Book Review: Simon R. Green’s Paths Not Taken

Posted August 28, 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 Paths Not Taken

Paths Not Taken


Simon R. Green

urban fantasy that was published by Ace Books on August 30, 2005 and has 262 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, 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

Fifth in the Nightside dark urban fantasy series for young adults set in an alternate London.

My Take

Green grabs you and you had better hang on for a wild ride into his imagination. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll be on the edge of your seat. Green always leaves me panting for more….a girl’s just gotta know!

He does have an interesting perspective on the origin of all the evil creatures that haunt our paranormal world and certainly an interesting message to always present a confident façade.

The Story

Paths Not Taken intros with the case of the innocuous, average man being pursued by his alternates from the past and the future and Count Video discovers the unexpectedness of change magic. The main event is when John Taylor, Suzie Shooter, and Tommy Oblivion head back to the origin of the Nightside. A trip that has several eventful side trips in which we learn the truth of Lamentation’s origin, what happened to Merlin’s heart, and finally end up where Mommie Dearest started.

The Characters

John Taylor is our hero…or is he an anti-hero?? Feared by the Nightside for being the son of his mother, John plays a good bluff.

Suzie Shooter, a.k.a., Shotgun Suzie, a.k.a., Oh Christ, it’s her, run!, is one of the assassins of the Nightside; sometimes John’s friend, sometimes shooting him in the back. Her brother’s multiple rapes have traumatized Suzie into a lonely, untouchable woman who prefers her shotguns to others. Tommy Oblivion is an existentialist detective…it’s a very cool and useful skillset! Old Father Time controls everyone’s access to the past/future although he just commutes into the Nightside. Count Video sees all the possible paths of the future.

Mommie Dearest, a.k.a., Lilith, was Adam’s first wife and John’s mother but got tossed from Eden for wanting to do everything her own way. At which point, she slid down to Hell and played merry hell with everyone.

The Title

The title is perfect — just ask Tommy Oblivion and Old Father Time!