Review: THE FACELESS OLD WOMAN WHO SECRETLY LIVES IN YOUR HOME by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor (2020)

Rating: 4/5 stars
Genre: Adult paranormal
Year Release: 2020
Source: Library audiobook

Listened to the audiobook

Of the three Welcome to Night Vale books so far,  this book is the furthest from the spirit of the podcast in the best way. We get a full a thorough backstory on an iconic and terrifying character, The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home.

If you’re expecting the regular eerieness of the desert town, you won’t find any here. Instead, you’ll be in fictional and real countries all across Europe on a swashbuckling adventure of crime and vengeance. It’s a lot of fun to watch the different and intricate plots play out as the (Not Yet) Faceless Old Woman tries to get revenge on the man who killed her father. The twists are something out of a classic like The Count of Monte Cristo or a Shakespeare play.

There are flashbacks to the present, where she terrorizes a man named Craig. The second person perspective in these snippets are effective and instill in readers a genuine fear of our protagonist.

An entire book dedicated to a backstory which had me enraptured from start to finish.

Review: IT DEVOURS! by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor (2017)

Rating: 4/5 stars
Genre: Adult paranormal
Year Release: 2017
Source: Library audiobook

Listened to the audiobook

It was to return to the world of Night Vale, even if just one contained arc of a story. In the desert town of Night Vale, various rumblings might actually be the work of the Smiling God. A tale of science and religion in a race against time to stop Night Vale’s certain demise.

As mentioned above, this book feels far more self-contained than the first. There is little, if anything, you need to know about the lore of Night Vale to get into this book. However, you may want to read the first to get context for some of the characters. Largely these reintroductions worked on their own.

The romance between Nilanjana and Darryl worked really well to both drive the plot forward and show different facets of folks at Night Vale. Nilanjana had not even considered her a citizen, while Darryl seemed to be more established. The tension between logic and belief played a big role, but true to Night Vale’s form, enough strangeness goes on that defies either line of thinking.

Joyfully (and unsettingly), it devours.

March 2020 Reading Recap

March2020RR

Here we are friends, in a time of social distancing where staying at home is the most productive thing you can do to keep yourself and those around you safe. Which for me, includes working my dayjob from 9 to 5 and then spending time with audiobooks while playing video games (currently playing Animal Crossing). This is what I read in March. I should really consider augmenting my reading goal, I’m 17 books ahead already.

This month, I also interviewed K.M. Szpara to celebrate the release of his debut novel, Docile.

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Review: WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor (2015)

Rating: 4/5 stars
Genre: Adult paranormal
Year Release: 2015
Source: Library audiobook

Listened to the audiobook

“Comfort read” for me is such a strange concept. Most people turn to old favorites or more cheery things with happy endings. I turn to the terrifying and unusual when I need something resembling normality. Welcome to Night Vale, the novel, hit just the spot.

This novel takes place in Night Vale, a quiet desert town where the dog park is to be avoided at all costs, pawn shop owners never age, and boys don’t stay in the same form for any reliable length of time. The book version of the podcast delves into the lives Jackie and Diane, two recurring characters in the show. I really liked being able to see what community and family looks like in this place where its creepiness becomes a background to the other trappings of every day life. I really enjoyed the story line of a mother trying to connect with her son, and the young person trying to be taken seriously and prove herself. The way the characters follows a satisfying trail of bread crumbs.

It’s wonderful and odd, but I will say, you might need to listen to an episode or two of the podcast to get into the quirks, such as the radio show and its recurring bits. As someone who has listened extensively to the podcast, it so true to the spirit of it. Having Cecil Baldwin narrate really rounded out the experience. I am definitely look forward to the rest of the ongoing series.