(This is technically part 1 of a serial, so it’s short and ends on a cliffhanger).
Just before her opening shift at the car repair shop, Alva pulls out her great-grandmother’s watch to repair it. But before she gets too far on her project, she gets distracted and on returning finds someone trying to steal it. The thief runs off, and so begins the weirdest day Alva has ever had, starting with a weird mist rolling into town. She takes off with a team of her co-workers to rescue stranded cars, only to find that all the people have vanished and monsters populate the mist. The thief returns telling them that Alva’s watch is the key to stopping the mist, and it must be fixed.
Though this is imaginative, it did feel like it had borrowed from multiple other stories (the mist that made people vanish and monsters appear was straight out of Stephen King’s The Mist, specifically it reminded me of the scene where the family takes to their car near the end of the movie and the water turning into horses was right out of Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, and the scene were the woman was ballroom dancing with a fairy gentlemen was right out of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, and the woman turning into a tree was from the Greek myth of Apollo and Daphne.) I did love the dream-like quality to the entire story, though it did feel rather disjointed in that there was no real explanation for why things were happening other than a general blanket explanation of the fairy-world taking over and there was no explanation for why things were happening now. The watch had stopped working quite a few decades ago and there was certainly no explanation for why the watch would stop things from happening other than it would. Alva was a fun character. She’s a strong heroine, not afraid to defend herself and others from threats with her gigantic wrench, and she handled the situation well, and there were fun other characters along for the ride other than just the heroine. While I liked the feel of the story and the characters, the story itself wasn’t really holding together enough to make me want to continue on with the serial.
A disappearing watch. A thief in the night. Whispers around every corner...
Then a mist rolls into town and refuses to dissipate.
Alva Viola Taverner has lived in her small town all of her life, working as a car tech while saving for her little sister to go to university. But everything is about to change as the veil between our world and the world of the faeries weakens and falls.
Suddenly, even the smallest bump in the night can prove the deadliest.
**This is the first installment of a serialized novel
(This is technically part 1 of a serial, so it’s short and ends on a cliffhanger).
I'm not a fan of horror, so I've given Marie's books a wide berth to this point. Still not sure I'd have read this if it hasn't been free for Prime.
It's an excellent page turner. Plenty of dread without crossing over into the horror I hate.
There's an underlying tension from the first page, a tension that never goes away entirely. It's similar in tone to some of Andre Norton's best Witch World stories in that it almost forces you to turn the issue whether you want to continue or not.
Highly recommended for anyone who likes thrillers, or even looked books that have thrilled elements.
Two stars: disappointed, though interesting, this book seems to be a group of chapters. Maybe reading nigh 1 through 5 you get the whole story.
One great read
Bilodeau writes a fast-paced, and amusing narrative. I bought this book on the basis of her Destiny series which I also recommend strongly. BTW your definition of 'sexual content' may differ from mine. The characters are gendered. (Not always true in SF.)
Once upon a time, there were no more happy endings...
So reads the tagline on the front cover of author Marie Bilodeau's new novella, Nigh, and people, she's not kidding. At 57 pages long, Nigh is the first segment in a serialized novel about two worlds colliding: ours, and that of the fae. Here's my take on it.
Nigh is not your run-of-the-mill fairy story, my friends. It's dark, dangerous, and more than just a little terrifying--and it more than justifies its "dark fantasy/horror" designation. The story pulled me in from the very first page and didn't once let go. There's a soothing, almost seductive quality to Marie's writing that lulls you into a sense of ordinariness, only to slam you with a new and rapidly changing reality that leaves you as breathless and reeling as the characters...over and over and over. Marie doesn't gloss over anything, so details are vivid and graphic, and despite the fantasy aspect, they feel scarily real.
I really can't think of anything I didn't like about this, apart from the fact that I have to wait for the next installment... *taps foot impatiently and raises eyebrow in Marie's direction* If you're a fan of darker fantasy and/or horror, I cannot recommend this highly enough. Even if it will leave you waiting and wanting. Seriously. Go. Buy it now. You can thank me later. ;)
Alva Viola Taverner is a woman who has her world under control.
As a car mechanic, she is used to fixing things, putting them back in order. She has her sister and her job. That’s all she needs out of life in her small town. Everything else has let her down. However, things are about to change.
A thief breaks into her apartment. At first she’s worried that her most prized possession, her Grandmothers watch, is stolen, but its fight where she left it, safe and sound. Then things get even more bizarre when there’s a break in at the garage.
She knows without a doubt that it’s the same man who broke into her apartment. She corners him and he tells her that her Grandmothers watch has the power to stop an impending catastrophe: the veil between our world and the other has grown thin; and the things that go bump in the night are breaking free.
Soon, she’s on the run with Gruff, her boss at the garage, Al's best friend Molly and Hector, the man who broke into her home and her work. Dangerous mists have started to roll along the roads and they can hear the sounds of others dying within them. The mists and what wait inside them are wiping out our world, one piece at a time. No one is safe.
When Alva is told that she has the only thing that can stop the impending doom, she has no choice but to trust Hector. However, will it be enough?
Or will they all die in the attempt?
I can’t tell you how amazing this book is. My meager plot summary does not do this book justice. Nigh (Book 1). Bilodeau has always been great at penning likeable, believable characters that we grow to consider friends, but in Nigh, she raises that up a notch and give us people we ache for. This is even more stupendous when you think that this is only the first part of a serialized novel.
That’s another great thing about Nigh. Bilodeau has embraced a storytelling method made popular by Charles Dickens, Armistead Maupin and Stephen King but she’s given it new life and an incredible sense of urgency. Make no mistake, you will race to the end to find out what’s going to happen, even knowing that this is only part one.
It hooks you in with elements of horror and fantasy. I was reminded of The Mist by Stephen King. I’ve read all of Bilodeau’s books, but was astounded that she had written something so dark and deadly. This is closer to a horror novel than a fantasy one, though it does have fantasy elements. Indeed, I was reminded of King mixed with Grimm’s fairy tales.
Bilodeau once again proves how adept she is with words. She's written amazing high fantasy and thrilling space opera's. Now she has bent and blurred the lines that separate genre’s and created something amazing.
I haven’t fallen in love with a novel like this for a while and I can’t wait to find out what happens next. Nigh is amazing, wonderful and captivating and this is only part one! It'll be a long wait to part two.
I'll just have to read it again.
First of all, a confession: I'm already a big fan of Marie's and love her writing, having read her first two trilogies (Heirs of a Broken Land and Destiny). She writes the kind of books that I can't put down and end up devouring in a weekend, then jonesing for the next installment. Her characters are compelling, and often feature driven women with ample spunk, but no matter how small a roll a character plays they are written with real dept and will draw you in.
There's plenty that's different about Nigh - the fantasy and space opera settings are traded in for something more contemporary and also entirely more sinister – but Marie's craft holds true no matter what she's writing.
Alva is a determined and independent young woman who cares deeply about her family. But when the veil between worlds thin, she finds herself in over her head and must trust a thief to keep herself and those closest to her safe in a world they no longer understand.
Nigh comes out on a strong start with interesting characters and high stakes, and Marie clearly has a lot more in store for Alva and her friends. Can they band together and stay alive, or will the world of the faeries run them over? Only time will tell.