Book Review: Simon R. Green’s Nightingale’s Lament

Posted August 10, 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 Nightingale’s Lament

Nightingale's Lament


Simon R. Green

urban fantasy in Paperback edition that was published by Ace Books on April 27, 2004 and has 217 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, 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

Third of the Nightside dark, getting darker with each story, urban fantasy series set underground in London, England.

My Take

There’s a fun bit about phrenology and changing a man’s personality by hitting him on the head with a hammer to get the right sort of bumps. Then a bit of ye olde world — makin’ ya right grateful for the FDA — “something wriggling on a stick! … Food so fast it will be out your backside before you know it!”

Oh yeah, the Nightside is a trip and a half. As John Taylor says, “Nothing’s ever what it seems…” which makes this a fascinating place to visit. If only to discover just how imaginative Green gets this time!

The Story

John Taylor starts off with a bang and a quickly-ending flash which will not endear him to Walker nor the rest of the Nightside should they ever find out. And, it opens a huge can of worms that leads John into partnership with Dead Boy. John helps Dead Boy put the powerful aliens back into their dimension and Dead Boy helps John find Sylvia Sin…a horror created by the Cavendishes and a terrifying preview of what could happen to Rossignol.

Too intrigued to stop, Dead Boy is determined to tag along…life is always exciting when you hang around with John Taylor.

The Characters

John Taylor is a force in the Darkside. More feared than loved, rumor is snaking throughout the Nightside that he is a king-in-waiting. The mere mention of his name is enough to send the bad guys scuttling for cover.

Charles Chabron hires John to check into the health of his daughter, Rossignol. She’s signed on with a pair of deadly entrepreneurs to promote her singing career and has since cut off all contact with her family and friends. In addition, there are rumors that her singing is promoting suicides within her audience.

Rossignol Chabron is French and lives to sing. Gravitating to London to pursue her career, Rossignol found her way to the Nightside singing songs of joy and happiness…until the Cavendishes. Now her songs bring despair…and death.

Dead Boy was killed in a random mugging 30 years ago when he was 17. In his anger he made a deal to avenge his death…only it hasn’t felt like a good deal for many a year. People call Dead Boy when the problem has gone way past survival. For Dead Boy can’t die, he simply staples, duct tapes, or stitches his parts back together and continues to search for extremes, hoping to feel something.

Julien Advent is the Victorian Adventurer-hero trapped into the future who worked his way up to editor then owner of the Night Times — their slogan? All the news, dammit.

The Nightside is…
…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. Walker represents the Authorities which runs, owns, operates the Nightside. No one, and I mean no one wants to be on his bad side. Well, okay, except for JT…he practically lives for it.

Mr. and Mrs. Cavendish with, they thought, their deep, dark secret are heartily despised throughout the Nightside for their underhanded business dealings. And their employees deal John Taylor tremendous blows that, if they become known, will reverberate throughout their world, undermining everything John needs to stay alive.

Strangefellows is Alex‘s bar and John’s home away from home where everyone drifts through at some point.

The Cover and Title

The cover is just plain scary with its black-clad torch singer amidst dozens of reaching, elongated, transparent hands.

The title, Nightingale’s Lament, is truly accurate as Rossignol sings like a mourning nightingale.