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Friday, November 30, 2012

Nightingale: It Gets Great Reviews—Just Not From Me

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

After being bounced from foster family to foster family for sixteen years, Bron Jones barely knows the meaning of the word home.  Until he gets to St. George, Utah, where he meets Mike and Olivia Hernandez, his new foster parents.  The couple, who own a cattle ranch that seems to be as down-to-earth as they are, wants to adopt Bron.  He only sees one problem with the arrangement:  Olivia.  Bron's mom-to-be is certifiable.  There's no other way to explain her panic upon being approached by some random guys in Best Buy.  And then there's the car chase, the weird weapons Olivia has hidden in her glove compartment, and the woman's absolute refusal to consult the police.  Olivia's insane, that's the only conclusion that makes sense.

When Olivia finally tells Bron the truth, he's convinced—she needs to be locked in a padded cell.  Except that her words make a weird kind of sense.  Olivia explains that she and Bron are different than other people.  In fact, they're not people at all.  They're Aels, supernatural creatures with special abilities.  Bron's powers are especially rare, so rare that the Aels' ancient enemies will stop at nothing to control them (hence the confrontation at Best Buy).  While the Draghouls hunt for him, Bron has to do his best to stay under the radar—not an easy task when you're a guitar prodigy attending an elite performing arts academy.  

Trying to understand who—and what—he is is only part of the conflicts Bron faces in his new home.  He's got several girls falling all over him, an angry classmate who's eager to put him in his place, and a mysterious past that holds important clues to his present situation.  Survival will require everything Bron's got—and more.

Since I had a monster cold while reading Nightingale, a new YA novel by adult sci fi/fantasy author David Farland, I lugged the book with me to the doctor's office when I went to beg for death antibiotics.  Because she somehow missed the fact that my throat hurt every time I opened my mouth to breathe, let alone talk, the doctor asked me what the book was about.  When I told her it concerned a teenager who discovers he's a paranormal creature of some kind, the doctor rolled her eyes and said, "Ugh, another one of those?"  I laughed (even though it hurt) because that pretty much summed up my thoughts on Nightingale.  Not only is the story unoriginal, but it's also plotless, melodramatic and just not very well-written or edited.  It zigzagged all over the place, making the whole thing feel unfocused.  Then, there's Bron.  Our hero is sympathetic to a point, but his macho attitude and constant lusting after anything female (including his foster mother—eeeewww!) make him difficult to like.  Bottom line on this one?  If I hadn't agreed to review this book for a virtual tour (with a company I'd already bailed on once), I wouldn't have read past the first chapter.  

Now, this may be another case of me just plain getting it wrong because Nightingale has actually won a number of awards (whether this is for the print version or the enhanced e-version I'm not sure).  It also gets great reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Goodreads.  Just not from me.  Oh well.

(Readalikes:  Reminded me of Twilight and every other teenager-finds-out-he/she-is-a-werewolf/pixie/angel/mermaid/paranormal creature of choice type book)

Grade:  D

If this were a movie, it would be rated:  PG-13 for language (no F-bombs), violence and sexual innuendo

To the FTC, wit:h love:  I received a finished hardcover copy of Nightingale from East India Press via Rachelle Christensen's blog tour company.  Thank you!        



  1. I enjoyed reading your review. I have not read the book. When I was reading the beginning of your review, I thought the book would be about a poor orphan who had finally found a home. I was also intrigued when I read about Bron was a supernatural being. What a pity that the novel was a dud.

  2. I was offered this for review and passed up on it. Glad I did.

  3. I haven't even heard of this one but I have to admit I thought the same thing as the doctor.

  4. When I read the title of this post, I laughed out loud. Burn! I'm thinking I'll pass on this one.


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