Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Dark Side” as Want to Read:
The Dark Side
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Dark Side

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  1,081 ratings  ·  198 reviews
In this dark and gripping sci-fi noir, an exiled police detective arrives at a lunar penal colony just as a psychotic android begins a murderous odyssey across the far side of the moon.

Purgatory is the lawless moon colony of eccentric billionaire, Fletcher Brass: a mecca for war criminals, murderers, sex fiends, and adventurous tourists. You can’t find better drugs, cheape
Paperback, 390 pages
Published June 28th 2016 by Simon Schuster (first published June 1st 2016)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Dark Side, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Amy There are more than a few instances of pretty graphic violence. I would definitely say no younger than 16 at the least.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.58  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,081 ratings  ·  198 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Dark Side
Feb 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received a free copy of this from NetGalley.

Only human beings would look at a lifeless hunk of rock in a vacuum and think, “This place is too dull. We should spice it up by making it a haven for the worst of humanity, and then it could also be a cesspool for crime and corruption.”

Purgatory is a colony on the far side of the moon founded and controlled by a wealthy tycoon named Fletcher Brass who left Earth because he was about to be prosecuted for various crimes, and that makes it perfect for
Kevin Kuhn
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
“The envy of others is a self-replenishing feast.”

I picked up this book for a couple of reasons. First, I was looking for fun, and this seemed to have it all, sci-fi noir, hard-boiled crime, and an exotic setting. Second, I had recently read Artemis, by Andy Weir and I thought it might be an interesting comparison. So, let me cut to the chase, it delivers on its promise; a masculine, suspenseful, jaunt across the moon, with interesting characters and regular gory action.

“Find Oz. And be the Wiza
Jan 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ng, 2016-odyssey, sci-fi, fr, noir
<<>> SHOULD have made GR's Best Awards nominees for Science Fiction <<>>

Welcome to Purgatory

On the Dark Side of the Moon, the far side that never sees Earth is a world less inhibited than our own. Less inhibited, less super ego, and less lawful. A bastion for those hunted on Earth, a thriving Mecca of corruption and unbridled excess--unless it interferes with someone important, like Brass.

It looks a lot like a Las Vegas version of ancient Mesopotamia.

The exposition has a tour guide quality to i
Nov 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
I've never met a more polite or sex-crazed (at least verbally) android upon the moon, and I've read about a lot of androids on the moon.

Seriously, this is kinda the perfect mixture of traditional mystery meeting an SF adventure. We've got all the world building elements of seedy communities accessible only with a great deal of difficulty or by monorail if you're lucky, crime bosses who are literally a world away from the authorities, and of course, since we're dealing with a mystery, that ONE IN
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

If you enjoy gritty and dark, violent futuristic sci-fi mystery thrillers, then The Dark Side by Anthony O’Neill will be just the book for you. O’Neill works crime, sex, drugs, and a psychotic murdering android into a full-on non-stop plot, and that’s just to name a handful of the topics covered in this book.

In The Dark Side, two key narrative threads can be discerned, but even though they are fundamentally related to each
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
this book had suspense and action up the wahoo. that wasnt completely surprising. the humour was more surprising. there were serious paasages i laughed out loud, usually to do with Leonardo black. the overall tone was a fine mix of noir and sci-fi. this book wont be for everyone, there us some graphic violence and language but there is also a balance of brilliant writing.
Mar 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
"Only a lunatic would live on the Moon.
The Moon is a dead rock--eighty-one quintillion tons of dead rock. It's been dead for nearly four billion years. And--inasmuch as a dead rock wants anything--it wants you dead too."
So opens The Dark Side, a bold, brash, larger-than-life adventure with the aforementioned lunatics on the dark side of the moon. Exploding goats, discussions of democratic murder, bouncing chases across rooftops--bouncing because of the lower gravity, of course--, men with bowie
Jan 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, edelweiss
Purgatory is a lunar territory founded, and dominated, by Fletcher Brass. The capital of Purgatory is the domed city called Sin. Most of the citizens of Purgatory are fugitives from Earth. QT Brass is Fletcher's 31 year old daughter. Fletcher and QT are constantly outdoing each other in being dishonest, deceitful and completely repellent.

This book has very imaginative descriptions of Sin, like the raindrops that "splat like slow-motion water balloons". Parts of Sin feel like they came out of a
Mar 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a WIIIIIIIIIIILD book. Chapters alternate between a lunar-noir-esque investigation into a series of assassinations, the adventures of a murderous and smiley android, and a sort-of travelogue.

