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Nightfall by Jake Halpern


by Jake Halpern

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121999,547 (3.55)2



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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
After I got past the initial scare the story wasn't that bad. This was not a true horror story and I am thankful because I wouldn't be able to handle it. I'm a big scaredy cat and this is as far as I will delve into this genre. ( )
  CarlaAquino | Jul 31, 2017 |
I would like to start this review by stating that I knew the big reveal before I picked up the book, as I was perusing through Amazon to see what anybody else had said about it and it was spoiled. Yet the fact that I knew what it was made me even more eager to read it, as I wanted to see how it came to this, and how it affected the story. Unfortunately, none of it lived up to my expectation. The premise didn't live up to his brilliant potential, it reminded me of maybe a book form of a very popular horror movie, only it ran out of steam early on. By the half way point, I had lost interest and didn't really care if the characters lived or died. I just wanted the back and forth to finally end, and an actual scary scene to happen. I understand they are children, they can't really fight back but no kind of hint was really made about these -scary- things other than the very beginning, and considering the story went on to say that there were many different -kinds- of ones, but only a few were ever given any kind of description and even then it was very vague. I just could not picture them in my head.

The other disappointing feature of this book was how it was written. A chapter would start with what would appear to be in a certain character's point of view, but then suddenly turn to 3rd Person for a few paragraphs and then go back to the first or drift off to another. It made it extremely difficult to care because I didn't feel like I was getting an actual insight into the characters, and it turned into a case of telling the reader exactly what the story needed the character to think, rather than letting it flow naturally.

And finally the third and final point against this book was that the ending just fell flat. It was undoubtedly in the hope that it would be open-ended, left to the reader's imagination but a sudden further change of a character, which made very little sense because there was a reason why he had become different in the first place, but then suddenly it didn't matter anymore. When he ended up at their final destination, which had a different sense of night and day, wouldn't it be noticed by everyone else how he was -unusual-?

Maybe the authors have a sequel in the works, though I don't think they could really make it interesting enough to build up their readership, and this is why the ending was so abrupt. I feel that if they had continued on, or at least had a shake-up of the characters and actually made -more- happen in the actual story, they might have managed to pull it off. Unfortunately, they didn't and this book feels as though it needs to be rewritten with the original premise, and expanded so that it goes further into the backstory, actually answers quite a few of the mini-plots running alongside the main one, and has some foreshadowing, especially in the case of one of the characters. Yes, there is a bit, but considering that the parents are just barely skirting along the edges and don't ever interact with anyone they are friendly with, it just makes it feel as though there is no understanding of why they are together, and how the family is perceived by the rest of the town.

It feels more like the novel of a movie, though if it was a movie it might have been successful. It's not something I would recommend to anyone else, and I will probably not pick up anything else the authors have written. ( )
  CatKin026 | Mar 4, 2017 |
The Night Fell & So Did The Ending... Yep, the ending sucked! It started out great, with the islanders preparing to leave and the tension building. Then something happened, I won't say what because I don't want to give the story away but basically it turns into a survival story for some of the residents. That was all good, I was still enjoying the story up to that point except I think they could have done a lot more with what they had though. They had the perfect makings for a great story -28 years of night, the isolated island and the night curse etc. but it just wasn't used to its full potential I don't think.Then we come to the end and it just fell flat on its face! I seriously got the feeling that the authors had a deadline coming up so they just threw together what should have been a good lengthy ending into like five pages. It was so blatantly rushed compared to the rest of the story that I can't honestly believe that it was suppose to be that way. It was unbelievable. I'm sure I'll probably still read the next one though because I'm always curious to see what happens next. ( )
  EmpressReece | Aug 22, 2016 |
I love books that have new ideas and concepts and this one hooked me from the first chapter! Imagine an island that is so placed on a slowly rotating planet that it has sunlight for 14 years gradually waning until there are 14 years of darkness and ice. Every 14 years Marin and Kana's family must leave the island and travel to the desert lands of the Equator to wait for 14 years until the sun comes back to their homeland. The twins are both 14 so they have never experienced a Leaving before and are baffled by the people of the island's insistence that plates are laid on tables and doors left open and everything left in readiness. For what? Is it superstition to ensure good passage to the equator, or is there something hibernating beneath the surface, ready to reclaim what is theirs?
Kana and Marin are destined not to know until their friend Line goes missing just as the boats are starting to leave. They go looking for him and rescue him from a hole, returning to discover that they have been left behind and it is getting colder and darker.
Awesome premise in Kana being blind but then starting to "see" as it gets darker and his metamorphosis int0 something powerful after he has spent his whole life weak in the sunlight. Also the whispers from the female creature, the cave, the paintings and the boat as well as the developing relationship between Line and Marin are great.
Loved the creepy nature of the book and the atmosphere it creates. Excellent stuff. ( )
  nicsreads | Jun 23, 2016 |
I liked it. It was different and the plot was fairly original although I did have some deja vu here and there of other popular stories/fairy tales. The characters were likable and as before they were even left behind, I began developing theories. While my basic idea of what was going to happen when night fell was correct, the story ended up being a bit more fantastical than I originally thought. There were some imaginative creatures and an added mystery/subplot involving one of the main characters in the story which was quite interesting. All in all, the book was fun and unique with a decent amount of adventure and suspense. My 12 year old son is now enjoying it as well, and while he usually has one book at home and one at school, he is enjoying this one enough to be traveling with it back and forth. I would have liked to have seen a bit more of an ending but maybe there will be a sequel in the future that will answer my lingering questions and ideas about what happens to the characters next. ( )
  Lagnella | Mar 4, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
*** 3 out of 5 stars
Review by: Mark Palm
The Longest Night

