It Devours! A Welcome to Night Vale Novel by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor
|It Devours! A Welcome to Night Vale Novel by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor|
|Reviewer: Luke Marlowe|
|Summary: Warm, spooky and surprisingly deep – It Devours is a fantastic dive into a fictional world that's ideal both for fans of the podcast and newcomers alike.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 347||Date: October 2017|
|Publisher: Harper Perennial|
|External links: Author's website|
Nilanjana Sikdar is new to the town of Night Vale, working for Carlos, the town's top scientist. When she's given a special assignment to investigate a mysterious rumbling in the desert wasteland outside of town, Nilanjana finds her scientific principles of logic and fact seriously put to the test. The investigation leads her to the Joyous Congregation of the Smiling God, and there she meets Darryl – a dedicated (and handsome) member of the church. With her belief in science coming into direct contrast with her attraction to Darryl, Nilanjana begins to suspect that the Congregation is planning something far bigger than she could have expected, that threatens the lives of everyone in Night Vale…
Welcome to Night Vale is a podcast that launched in 2012. It takes the form of a radio show for the fictional town of Night Vale – and fills listeners in on the strange, humorous and downright spooky events that take place within the town. With over 100 episodes having been aired, Welcome to Night Vale has a huge fan base, and the long form nature of the series allows for plotlines to develop in a wonderfully organic fashion – with love stories, recurring characters and in jokes developing over time and making the podcast a surprisingly warm and enjoyable experience despite the fact that very strange events are often occurring! Taking the weirdness of H P Lovecraft and blending that with the dark humour of Tales of the Unexpected, nostalgic mysteries drawn straight from Agatha Christie and a mix of cleverly crafted personal relationships combined with reflections on the political state of our actual world, it's a podcast that rewards the reader the longer they listen – and as a result of the success, the Night Vale team have published two books – Welcome to Night Vale back in 2015, and now It Devours!.
It Devours! instantly wins huge points from me due to the fact that it features Carlos. Carlos is a scientist who appears in the podcast – he has a voice like caramel, dark, delicate skin, teeth like a military cemetery and smells of lavender chewing gum. All in all, he's pretty dreamy – and is the main love interest in the podcast. Here, he's shown at work with his team of scientists, one of whom happens to be Nilanjana. Having Nilanjana as a relative outsider to the community of Night Vale is a great touch – it instantly connects her to the reader, and makes the book accessible even for those who haven't listened to the podcast. Those who have listened though, will gain some fantastic insights into favourite characters – Carlos in particular.
The podcast is told from the point of view of Cecil who, quite openly, is madly in love with Carlos. Understandably then, the image of Carlos that one takes from the podcast comes with a certain amount of bias, but here the reader can see Carlos through the eyes of someone else – still beautiful, but somewhat more fleshed out and a little more fallible. Plotwise – Nilanjana is soon engrossed in a big mystery – and whilst it's hugely fun with moments that veer between the heart stopping and the hugely funny, the writers have also chosen to add elements that reflect our real world with startling accuracy – the soft curtain of nostalgia that the book creates for the reader is parted on occasion to reveal moments that, rather often, are immensely illuminating - yet the authors are careful to ensure that they don't deviate from the overall tone of the Night Vale world too much. I won't reveal much, for fear of giving away any spoilers - but this is a thrilling, brilliant read – and one that I was grinning like a mad man after finishing. Maybe I should join the Joyous Congregation of the Smiling God too?...
Many thanks to the publishers for the copy, and for further reading I recommend The World of Lore, Volume 1: Monstrous Creatures by Aaron Mahnke – another book that expands on the world of a hugely successful podcast containing mysterious goings on and spooky creatures…
You can read more book reviews or buy It Devours! A Welcome to Night Vale Novel by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy It Devours! A Welcome to Night Vale Novel by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.