Title: Darkness Falling
Author: Peter Crowther
Published: September 27th, 2011 by Angry Robot
Series: Forever Twilight #1
Buy: Amazon/ Book Depo/ Powell's
Synopsis: It was a typical all-American backwater – until the night the monsters came.
When four employees of KMRT Radio investigate an unearthly light that cuts off communication with the outside world, they discover that something has taken the place of their friends and fellow townfolk, and imbued them with malign intentions. Little do they know, the phenomenon is not unique to the town of Jesman’s Bend… (from Angry Robot's site) Goodreads synopsis gives stuff away, stay away from it!
Review: I knew the second that I read the praise from Steven Erikson in the front of my egalley ("If I'm going to have anyone tell me about the end of the world, it will have to be Peter") that I was going to love this book. If you are a fan of fantasy, then you have probably read something by Erikson. There is nothing I love more than picking up a random book that looks like it has potential and finding the endorsement of an author that I already love. It's like confirmation of my good taste. This book definitely did not disappoint. I'll start off with a warning: there are a few disturbing elements to this book. One of the main characters is a serial killer (yes, the choice of characters is insane and wonderful) and there are allusions to sexual abuse in his past, by his mother. There are probably only a few sentences, no drawn-out graphic scenes, but it is disturbing. Other than that, I didn't really see anything that would make me label it as inappropriate for teens. Now, on to the good stuff! The book focuses on four different characters (one is a set of four characters, actually) and switches back and forth between them. The first is a middle-aged man who is fighting with his wife on a plane because he is ogling other women (and then the other survivors on the plane). The second is a young man who happens to be a serial killer, as he is in the process of killing another girl. The third is a group of people working at a radio station. The fourth is a woman who appears to be completely insane. We get a little bit window of what was going on for each of the people right before the "event" and then follow them as they try to figure out what the heck is going on. I love, love, loved the first third of the book. It was so tense, eerie, creepy. They are wondering around, trying to figure out what has happened, and there are no clues. In fact, there are no feasible theories at all. It's not like most apocalyptic stories where there are choices; nuclear bomb, EMP, germ warfare, invasion. The characters are completely baffled, and so was (am?) I. Just when you think you can't stand the tension anymore, that things can't get any creepier, they do. In fact, they get freaking terrifying. I was reading this in the middle of the day and I was still creeped out. I moved away from the windows, locked the doors, and wished I had a baseball bat. I haven't read a book that scared me this much in years. Probably not since I bought an adult horror anthology when I was about 10 and read through it. (I guess I thought that it would be about as scary as Fear Street. Couldn't sleep for years.) I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it was fast-paced and absorbing, but there was one little downside. I didn't like the characters from the radio station. I don't know why, but I just never really connected with them. Maybe it's because they're the only group with nobody "odd"? However, there is plenty of room for character development (two more books, yay!) so maybe they'll grow on me. If you are a fan of apocalyptic stories, horror stories, or amazing combinations of characters stuck together then do yourself a favor and go get this book. I can't put words to how much I enjoyed it, and I can't wait for everyone I know to read it so that I have someone to talk to about it! Also- yes, I know that the cover is cheesy. Please disregard it.
P.S. If you've read this, what did you think? How long will Virgil make it?!