Every town is a little strange, but Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor have created one that’s a bit stranger than the rest. This book starts off weird and stays that way until the end, but in the best way possible.
Night Vale is a town in the mid west. There’s desert surrounding it, and no one ever seems to leave. The residents are constantly being watched and listened to by some government agency or other. Angels, aliens, and other creatures are a normal occurrence. Librarians are the most feared citizens.
Jackie lives in Night Vale, and runs the town pawn shop. She’s been doing it ever since she can remember; at least since she’s been 19, and she’s been 19 for a very long time. Every day is the same for Jackie, until the man in the tan coat shows up. He sells her a paper that is blank but for two word: KING CITY. This doesn’t mean anything to Jackie, but the man is gone before she can ask questions. She’s left with nothing but confusion and a paper that she can’t get rid of, no matter how many times she burns, tears, or throws it.
Diane works for an office collecting data. She lives with her son Josh, a fifteen-year-old shape shifter. Diane’s life is also pretty boring, until her son starts asking questions about his father, Troy. Josh has never met him, and wants to know more. Diane suddenly starts seeing Troy everywhere, and is afraid that Josh will find out the truth. When Josh disappears and Diane finds a paper that says KING CITY in his room, she fears the worst.
Diane and Jackie team up to try and find King City, and the man in the tan jacket. Jackie wants her life back to normal and the paper gone from her hand. Diane just wants her son back. But getting out of Night Vale is harder than it seems.
In between the chapters featuring Diane and Jackie, there is The Voice of Night Vale. Cecil is the host of the town’s only radio show, and through his show, readers can find out all of the weirdness Night Vale has to offer. It provides some humor in the book, and Cecil’s show interacts with the other characters.
What’s really cool about this book is that it started as a podcast. Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor created the podcast back in 2012, and they put out two new ones every month. They also do live shows, which would be awesome to see. There’s one coming to Portland in December, and I’m going to try and go (it’s 4 days after my birthday, if anyone wants to get me a present…).
If you want to listen to the podcast or just find out more about Night Vale, you can view their website here.