, Moonbreaker, Dr. DOA

Eleventh in the Nightside dark urban fantasy series for young adults taking place in a neighborhood not near you…thank the gods for that!

My Take

I do love the riot that takes place in the beginning outside John and Suzie’s place…Green has such a deft hand with making fun of humanity! Their personal defense systems kick in and its results cause John to say:

“This…is going to take a lot of tidying up.’
‘We’ll have to get a man in,’ said Suzie.
‘I had hoped the crowd was going to wipe itself out, I said, ‘but a discouragingly large part have survived.”

John’s attitude toward life can be summed up with the following when he meets with Julien Advent at the Adventurers Club to save the Nightside in the current emergency:

…I was already rehearsing how many terribly expensive drinks I could demand before I was asked to leave.”

On the negative side, a lot of the tension is gone because, you just know, John Taylor will save the day. The fun in it is how he saves the day and, I must confess, I keep wondering if, one day, John does take up the mantle to rule… Green has got an imagination and a half…!

Stay tuned for installment 12…there’s a wedding in the offing with a bundle of joy on the way!

The Story

Excalibur has shown up on John Taylor’s doorstep and…sh-t…destiny beckons…again. It’s never good when destiny shows up and demands a response, and Suzie Shooter is quick to encourage John to throw the thing out.

Naturally, nothing is ever easy in the Nightside and Julian Advent is quick to grab John before he can head off to London proper. After all, it is John’s fault that the Nightside is Walker-less…

The end result of that emergency has John already worried about the effect that Excalibur is having on him, and he anxiously heads off to London Proper to find the London Knights. Another adventure if only because John just has to take a walk down memory lane to the offices he had when he had been hiding out from the Nightside.

Then there’s the elves. It seems the elves are dying out in the Sundered Lands and fading at Shadow Fall; they want the Earth back for their own. And they are quite happy to go to war and eliminate humanity.

The Characters

John Taylor is a P.I. who discovers that, while he may not be worthy, he has definitely picked up a few new powers.

The London Knights are…
…the direct descendants of King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table. Sir Kae rounded up all their families and brought them to the Castle Inconnu where they have trained and fought to save Earth throughout the centuries. The Once and Future King arises. Poor guy. It’s quite entertaining for his followers as they never really expected to view him in person in their lifetime.

Suzie Shooter is fairly quiet although present in most of the story while an alternate world’s Merlin Satanspawn with its King Artur are truly disgusting. The elves have a major part in this story, particularly Mab, Titania, Oberon, and Puck. Gaea also plays a role in rescuing her own concerns.

The Cover and Title

The man in the white trench coat on the cover does not feel like John Taylor…more like a greasy stand-in while John’s takin’ five at Strangefellows. Anyway, this cover JT is standing in the middle of the street in the Nightside. Legs spread with John turning to look over his shoulder, a gleaming Excalibur in one hand and braced across his right shoulder. Lighting up the dark of the Nightside.

The title, A Hard Day’s Knight, just cracks me up! Between the take on the Beatles’ tune and the characters populating this installment, JT is definitely experiencing a hard day with this group of knights!