They Mostly Come Out At Night Paperback – 8 Jun 2016
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About the Author
I’m from a small town in Northern Ireland called Banbridge, but have been living and working in Scotland since I moved here at the age of eighteen. Tragically, that was quite a while ago. I’ve been writing for most of my life, and have been reading for pretty much all of it (with help from mum and dad at the beginning). My life changed when a substitute primary school teacher read my class part of The Hobbit and I asked him for a lend of the book – I fell in love with the fantasy genre and never looked back. They Mostly Come Out At Night is my debut novel, and is the first novel in The Yarnsworld series.
Top customer reviews
I can't wait to start reading the second book in the series!
First up, the bad. Lonan. The lead protagonist. For the first third of the book, I despised him. I nearly DNFed the book in the first chapter. Whiny, petulant, self-absorbed, ungrateful and entitled. Some characters are annoying or whatever for a reason but it felt like we were supposed to sympathise with Lonan and I would have preferred to give him a slap. He got better around the middle of the book and redeemed himself wonderfully at the end, but I wouldn’t have struggled to get into the story so much if he wasn’t so awful. The secondary protagonist Adahy was much more interesting and sympathetic, I was really rooting for him on his quest to become the Raven King.
Now, the good things. The plot was exciting and unusual. The twists in the final third? The endning? My poor heart! The world-building was great, the author really creates a completely new culture and society while creating an old-world feel. This is tied into another positive – the structure. Each chapter is followed by a short fable from either the villages (in the style of Grimm tales) or the nobility (in the style of Native American mythology). This gives the world a depth and texture, and helps to put you in the characters shoes. It’s great to see mythology used this way.
The author clearly intends this to be part of a series, and I’d probably pick up a second book before giving it up entirely. The world has so much potential and the plot is strong, however, the characterisation of leading characters would have to improve and the author’s writing of women in general throughout the book could have used work.
The main thing I enjoyed about this book was the format, it switches between different viewpoints to keep you interested and inbetween you get little folk tales which fitted perfectly with the story but also broke up the reading making it flow and easy to digest. The way the book was paced was honestly the reason I read it so quickly and enjoyed it so thoroughly
Adahy has to be my favourite character, and the tale that unfolds towards the end surprised me. I knew something was coming but didn’t quite get it before the author gave you the twist in the tale.
I love fantasy and this is no exception, it dark, fast paced, creepy and wild
Another thing that really made it interesting for me was the “knack” the villagers possessed, each individual gaining their own skill to benefit their village. This really came in useful for the story when learning about Lonan and his story.. Although it’s fantasy I felt it was real, you really felt for him
The ending did not disappoint one bit, it gave me just what I was hoping for.. When I put the book down the only thing I could think to say was “Wow”
For me this book ticked everything and the way it was written made it fresh and easy to read. Usually when i read at night I might only read a couple chapters before I get too tired but with this I was so drawn in.. it flowed so well that I just kept going
I won’t spoil the plot for you but this story weaves two people's lives into one with a very surprising and interesting twist.
Anyone who likes dark fantasy will enjoy this no doubt, any lover of fantasy in general also.. come to think of it anyone who just enjoys a dark tale, like the Brothers Grimm, not every story has a happy ending.
There are basically two main storylines woven together in this book - the story of the outcast villager, Lonan and the story he dreams which revolves around the world of the Magpie King, a figure who is both real and almost of mythic proportion to the villagers. The world the story takes place in feels very isolated, with small settlements or villages scattered throughout a dark forest. Travel has become increasingly risky as being out after sunset is basically a death sentence. As the title of the book implies, there are monsters that mostly come out at night. The villages are under the protection (and governance) of the Magpie King who rules from the Eyrie, however with travel so risky, communication has basically fallen apart and there is almost no contact from the Eyrie to the village.
In addition, each of the chapters is interspersed with fantastic little stories, often about the history of the Magpie King or the many tales of Artemis the Sly, a trickster figure. The little vignette stories are a great way to build the backstory of the history and culture of the world.
Overall I thought this was a very good story. It's a little too far to the horror side for my usual picks, but I still enjoyed it. Lonan was a difficult protagonist for me as sometimes just plain unlikable and other times his reactions/choices seemed either extreme or hard to believe. There are a few moments where word choice or dialogue could maybe use some improvement, but I didn't want to knock a star off for that, especially for an indie author.
There is a second book in the series based on South Pacific Island tales that looks really intriguing and I look forward to reading it in the future.
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Most recent customer reviews
This book was a bit of a mixed bag for me. I enjoyed the format--chapters spliced with folktales--and found it, in general, to be refreshingly different.Read more
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