The Eight Emotions You Get With 'Welcome to Night Vale'

Friday, January 22, 2016


Welcome to Night Vale

Author: Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor

From the creators of the wildly popular Welcome to Night Valepodcast comes an imaginative mystery of appearances and disappearances that is also a poignant look at the ways in which we all struggle to find matter where we live.

Located in a nameless desert somewhere in the great American Southwest, Night Vale is a small town where ghosts, angels, aliens, and government conspiracies are all commonplace parts of everyday life. It is here that the lives of two women, with two mysteries, will converge.

Nineteen-year-old Night Vale pawn shop owner Jackie Fierro is given a paper marked "King City" by a mysterious man in a tan jacket holding a deer skin suitcase. Everything about him and his paper unsettles her, especially the fact that she can't seem to get the paper to leave her hand, and that no one who meets this man can remember anything about him. Jackie is determined to uncover the mystery of King City and the man in the tan jacket before she herself unravels.

Night Vale PTA treasurer Diane Crayton's son, Josh, is moody and also a shape shifter. And lately Diane's started to see her son's father everywhere she goes, looking the same as the day he left years earlier, when they were both teenagers. Josh, looking different every time Diane sees him, shows a stronger and stronger interest in his estranged father, leading to a disaster Diane can see coming, even as she is helpless to prevent it.

Diane's search to reconnect with her son and Jackie's search for her former routine life collide as they find themselves coming back to two words: "King City". It is King City that holds the key to both of their mysteries, and their futures...if they can ever find it.

If I should creepy throughout this review, I'm trying to be mysterious and odd. That's required for anything related to Night Vale. So ignore my lame attempts at creepiness.

1) What in the world am I reading? This makes no sense!
As you start your journey down the path of Night Vale, you'll think everything is weird. Even to a veteran of the podcast, I think some aspect of this novel are a little weird. Essentially, you'll be thinking 'This doesn't make sense' throughout the whole book. Night Vale makes no sense, and the book doesn't make sense as a result.
Feral dogs. The glow cloud. Antiques. You'll be wondering if the writers were high while they wrote this. Maybe they were. It's not a known fact or anything. Maybe you're the one who's high. Haven't you thought that?


This photo is not owned by me. The rights go the owners
That first snippet of the podcast script got me almost-squealing. You could hear Cecil's voice in your ear, quietly whispering sweet nothings. What? He's dating Carlos? I know. But still. People have dreams, you know.
Cecil Baldwin has a voice of rich chocolate and silk. If I had a narrator for my life, it'd be Cecil Baldwin. Not to mention the fact that he sounds like that in every day life.
Don't get what I mean? Turn on your radio and stick in your headphones and listen. And try not to be hypnotized.
Do it now.
See? It's impossible. His voice just makes you want to run to your nearest bloodstone circle and chant him to your side. Need a bloodstone circle? I'm not sharing mine. I need it for important things like summoning the book demons and the writing demons and the blogging demons. Essentially, all the demons.
Oh goodness. Get back, Lucifer. I'm trying to write! Sorry about him.

3) I think I got this...

You'll think that you understand Night Vale. You'll pretend that Night Vale makes sense. In a way that doesn't make sense at all. You just have to accept things. Oh? You're not going to accept things? What's wrong with you? Did your parents never teach you acceptance? It's a need if you live in Night Vale. Do I live in Night Vale? Maybe. You'll never know.

4) Nope never mind. I'm still lost

And then you'll realize that you're completely lost and need someone to guide you. Don't worry. The faceless old woman who lives in your house is a very good guide. She pointed me to my lost watch once. But she takes part of your soul as payment. But who needs a soul anyways? Not me!

5) Okay, I'm enjoying this. Even if it makes no sense.
Stop resisting. You can't figure Night Vale out. Don't even try. Just accept it.
It is a little odd, but that's Night Vale for you.
Acceptance is key.

6) -shiver- I'm getting chills

Yes, Night Vale is a weird town. It is also a little creepy. I remember shivering at my first experience with the podcast. But in the good way. Is there a good way to shiver, Wren? Yes. There is.

7) Aw...anticlimactic!
I'm sorry, but the whole King City and Troy thing was very anticlimactic. They just talked to him? That's lame. Especially if the entire book had great buildup.
I wanted more creeps, but you don't always get what you ask for.

8) Satisfying. Let's go listen to WTNV
Now, you just want to shower and have your house whisper thoughts to you. Or hail the glow cloud. Or die for a bit while you pawn your 'object' (as if personal possession exists.)
Or I'll forcibly make you listen. Your choice.

No comments :

Post a Comment