March 10, 2011 § Leave a comment
by: Steven Jones
Available at: http://www.writeordie.co.uk/nocturnal.html
Price: FREE to read online: contact the author for a download
Nocturnal is the story of 12 year old Brody Thompson and how she deals with the consequences of an idle wish overheard by an unusual group of nocturnal creatures. As night time events take a strange turn she has to deal with worryingly intelligent birds, disappearing churches and a strange dark creature reaching out a taloned hand for her.
All she has on her side is a small and seemingly magical ornament and a filth encrusted homeless man tormented by disembodied voices.
It’s going to be a long night…
This is a fictional suspense novel that is one of the few I have read and enjoyed. At 86 pages it’s short, but the author really does take care so that you don’t feel slighted at the length. It’s not too scary, though at times you really are worried about this kid getting out of where she’s at.
As a parent, the very beginning had me wondering if the author was playing his characters cold for a reason, or was it perhaps that he had no experience with being a parent? I really believe it’s the former as all the characters actually have development. If this is true, this author has a real knack for this genre, kids or no kids.
If you think back carefully, you can probably remember a time when you and your friends would play scary pretend games as dusk began to fall .. Trees took on eerie rustles in the wind, the neighbors hedges began to look a bit more monstrous, the cat in the tree looks a bit more evil than in the daytime, and you thought it would be a GOOD idea to go around the neighborhood looking for the boogie man. That breathless hunt through backyards takes on the same feeling this story gives.
The use of the birds is imaginative, not quite Hitchcock, but I can see the potential. Not all the scenes in the book were clear, there were one or two points where I was confused as to who was where, but it did clear up quickly. Image description of new places, people, things, was very good and clear. The story followed a definite time line.
There were a few clerical errors in words here and there, nothing that took away from the storyline. I am really hovering in consideration of making this a recommendation for kids to read. I would say older teens might enjoy this story and it would be appropriate for them. There’s nothing offensive in it except a bit of mild violence. I’m looking forward to reading the authors short: Write or Die.