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Friday, September 18, 2015

Nightfall: A Novel

Nightfall was another big book at Book Expo this year, so I picked it up on my way through the publisher's booth. While YA dystopian lit isn't usually my jam, I saw Jake Halpern at an author's panel and his passion for his work really sold the novel.

Every twenty-eight years, the sun falls and night arises. It's about to be Night on the island, and everyone is getting ready to leave for distant shores, where they will continue to live in daylight until it is time to return home. Everyone is frantically rushing to get out of town, and when the boats arrive, there is a mass push to get on them. What no one notices is that three of their youths are missing. Marin, her twin brother Kana, and their friend Line have missed the boats off of the island. As they frantically search for a way off the island, they find themselves stalked by creatures that would make even the heartiest man whither. Can they survive Night, or will they die trying to leave?

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. In order for me to really get into a fantasy or paranormal novel, it has to have a great story first. It also has to have strong characters. I really found myself drawn to Marin. She is young, but she is strong -- and the reason they all miss the boat is her insistence that no one leave without Line. He had gone to search for a necklace of Marin's that he felt responsible for losing, and Marin felt it was her responsibility to make sure he did not get left behind. She also holds a deep secret about that necklace, a secret that may fracture her and Line's relationship. I found this conflict point to be incredibly interesting and was happy to see that followed through. I also appreciated, from an audience perspective, that Halpern and Kujawinski played this out through the book by weaving it in and not waving a big flag as a plot point.

There is also the storyline with Kana that I can't say much about, as I really feel like it feeds the story and you may be pleasantly surprised by it. You can kind of see it coming, but when all of the pieces of the puzzle come together, it's a great fit for what they authors were going for. This, combined with Marin and Line and the teamwork to get out of this situation alive, really heightened the drama and transcended the paranormal genre and allowed me to enjoy the story from a human perspective.

For purchase below.

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