Hoo boy! This is a good one! Haven't read anything similar in years! I'm not talking about subject matter though, I'm talking about writing style. LOVED it. I've never read anything by Peter Crowther before and if I'm honest I've never even heard of him before this boook caught my attention but right from the very first page of the prologue I felt like I was meeting an old friend after a long absence.
Why? How? Because it's like this guy is channelling my coming of age book hero, Stephen 'The Man' King! It's uncanny!
They both have this 'way' of writing. It's like the books are written in a first person POV but with a third person narrative. I can't explain it, I'm positive there must be a term to describe that writing style but I just don't know what it is. There are a lot of inner monologues where someone will be describing how they're feeling or what they're thinking but they use words like 'he' or 'she' to describe themselves insead of 'I'.
Ack! I just can't put it into words...all I know is that I associate it with King and I like it.
So anyway, the book...
Darkness Falling is the first part of the Forever Twilight trilogy. I think it's considered to be Science Fiction but it's also probably easily slotted into the Horror genre. Maybe Apocalyptic fiction too. To keep with the King connection I'd compare it to having a bit of 'The Langoliers', 'The Stand', 'The Tommy Knockers'..actually, I could probably find a lot of bits from a lot of novels to compare this to. It's quite hard to pigeon hole. Invasion of the body snatchers with zombie aliens is kinda close.
It's very character driven and the whole story is told via multiple 'survivors' and while I love all that, it was a bit frustrating to get caught up in one person's story only to have the chapter end and have to remind myself of a new person's story-to-date and catch up with their portion again for the new chapter. I'll admit to enjoying the story of some characters more than others too, which made things all the more frustrating when a really good bit ended and I had to get through a character I wasn't enjoying as much to get back to the good stuff. It's all good, I just really wasn't that 'connected' to the radio station guys (and gal), which is a pity because they're sort of central.
There a LOT of name dropping scattered throughout. Pop culture, movie references, actors, etc and it's not that it bothered me exactly it just got tedious after a while. There's a section where one of the characters 'Ronnie' tells the character 'Karl' that he looks like the actor Paul Giamatti, now while that's great for me to get a visual of how Karl looks but I have no clue who Mr Giamatti is. Fail. It felt like lazy writing. There's that mantra for writers that I've seen mentioned here and there, "Don't 'tell' me, 'show' me" but here 'showing' me involved a side-step to google images to find out what Karl looked like. In case anyone is as un-savvy as I am, he's the one who played the Ourangatang in Planet of the Apes.... I think.
Did I mention how scary it is yet? No? Well, it's scary. I had to stop reading it at night and lay it aside to finish during daylight hours. I'm not a huge devourer of the horror genre and don't claim to be an authority on what constitutes a successful scare but all I know is that when reading certain bits my brain was saying "No no no no no...omgomgomgomg". I think I'm probably quite wimpy as far as 'easily spooked' goes but to coin a Disney rating, it's worse than "mild peril".
I found it hard to find any kind of in-depth synopsis for this book and I don't know if that's intentional but just in case it is I won't spoil anything by going into a deep analysis of the story line. I'll just end by saying - I LIKED IT!