Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Book Review: Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor

My mother doesn't like it when I mimic the Night Vale style.

Night Vale is a small desert town where all the conspiracy theories you've ever heard are actually true. It is here that the lives of two women, with two mysteries, will converge.

Nineteen-year-old Night Vale pawn shop owner Jackie Fierro is given a paper marked 'KING CITY' by a mysterious man in a tan jacket. She can't seem to get the paper to leave her hand, and no one who meets this man can remember anything about him. Jackie is determined to uncover the mystery of King City before she herself unravels.

Diane Crayton's son, Josh, is moody and also a shape shifter. And lately Diane's started to see her son's father everywhere she goes, looking the same as the day he left years earlier. Josh, looking different every time Diane sees him, shows a stronger and stronger interest in his estranged father, leading to a disaster Diane can see coming, even as she is helpless to prevent it.

Diane's search to reconnect with her son and Jackie's search for her former routine life collide as they find themselves coming back to two words: 'KING CITY'. It is King City that holds the key to both of their mysteries, and their futures . . . if they can ever find it.

 Do you like the Night Vale Podcast? Then you probably like this book. The thing is that this book is very much written in the the style of the podcast and I have no idea what someone whose not familiar with the podcast would think it about it. Compared to other books, it would be jarring I imagine.
 It's interesting to see this town from another point of view, other than Cecil's (or whoever somehow took over the local radio signal). He's still there as a character and radio presenter with radio updates through out the novel, with the latest happenings in Night Vale. It also made me realise how annoying Cecil's infatuation with Carlos can be. It's not that charming when written down.

With it not being tramped inside a radio booth, sending the latest intern to their report on what's happening, we get to see a lot of Night Vale fixtures for ourselves such as the library and surprisingly where our protagonists work.

The characters are appealing and very real people despite being a very surreal setting. They deal both with the strangeness of Night Vale and struggles we all have or can have, like raising children. I do like the dynamics between the most important characters to this story.

Overall, I gave this book four out of five stars for absentee fathers. This is the Welcome to the Night Vale Novel, it very much of an extension of the podcast. The story is contend within the novel, but reference things that have been going on in the podcast since it's start. The thing is I have no idea what someone who hasn't listen to the podcast would think of it. It doesn't really matter as the podcast is free and great listening. The novel is good reading and I got the same experience from it as I do with the podcast. You should definitely pick it up, if you regularly visit Night Vale or you just a tourist.

I got this for review off NetGalley and it was published by Orbit on 20th October 2015. 
(Though, tune in this Saturday to hear my story with my odd experience of pre-ordering the special edition of this novel).

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