Monday, October 20, 2008

Night Fall Falls Short

Night Fall
By Cherry Adair

I have been eagerly anticipating the back to back releases of Cherry Adair’s new “Night” trilogy. Now that I’ve read the first one, I’m thinking that the whole three-books-in-three-months thing was not such a great idea. Maybe Adair was up for it, but it clearly wore out her editor. I’ve never read such a choppy effort, and I’ve read most of the previous T-FLAC books. Many elements of this book were not up to the author’s usual standard. How did it disappoint? Let me count the ways...

*** The heroine. Kess Goodall is really annoying much of the time. There were moments when I found her likeable, but then she would do something really stupid and the moment would pass. She’s like that girl from your junior high school pep squad who does absolutelyabsolutelyabsolutely EVERYTHING with, like totaltotaltotal CONVICTION and at really, really supersupersuper HIGH VOLUME!!! And she’s just soooooo cute and sooooo gosh darn earnest! Not only that, her previous employer was a really, really bad man who totally did her wrong, but she’s still being brave and trying to redeem her reputation by working for an impoverished nation. Dare I say it? She’s positively plucky!! To which I must add – Spare me.

*** The consistency of the paranormal aspect. Or shall I say the lack of consistency? Given the fact that this is her second trilogy featuring wizards, I expected this to be better. The fact that Simon’s powers were going haywire in such a way that he couldn’t transport small objects as well he wanted, but could conjure up a beachside love nest and maintain it for hours just didn’t make sense. This kind of thing happened a lot and was distracting.

*** General cluelessness of characters. Kess doesn’t see that her new boss is up to something. Simon doesn’t see that he shouldn’t put off finding out what is wrong with his powers while other people’s lives depend upon them. Abi doesn’t see that he is being used by the bad guys. And so on...

*** Pacing and consistency. This reads like a longer book that had bits arbitrarily chopped out to conserve space. I found myself saying “What just happened?” far more often than I should have, even with the kind of fast paced plot Adair writes. This one was uneven and sometimes just plain confusing.

Because I like Adair and this is the first T-FLAC book I haven’t enjoyed, I will pick up the next one and hope that it’s better. Given all the press behind this trilogy, and the fact that the third book is being released in hardcover, expectations are high. Unfortunately, Night Fall doesn’t meet them.

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