The Dark Side is like reading Philip K. Dick and Cassandra Rose Clarke, slapped together with a Quentin Tarantino film. It's bloody. It's strangely comical. It's fun. It's a little terrifying. I'm really obsessed with any media concerning androids, so I'm not sure I'm 100% the most reliable reader,
Robert Davis
Feb 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
A psychotic Tin Man android on a murderous romp across the moon, on a quest to find Oz and become The Wizard. A lone cop trying to do an honest job while pitted in the middle of a blood feud. Sinners looking for redemption in a lunar Gomorrah. A potentate seeking immortality who rules with a brass fist.

This book really grew on me as I read it. At first, I was a little put off by the fact that it is written in the Present Tenserather than the more usual Past Tense, but I quickly adjusted to it a
ash c
Apr 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Killer robots, politics, lawlessness, an incompetent police force, and characters that say smart things. Very binge-worthy-Netflix-police-drama, which incidentally are shows that I'm sure people like (which is why there are about a thousand of them just with different names), but are also shows that I would watch a grand total of 3 episodes because I was bored and then hate myself for wasting my own time.

3 stars. (I forced myself to read everything though)
Dec 18, 2020 rated it liked it
When I saw that this is a sci-fi noir I just had to read it and I'm glad I did. It was so much fun with an sci-fi and crime book in one ...more
Lauren Stoolfire
Jan 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, sci-fi, noir
I was hoping to like The Dark Side by Anthony O'Neill more. Based on the summary it's got just about everything I could want - I mean, it's a sci-fi noir set on the moon after all. The world building was intriguing and I like getting to see the author's vision of the far side of the moon. My main issue with the story was the fact that I wasn't interested in any of the characters. ...more
Liz Barnsley
Loved this one – it was dark and violent yet humerous and often human nature insightful – a pretty banging story that fairly rocks along.

First of all in the severely creepy stakes comes Leonardo Black, a murderous android. He is CHILLING for sure, as he rampages across the moon, very politely and with due consideration, yet you cross his path at your peril. This layer of the novel appealed very much to MY dark side. I kind of loved Mr Black.

The other side of the story is one man on a mission to
Jane Stewart
Dec 18, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-crime
Didn’t work for me.

I lost interest. I read 20% and skipped to the end. I’ve loved some sci fi and crime noir stories. But this one just didn’t work for me.

Endings are important to me. And I bought this because one reviewer said "There's a good ending, too. I for one did not see it coming, but it was clean, complete, satisfying on every level."

Well, for me, the ending was not satisfying.
Jun 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: llegits-2016
An entertaining novel, often surprising and funny, which uses the moon as a very original setting, and treats the details carefully.
Review in english:
Reseña en castellano:
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
An original idea, quite well executed. There's not much emotional depth here or character development for that matter, but the social and political commentary is sharp and echoed what my country is going through at the moment. Greed, moral corruption and the disintegration of the rule of law is something that has sadly been characterizing many governments around the world over the past decade, more so than ever before, and this novel relates to this trend. It is also suspenseful and fun to read. ...more
Noah Goats
Nov 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Dark Side is a highly entertaining moon-based science fiction novel. The Lunar world created by Anthony O’Neill is fresh, vivid and a great setting for a novel about a serial killing robot (who apparently represents corporate capitalism run amok) and political intrigue. Darkly funny and built around a good mystery, this novel isn’t dull for a moment.
Nov 04, 2016 rated it it was ok
I won this book through a Goodreads giveaway. It is the first (and only, thus far) one that I won, and I'm hoping that there isn't some algorithm in place that will preclude me from winning again by giving this book a somewhat negative review!

I probably wouldn't have ever come across this book if I hadn't seen it listed as a giveaway. That being said, the plot seemed interesting and I was excited to read it. It was a very quick and easy read. I wouldn't say that I was ever bored with it, by any
Feb 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Anthony O'Neill's "The Dark Side" is a dark and frequently unpleasant satire about greed, power, corruption, murder, and the meaning of justice in a deeply unjust world. It features a hard-nosed cop named Justus who's been exiled from his homeland for being a little too good at his job. He's been hired by the lawless town of Purgatory -- a sort of Las Vegas/Wild West hybrid -- to bring some professionalism to its police force. Or so he is led to believe. His first big challenge is to figure out ...more
Apr 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a sci fi fan. I might occasionally watch a sci fi movie, but seldom a tv show and never read a book in the genre, it just isn't the sort of thing that I can enjoy enough to commit that much time to. All of which only serves to highlight just how much I liked this book. Originally I was taken in by the description, that happens when cults and killer robots are mentioned, but it was so much more than that. It actually made me see the appeal of the genre itself. The author got to created an ...more
This was a lot of fun! Especially because of the android all too happy to wreak havoc on criminals, colonists and researchers on the moon alike. Meanwhile, a law-abiding, seemingly incorruptible lieutenant is caught between a dodgy battle of power he knows nothing about in a city known for its utter lawlessness. That made for quite an interesting read. Even still, some parts of it are predictable which fortunately, the non-stop plot makes up for well enough.

