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REVIEW: “The Buying of Lot 37” and “Who’s a Good Boy?” Welcome to Night Vale Episodes, Volumes 3 & 4, by Jeffrey Cranor and Joseph Fink

wtnv-3-4In case it isn’t clear, I love Welcome to Night Vale. I love the novels, I love the live shows, I love the podcast, and I love these script books, too. I always have trouble focusing on audio-only stories, so I find that having the scripts for podcasts such as Welcome to Night Vale really helps me follow the podcast and understand all that is going on within it. Add to these extremely useful scripts a bunch of illustrations and a whole lot of behind the scenes tidbits, and you’ve got a collection of published scripts that any Night Vale fan would love. This proved true for the first two volumes of script books and it absolutely proves true for this new set, too. A note: I have previously reviewed years three and four of Welcome to Night Vale in earlier blog posts, so, rather than review the scripts of these books themselves, I will shortly recap my review of each of the seasons prior to moving onto what’s specific to these two novels.

From the authors of the New York Times bestselling novels It Devours! and Welcome to Night Vale and the creators of the #1 international podcast of the same name, comes a collection of episodes from Seasons Three and Four of their hit podcast, featuring an introduction by the authors, a foreword by Dessa, behind-the-scenes commentary, and original illustrations.

The Buying of Lot 37 brings Season Three of the podcast to book form. With foreword by recording artist and author Dessa, introductions by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, insightful behind-the-scenes commentary by cast members and supporters, and beautiful illustrations by series artist Jessica Hayworth accompanying each episode, this book is both an entertaining reading experience and an absolute must-have for any fan of the podcast.

And, with Who’s a Good Boy?, Season Four of the podcast is available in book form, offering a valuable reference guide to past episodes. Featuring a foreword by twitter personality and highly regarded author Jonny Sun, original introductions by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, fascinating behind-the-scenes commentary by cast members and supporters, and gorgeous illustrations by series artist Jessica Hayworth accompanying each episode, this book will thrill fans of the podcast and those new to the amazing universe of Night Vale.

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REVIEW: “Alice Isn’t Dead: A Novel” by Joseph Fink

coverI’ve been a fan of Welcome to Night Vale, the podcast cocreated by Joseph Fink – author of this novel, Alice Isn’t Dead – and Jeffrey Cranor since around about 2013. It’s a lovely little podcast that perfectly mixes together a whole bunch of genres into its own little piece of brilliance. When it was announced that Fink and Cranor would launch an entire podcasting network, named “Night Vale Presents”, with a brand new podcast written by Joseph Fink, I was immediately interested. And then… I never got around to listening to it. It had a cool premise and seemed really intriguing and spooky, but I just never quite found the time. Then, it was announced earlier this year that Joseph Fink was going to turn that podcast, Alice Isn’t Dead, into a book that, essentially, told the same story as the podcast and I figured I’d just wait for the book to come out and experience the story in that medium. Months passed and I’ve now read the book and, I gotta tell ya, it’s really, really good.

From the New York Times bestselling co-author of It Devours! and Welcome to Night Vale comes a fast-paced thriller about a truck driver searching across America for the wife she had long assumed to be dead.

“This isn’t a story. It’s a road trip.”

Keisha Taylor lived a quiet life with her wife, Alice, until the day that Alice disappeared. After months of searching, presuming she was dead, Keisha held a funeral, mourned, and gradually tried to get on with her life. But that was before Keisha started to see her wife, again and again, in the background of news reports from all over America. Alice isn’t dead, and she is showing up at every major tragedy and accident in the country.

Following a line of clues, Keisha takes a job with a trucking company, Bay and Creek Transportation, and begins searching for Alice. She eventually stumbles on an otherworldly conflict being waged in the quiet corners of our nation’s highway system—uncovering a conspiracy that goes way beyond one missing woman.

Why did Alice disappear? What does she have to do with this secret war between inhuman killers? Why did the chicken cross the road? These questions, and many more will be answered in Alice Isn’t Dead.

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REVIEW: “It Devours!: A Welcome to Night Vale Novel” by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor

81qpoictzilA friendly desert community where the sun is hot, the moon is beautiful, and citizens keep disappearing, leaving behind nothing but pits of warm, scorched earth. This is the world of It Devours!: A Welcome to Night Vale Novel. Written by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor and based on the popular podcast, Welcome to Night ValeIt Devours! is a new page-turning mystery about science, faith, love, and belonging, set in a friendly desert community where ghosts, angels, aliens, and government conspiracies are commonplace parts of everyday life. It explores the intersections of faith and science, the growing relationship between two young people who want desperately to trust each other, and the terrifying, toothy power of the Smiling God.

Nilanjana Sikdar is an outsider to the town of Night Vale. Working for Carlos, the town’s top scientist, she relies on fact and logic as her guiding principles. But all of that is put into question when Carlos gives her a special assignment investigating a mysterious rumbling in the desert wasteland outside of town. This investigation leads her to the Joyous Congregation of the Smiling God, and to Darryl, one of its most committed members. Caught between her beliefs in the ultimate power of science and her growing attraction to Darryl, she begins to suspect the Congregation is planning a ritual that could threaten the lives of everyone in town. Nilanjana and Darryl must search for common ground between their very different worldviews as they are faced with the Congregation’s darkest and most terrible secret.

Mild spoilers may follow…

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REVIEW: Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor

51izuxor7hlWelcome to Night Vale: A Novel is the first novel in the Night Vale series (based off the popular podcast of the same name) written by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel expands the universe of the podcast as we follow two women, Diane Crayton and Jackie Fierro, whose (already weird) lives get turned upside down when a man in a tan suit with a deerskin briefcase gives them both a piece of paper with the words “KING CITY” written on it. Their individual quests for answers will lead them on a journey that will change how they look at themselves, and at their families. (more…)

REVIEW: The Great Glowing Coils of the Universe (Welcome to Night Vale, Episodes #2) by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor

51pbspam99lThe Great Glowing Coils of the Universe is the second volume featuring scripts from the podcast Welcome to Night Vale. Written by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, The Great Glowing Coils of the Universe contains the scripts from the podcast’s second season, as well as the live show The Debate, along with an introduction by Maureen Johnson, illustrations by Jessica Hayworth, and introductions to each episode by various members of the cast and crew. In The Great Glowing Coils of the Universe, Night Vale faces a takeover by a totalitarian corporation that threatens to forever change the town and everyone in it. Like the previous review, this review will be in two parts; the first part will discuss the book itself while the second part discusses the content of the season.
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REVIEW: Mostly Void, Partially Stars (Welcome to Night Vale, Episodes Volume 1) by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor

414sdbffdalMostly Void, Partially Stars is a collection of the first year’s worth of scripts (and the script of the first live show Condos) from the podcast Welcome to Night Vale written by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. In addition to the scripts, Mostly Void, Partially Stars contains introductions to every episode featuring behind the scenes tidbits such as the inspiration for the episode or how it was put together. In Mostly Void, Partially Stars, readers are introduced to the town of Night Vale and Cecil Palmer, the host of the local community radio station’s news show. As the story begins, a new scientist, named Carlos, arrives into town, sparking interest from Cecil. Coinciding with this event is the discovery of a civilization underneath one of the lanes in the bowling alley. As the year goes on, these plot threads will collide in a major way. This review will be in two parts; the first reviewing the book itself, the second reviewing the content of the scripts and the first year of the podcast as a whole. (more…)