Paperback: 464 pages
Publisher: Angry Robot
Publication date(first UK): 6 Oct 2011
ISBN: 978 0 85766 168 5
Synopsis taken from Angry Robot:
It was a typical all-American backwater – until the night the monsters came.
When four employees of KMRT Radio investigate an unearthly light that cuts off communication with the outside world, they discover that something has taken the place of their friends and fellow townfolk, and imbued them with malign intentions. Little do they know, the phenomenon is not unique to the town of Jesman’s Bend…
Hoo boy! This is a good one! Haven't read anything similar in years! I'm not talking about subject matter though (although I will get to that in a moment), I'm talking about writing style. LOVED it. I've never read anything by Peter Crowther before and if I'm honest I've never even heard of him before this boook caught my attention but right from the very first page of the prologue I felt like I was meeting an old friend after a long absence.
Why? How? Because it's like this guy is channelling my coming of age book hero, Stephen 'The Man' King! It's uncanny!
They both have this 'way' of writing, I'm sure if you've ever read King then you'll know what I'm talking about...if you've never read King then it's like the books are written in a first person POV but with a third person narrative. I can't explain it, I'm positive there must be a term to describe that writing style but I just don't know what it is. There are a lot of inner monologues where someone will be describing how they're feeling or what they're thinking but they use words like 'he' or 'she' to describe themselves insead of 'I'.
Ack! I just can't put it into words...all I know is that I associate it with King and I like it.
So anyway, the book...
Darkness Falling is the first part of Peter Crowther's Forever Twilight trilogy. I think it's considered to be Science Fiction but it's also probably easily slotted into the Horror genre. Maybe Apocalyptic fiction too. To keep with the King connection I'd compare it to having a bit of 'The Langoliers', 'The Stand', 'The Tommy Knockers'..actually, I could probably find a lot of bits from a lot of novels to compare this to. It's quite hard to pigeon hole. Invasion of the body snatchers with zombie aliens is kinda close.
It's very character driven and the whole story is told via multiple 'survivors' and while I love all that, it was a bit frustrating to get caught up in one person's story only to have the chapter end and have to remind myself of a new person's story-to-date and catch up with their portion again for the new chapter. I'll admit to enjoying the story of some characters more than others too, which made things all the more frustrating when a really good bit ended and I had to get through a character I wasn't enjoying as much to get back to the good stuff. It's all good, I just really wasn't that 'connected' to the radio station guys (and gal), which is a pity because they're sort of central.
Did I mention how scary it is yet? No? Well, it's scary. I had to stop reading it last night and lay it aside to finish today during daylight hours. I'm not a huge devourer of the horror genre and don't claim to be an authority on what constitutes a successful scare but all I know is that when reading certain bits my brain was saying "No no no no no...omgomgomgomg". I think I'm probably quite wimpy as far as 'easily spooked' goes but to coin a Disney rating, it's worse than "mild peril".
I found it hard to find any kind of in-depth synopsis for this book and I don't know if that's intentional but just in case it is I won't spoil anything by going into a deep analysis of the story line. The author has a web presence at petercrowther.com and you may find some more info there and on his blog, if you're interested in finding out more, but for now I'll just end by saying - I. LIKED. IT!