The intense violence, absolutely free
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: digital
If you were to make the DarkNet a real Place, mix it with some Vegas Glam and a narcissistic, all powerful magnat, you get Purgatory - or as his chess-opponent and daughter would call it: Redemption.
The Dark Side is an entertaining and realistic* Sci-Fi "crime story", brought to life through the eyes of the police lieutnant Justs and the optic sensors of a highly "evolved" android, both finding their own paths.

I thoroughly enjoyed the mood the author builds up by his introductions of each chap
Jun 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi, easy-reading
I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.
В наличии имеются: принципиально честный детектив, андроид с маниакально-капиталистическими наклонностями ('The love of the money is the root of all progress'), колония преступников на Луне и погоня на луноходах. Для развлечения вполне достойное чтиво.
The Dark Side is a decent entertaining Sci fi read, though I felt a bit sad with each chapter, as so many characters were getting killed. Also, I am a bit lost at understanding
TBH, I didn't care that much about the general story (which could have done with less info dumping at times) and would have loved to read only from the murdering android's POV because he is hilarious, but it was nice seeing it all merge in the end. Definitely a unique thriller. ...more
Carol Kean
Mar 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
NOTE: Simon and Schuster sent me an ARC of this novel and I reviewed it for Perihelion Science Fiction in April 2016. The ezine is no longer available online.

It’s Darker on the Dark Side

ONLY A LUNATIC WOULD LIVE ON THE MOON, Anthony O’Neill tells us in one of the most anticipated novels of 2016, “The Dark Side.” Only a lunatic, a renegade, a pariah, a misanthrope, a risk junkie, or a mass murderer. With every square meter of our world being watched, probed, or listened to, the dark side of the M
Nov 12, 2017 rated it liked it
The author earned a star for doing such a great job of researching what it would be like to live on the moon. I was completely captivated by all the ways to die listed in the opening. "Regolith" felt like a household word by the end.

The far side of the moon is conceivably the worst place to live near earth. A barren rock, permanently cut off from radio contact with the earth, unprotected from solar radiation during the day, cold as the vacuum of space at night, with enough gravity to stand, but
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is one of the first sci-fi book I actually enjoyed. I like the idea of mixing the genre with some elements from thrillers.
Nicole Bishop
Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I checked this book out solely based on the recommendation from Peter Cline and it was so worth it! By far the best book I have read this year. The characters are compelling, the world building is fantastic and the noir elements aren't hammy and overdone. ...more
Mar 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
This review originally published in Looking For a Good Book. Rated 4.75 of 5

I was attracted to this book by the blurb, describing the book as a "dark and gripping sci-fi noir" in which a police detective from Earth arrives at a lunar penal colony and steps in to the local police department to take charge of an investigation into the death of an associate of one of an eccentric billionaire. I got all this, and so much more.

The moon, much like the initial colonization of Australia, once served as
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Elements of Fiction
  • Coyote Blue
  • The Last Campaign (The Near-Earth Mysteries, #2)
  • No Way (Frank Kitteridge #2)
  • One Way
  • The Mother Code
  • Nagasaki
  • The Wealthy Barber: The Common Sense Guide to Successful Financial Planning
  • Tideline
  • Razboiul ingerilor Teorii si cercetari nonconventionale
  • The President's Brain is Missing
  • Edges (Inverted Frontier #1)
  • No Period
  • #Selfcare
  • Party Discipline
  • The Silver Ships (Silver Ships, #1)
  • Silver (Inverted Frontier #2)
  • When the Yogurt Took Over
See similar books…
Anthony O’Neill is the son of an Irish policeman and an Australian stenographer.

He was born in Melbourne and lives in Edinburgh.

He is the author of Scheherazade, a revisionist Arabian Nights epic; The Lamplighter, a psychological horror novel set in Victorian Scotland; The Empire of Eternity, a history-mystery involving Napoleon Bonaparte and the early years of Egyptology; The Unscratchables, a

Related Articles

Sometimes the monster in your life looks a lot like you. Or exactly like you, but better.   This is the case of Evelyn Caldwell. An...
41 likes · 5 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“The less you know, the better you sleep.” 1 likes
“The complete document—“ Letter from Farside”—is explosive, incoherent, and riddled with factual inaccuracies and highly questionable readings of history. It’s also 3,600 pages long.” 1 likes
More quotes…