I usually don’t start my reviews with a treatise on science, but as biological beings we are so tied to our circadian rhythms that disturbing them by hours can have profound effects on us. Just ask anyone who move from say, New York to the Arctic Circle. I have always found chronobiology fascinating, and that was one of the first things that drew me to Nightfall by Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski. The good news is that there is more to this book than a clever premise.

On the island of Bliss fourteen years of day is followed by fourteen of night. Because of the coldness of the Night, and the fact that the tide rolls out for hundreds of miles, the islanders migrate to the Desert Lands of the South. Not only do the islanders have to pack for the long trip but they have rituals that must be, and have always been performed for time immemorial, such as sweeping out their houses, setting the tables, and hanging unused decorations on the walls. The rituals are bizarre but the elder islanders insist that they must be done.

Marin, her nearly-blind twin brother Kana, and their friend, Line, whose parents have recently died, have spent their entire lives on the island, and know nothing else. Once inseparable tensions have been rising between them as Marin and Line find themselves increasingly attracted to each other. The day of departure Line is missing, having gone off to find a necklace belonging to Marin. Everyone is frantically boarding the ships, so Marin and Kana end up searching for Line. They find him injured, and by the time they return everyone is gone, and the three teens find themselves alone on the abandoned island with temperatures falling, and the weather growing worse by the minute. Even worse the only other person, a vagrant in town, has been murdered, and a single message has been left for them, stuck to the Mayor’s door. It says “HIDE.” Also a voice that Kana thought that he had heard only in a dream seems to be frighteningly real.

I can’t really reveal much more without dropping some huge spoilers, but the authors do an excellent job of wringing every ounce of tension they can from this set-up. The culture and customs are of the island’s inhabitants are subtly eerie in the beginning of this novel, and by the time they are isolated Nightfall is downright creepy. Once they begin to realize the depth of the mess they are in the plot has unveiled a ton of twists and turns, while still moving at a quick pace. While the build-up is stellar, the pay-off never really lives up to its expectations. I know that the protagonists are teens, but even so they make a ton of questionable decisions that left me scratching my head. At the same time they all take a beating that would make Indiana Jones cry and just keep on ticking.

The characters are solid but never really spring to life, except for Soraya, who shows up late and still manages to steal the show. The fate of the characters, and what may be waiting for them down the road is left hanging a bit, but I found the actual end of the novel satisfying. Nightfall is creepy and tense, but if the atmosphere in the beginning of the book could have carried over to the end it would have been a knockout.

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399175806, Hardcover)

A story where edge-of-your-seat horror meets post-apocalyptic thriller, perfect for fans of Lois Lowry and The Mazerunner

On Marin’s island, sunrise doesn’t come every twenty-four hours—it comes every twenty-eight years. Now the sun is just a sliver of light on the horizon. The weather is turning cold and the shadows are growing long.

Because sunset triggers the tide to roll out hundreds of miles, the islanders are frantically preparing to sail south, where they will wait out the long Night.

Marin and her twin brother, Kana, help their anxious parents ready the house for departure. Locks must be taken off doors. Furniture must be arranged. Tables must be set. The rituals are puzzling—bizarre, even—but none of the adults in town will discuss why it has to be done this way.

Just as the ships are about to sail, a teenage boy goes missing—the twins’ friend Line. Marin and  Kana are the only ones who know the truth about where Line’s gone, and the only way to rescue him is by doing it themselves. But Night is falling. Their island is changing.

And it may already be too late.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 09 Jul 2015 08:26:27 -0400)

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