Book Review: Simon R. Green’s Agents of Light and Darkness

Posted July 7, 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 Agents of Light and Darkness

Agents of Light and Darkness


Simon R. Green

urban fantasy in Paperback edition that was published by Ace Books on October 28, 2003 and has 233 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Something From the Nightside, Mean Streets, 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, A Hard Day's Knight, 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

Second in the Nightside urban fantasy series taking place in the Nightside, a far from salubrious neighborhood located under the Underground in a contemporary England.

My Take

The Nightside. Where everyone has their issues. Some their addictions. Where the dead party alongside the living. Where boy bands become enforcers with special skills for which they traded their meager musical talents.

It’s always a party in the Nightside. Just not one most of us would want to attend and this story is more so for both sides of angels are tearing the Nightside apart looking for this ungrail…and the destruction is not limited to the buildings.

The underlying theme in the Nightside is John’s hunt for information about his Mother. A being who terrifies him but for some reason he needs to learn more about her. Green sparks our curiosity in Something from the Nightside, 1, and Mean Streets: “Difference a Day Makes”, 1.5, and continues it with the absolute refusal of everyone to comment until the Collector tosses his bit of ill-will in.

I love this observation by John about theatre in the Nightside, “There are enough dramas in the Nightside’s everyday life that most people don’t feel any need for the theatre, but we have to have somewhere for vain and bitchy people to show off in public.”

The Story

The Unholy Grail has been stolen and is suspected to be in the Nightside. A community where absolutely anything and everything goes. Where people search out what their gods would never consider providing. A place where John Taylor’s particular gift, finding, is particularly lucrative. His reputation brings a representative from the Vatican commissioning John to find the Unholy Grail before anyone else. For this Grail does not promote peace on earth and no one can be trusted to hold it.

When Walker approaches John with the same request on behalf of the Authorities, John laughs in his face. When Walker approaches John again, no one is laughing. For the agents of light and darkness have invaded the Nightside and the Authorities. A force against which no one can prevail.

The Characters

John Taylor is a force to be feared, let alone reckoned with, in the Nightside. Just the mention of his name is enough to have the bad guys backing off. He’s a detective. A finder of lost things. It’s his talent and nothing remains lost when John is looking for it. Just ask Jessica Sorrow, the Unbeliever.

Shotgun Suzie avoids all touch, all friendship exploding life as a bounty hunter from the trigger-end of her myriad weapons.

Razor Eddie is both an ally and an enemy of John’s and can’t be killed. “Punk God of the Straight Razor…saint and sinner…wrapped up in one unhygienic bundle…an extremely disturbing agent for the good…living a life of penance for [lots of] earlier misdeeds.” Well really, I couldn’t’ve…really!…said it better myself.

Strangefellows is John’s base of operations. A bar where anything, er, I mean, anyone goes. Heavily protected by wards laid over the centuries, the strongest by Merlin Satanspawn, reinforced each time Merlin is brought back to aid his moody, depressed descendant, Alex Morrisey. As Taylor puts it, Alex could “gloom for the Olympics”.

The Authorities are an amorphous group whom we still haven’t met but are represented in the Nightside by Walker. Feared by all [John Taylor certainly has a certain respect for him], Walker is omnipotent…almost.

The Collector is a greedy bugger. He roams the world and time collecting anything he considers of value…think of Hitler and his avid group of men searching out powerful religious objects…times 10. Turns out, the Collector and Walker were both friends of John’s father. Not that that means anything in the Nightside.

The Cover and Title

The cover is amazing! I love the nude figure of an angel rising up from the bricked pavement, wings ablaze against a dark, factory-like setting, the Nightside. The title is also perfect for indeed the Nightside is invaded by Agents of Light and Darkness…and no one can tell the difference.