Today's Grateful List/31 December 2015

  • Going to get answers no matter what

Monday, July 13, 2015

A Little Bit of Nightfall

Fourteen years of Day, followed by fourteen years of Night...that's how the inhabitants of Martin's Island have lived for ages. They stay on the island in homes built by someone else, for fourteen years of Day, but as twilight falls, they prepare to leave to travel to the Desert Lands to live. Before they leave, however, they must go through some rather odd preparations, including "leaving the houses without stain." No one questions it; it's just what they do.

Marin and her twin Kana have lived their entire lives on Martin's Island, knowing they would leave at the next Nightfall. Kana's always been slight and blind, but with the oncoming Night, his vision begins to clear and he can feel himself  growing stronger. As they prepare to leave on the few boats coming to take them away, their friend Line disappears, in danger of being left behind. The twins set out on a search and rescue that ultimately leads to all three missing the boats...and being left alone. It doesn't take long for them to realize that something is out there, and something does not want them on their island.

This book has a great premise, and at times is very creepy indeed, especially when the teens are left behind and it becomes increasingly obvious that something is stalking them--and there's no waiting for daylight for things to get better. While I enjoyed it overall, I was left with some big questions, including....spoilers've been warned....what precisely the things are, where they came from, and why anyone would want to live on an island for fourteen years, just to move back and forth as the world changes. I didn't like what was going on with Kana, and found that no matter what, he was the least likable of the three. In fact, none of the teens were particularly engaging. I also felt there were too many coincidences that made things right; these youngsters were remarkably lucky throughout, even though they'd somehow managed to get themselves left behind. Mostly however, my biggest issue is the rather simplistic writing style. This is not a book older teens will get lost inside; sentences like "Line was very sick" seemed out of place and juvenile.

If there is a sequel to this book--and the jury is still out, based on the ending--I'm not positive I'd read it. Though I liked the general plot and the premise, there was just something vital missing in the execution and style of writing that kept me from feeling fully engaged. It's not a bad book, but it's not one I'd feel comfortable recommending to anyone over age fourteen or so. I really wish I'd like the main characters more, but it is what it is.


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