Monday, October 3, 2011


By Ellen Conner
Published by Penguin

I gave myself a couple of days to let me think about Nightfall but even as I write this, I am not sure I really liked it. I have ordered the second book, Midnight, and I am actually looking forward to the third book, Daybreak. But I can't say I actually recommend it and I must confess that I really did skip a whole fourth of the book and don't think I lost any of the meaning. In fact, I would say that I really did skim the last few pages.

Ellen Conner is a pseudonym for two writers (I seem to be a on a kick of pseudonym written books lately): Ann Aguirre and Carrie Lofty. I suppose that was what intrigued me in the first place. I find it intriguing that they live in different parts of the country and would love to find out how they write.

Nightfall take place in America on the brink of the Apocalypse. I was never sure exactly what was happening and it was never clear that the characters did either. Magic is somehow involved. The biggest problem seems to be people turning into some kind of werewolf monster. On top of that, all electronics, power and communication have failed.

Jenna Barclay's father had foreseen these events and had one of his proteges, John Mason, promise him as he died to save his only child. John does this by kidnapping Jenna who in turn angers Mason by saving a rag-tag group of people running from a small town high school. They all end up leaving the relative safety of the cabin Mason has prepared and stow away with a scientist in a well-fortified compound for the winter.

Needless to say, not everyone makes it. And that is an understatement. I won't spoil things for anyone who is going to read this but I will say that major characters are not immune. Rules for this new world do change, however, and the ending is a bit rosier than you might think. Of course, Jenna and John do eventually fall in love but that only means that they will both now do even crazier stunts to save one another.

I did not like the way the rules seem to change in the middle of the story. At the same time, not everything was explained. How did this couple all of a sudden become able to read each other's minds? How did Jenna begin to have visions? Was this something her father was able to do as well? There were a lot of unanswered questions that I hope to find the answers to when I skim...oops...I mean read the next two books. 

What did this book have to do with my faith?  At one point, Jenna kneels at Mason's bedside as though she is praying for his return to health. But the narrator says that she doesn't have anything to bargain with in asking for help. I just wanted to say: Whoa! Prayer is not bargaining with God. Prayer is asking for help, petitioning, conversation, listening, complaining, grieving and expressing anger but NOT bargaining. I suppose there is that plea to save a loved one: God, if you will only let this person live, then I will sell my google stocks and give the money to Compassion International. But that is not how God works. Prayer is part of our relationship with God and is a thread of communication not a chance to rub the genie's bottle.

Hope you don't have a nightfall like the characters of Nightfall!

Happy reading!


Copyright 2011 Amelia G. Sims

1 comment:

  1. More than any other form of fiction, stories with fantasy elements *must* have internal consistency. Otherwise, suspension of disbelief goes out the window quickly.
    Thanks or the review!