I am so behind in book reviews, you have no idea. I have been moving and short on free time--so I've read a bunch of stuff, am still taking notes, and haven't had time to finalize any reviews.
I normally don't post too many reviews of books I didn't finish. I generally don't think it's fair to do so, but occasionally I feel like I need to say something. And in this case, I wanted to like it and I tried to like it, but holy damn, it was dull. The book in question was "Welcome to Night Vale: The Novel," which I suspected might be kind of a boner and that's why I got it from the library. They let me check out books for 3 weeks, I started it and then it sat in my trunk for awhile. Now the book is due in a few days and I tried to forcibly drag myself through reading it last night. I usually give a book say, 100 pages or half of the book before I give up. This book is 400+ pages and I hit my limit before page 200 because lord, it was dull. Also, I can't help but wonder why the authors/creators of the podcast decided to write a Night Vale book featuring two minor characters and then take forever to get on with, well, anything. If you like the podcast, this book makes it clear that Night Vale plots (such as they are) work better in smaller doses, big time.
The book features two women:
(a) Jackie Fierro, an un-aging 19-year-old who runs the pawnshop and ends up with a note saying "KING CITY" on it that she can't get rid of. She wanders around talking to various Night Vale luminaries (Carlos, Mayor Dana Cardinal, etc), and nobody can help her.
(b) Diane Crayton, a single mom to a shapeshifting teenager who's (a) trying to figure out what happened to her missing coworker Evan (otherwise known as "the man in the tan jacket" that nobody can remember very well, and (b) trying to figure out why she keeps seeing her ex/babydaddy Troy popping up around town briefly.
Both of these plots move slow like molasses. This is a problem in a novel that theoretically seems to be trying to be a mystery, except our detectives spend a lot of time attempting to do things and aren't getting anywhere. I kept reading in hopes that they'd meet up and start doing things, but frankly, my interest petered out before that point. I tried to peek at the back of the book to see if this got any better if I stuck with it and...eh, I don't know. I finally ended up reading this book review, which tells what happened in the plot enough to satisfy my curiosity so I could give up on trying to read it. I just for the life of me could not stick with this. I had to go to the bathroom at 2 a.m. and then was exhausted yet could not go back to sleep and while I can't say this book lulled me back to sleep, it gave its best shot.
To quote from the review:
"Alright, typing it up like that makes the story sound kind of awesome; I admit that there are some pretty cool elements to the book. There were cameos from a lot of popular characters; we got to see Night Vale from a different perspective than Cecil’s for once, and we even got to know more about what things are like in the Night Vale Public Library. It’s just that, well, it took a long time for the book to establish that there was a main plot. Around page 150, I realized that a lot of Stuff had happened, but it all felt either random or gratuitous. Jackie visited Old Woman Josie, Carlos, and Mayor Dana Cardinal to try and learn about the Man in the Tan Jacket, but none of them could tell her anything helpful. Diane had numerous conversations with her son, but they were all similar and did little to advance the plot. I felt like I was just reading scenes for a long time without any sense of overarching story."
Maybe mystery plots aren't the authors' strong suits, or maybe it just isn't within the context of Night Vale where everything is obscure. But...I cannot recommend even to fans because this just doesn't move fast enough to keep me wanting to stick with it.