Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Nightworld by Jack Blaine

Published: April 2012
Publisher: Harper Collins Children
Pages: 176
Copy: Publisher courtesy of Edelweiss
Summary: Goodreads

Scraping by in classes, hanging out with his best friend Charlie, and trying to get a date with Lara Hanover, the prettiest girl in school—that was Nick Robbins’ life.

Survival was the last thing on his mind.

Then, a strange cloud appeared over the city. A cloud that kept growing. The darkness on the horizon consumed the light around it. And Nick’s dad, a Department of Defense energy physicist, might have something to do with it. Soon, it became clear that the world Nick knew would never be the same.

Now, night is never-ending. The temperature is falling as heat leaves the world. Plants and animals are dying and people are turning into predators waiting for any small advantage. But Nick is determined not to disappear like the fading light. Desperate to glimpse a familiar face in the shadows, Nick races to find his friends—and the one clue that’s his glimmer of hope

What made The Nightworld stand out a little from the rest of the current apocalyptic novels was the reason behind the apocalyptic event.  In this case it's not a nuclear war or a virus - the event occurs because 'people' have been messing around with particle physics.    A never-ending night falls and brings with it all of the problems that ensue with a lack of sunshine - cold for a start.  Then lack of power, food shortages etc, etc.

Nick's character was fairly sensible and I liked him.  He made one or two mistakes, but they were believable, and ultimately forgivable.   One of the things I enjoyed was the burgeoning romance between Nick and Lara.  The back story lets us know that these two have been skirting around each other for quite some time, so this is not a case of insta-love, but instead a very cute and believable, if somewhat unfortunate, case of everything finally falling into place.

Nick and Lara have a plausible reason for travelling as they do (avoiding spoilers here) and they do not meet up with any monsters in this story, unless you counnt the human ones, and they are definitely monstrous enough.  It was nice though to see a couple of good samaritans, even if only for a short time.   With a fairly satisfying finish, and no cliffhangers, all loose ends were tied up neatly -but with the definite possibility of a sequel.  I personally am looking forward to reading one if it comes.  The Nightworld should appeal to readers of Sara Beth Pfeffers Life As We Knew It and sequels. 

Apparently The Nightworld is based on a video game - but since I've never been much of a gamer that fact is not particularly significant to me.  Perhaps it will be for some of you.

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