Well I’ve been reading my books so fast that I have two book reviews back to back!! With that welcome to my third book review of the book “Welcome to Night Vale” a novel by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, it is a good read of 401 pages. This book as the image of the cover shows it is based off of the podcast Welcome to Night Vale! It’s no surprise that I’m a fan of the podcast so the creators of Welcome to Night Vale announced the had made a novel of the series I jumped on that so fast!
Overview: The setting is in the strange, otherworldly, Southwest desert town of Night Vale. Where the sun is hot, the moon is beautiful, and mysterious lights pass overhead while its citizen pretend to sleep. The reader follows two average citizens living in Night Vale: Jackie Fierro & Diane Crayton.
Jackie Fierro is a 19 years old teen who can’t seem age past the age of 19 and has been 19 as long as she can remember who works at the Night Vale pawn shop. During a regular day at work Jackie is handed a piece of paper written in pencil that reads “KING CITY” by a strange man wearing a tan jacket with a deer skin suitcase whom no matter how hard you try you can never remember his face or name. Jackie can never seem to get rid of this piece and paper that reads “KING CITY”, no matter how hard she tries. Whether she throws it away, burn it, even taking a shower it appears in her hand again intact. Jackie then has no choice but to seek out the man in the tan jacket with the deer skin suit case and figure out the significance of KING CITY.
Diane Crayton is an overprotective single mother of a 15 year old shape-shifting teenage named Josh. Lately Diane has been seeing Josh’s dad all over Night Vale which has never happened before. With every interaction Diane has with him, he tells her to go to KING CITY and nothing more. Also, with the reappearance of Josh’s dad has re sparked Josh’s curiosity of knowing who his dad is and wanting to see him. For Diane has never let Josh see his dad or talked much about him since he was not in Josh’s life, and feared the day they would see each other. Out of frustration Josh searches for his dad on his own, first in the town of Night Vale, then running away to find his dad who maybe at KING CITY.
The more Jackie and Diane search for answers the more their stories get intertwined and together they go on an epic journey for KING CITY.
My Opinion: I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars! I love this book but, then again I have a bias towards Welcome to Night Vale since I love and listen to the podcast. The writing style is just like that of the podcast since it was written by the same people, so they’re isn’t a contrasting difference of style between the book and podcast.
I fully enjoyed the story as a whole with these two charters. Jackie and Diane are mentioned in the podcast but not very often or too much that there is much focus on them in general. So we get to know more about two characters in the world of Night Vale. Personally I was a little worried that the book didn’t focus on Cecil Palmer the main character and voice of Night Vale in the podcast, he was what I and other listeners were used to. However Jackie and Diane were amazing characters and I loved them throughout the entire book. Jackie and Diane had such great character depth and progress in the story it was rather enjoyable to read about then than Cecil. But there were several chapters dedicated to Cecil’s radio broadcast so, Cecil did make appearance in the book which was great as well. There really wasn’t a part of the story I disliked at all , even when it was people talking a lot, it was great dialogue.
The disadvantage this review has to bring up with the book has is for those who have not listened to the podcast. Because I already know the background, story, running jokes and reoccurring themes of Welcome to Night Vale, I don’t know what it’s like for anyone reading the book who hasn’t listened to the podcast. I don’t know if readers would feel like their missing something like an inside joke. For example if someone only watches the Marvel movies like “The Avengers” and none of the TV shows like “Marvel: Agents of Shield” and don’t get the small things that get slipped in the later movies referencing the show.
However at the same time I don’t think readers need to go out of their way and listen to the podcast to understand the story or the Welcome to Night Vale theme in general. The unfortunate part if readers do want to listen to the podcast before they read the book they have to listen to like 70 plus episodes before they get to the point when the book was released. Or you can read the book to spark an interest in the podcast. Or don’t listen to the podcast, it’s up to you.
The ending was very satisfying, like any podcast episode it leaves the listener/reader wanting more. Fulfilling the readers obsession with the weird, creepy, and the strange. It’s hard for me to go into much detail about the ending with out me spoiling it. So go read it now!
The creators of Welcome to Night Vale have stated that they will be writing more novels! So this will not be the only book and will be a series whether it’s the same characters Jackie and Diane I can’t tell you that for I don’t know. Not only the novels are being published but the scripts of the podcast our coming out soon, as in this year soon, as in at this point I only have to wait one more month for them to come out before they are mine!!
Also please check out my other book reviews and stay tuned for more book reviews!
Image credit for Welcome to Night Vale cover: http://www.welcometonightvale.com/novel/