Apr 27, 2023

Review--In Nightfall by Suzanne Young


In the quaint town of Nightfall, Oregon, it isn't the dark you should be afraid of—it's the girls. The Lost Boys meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer in this propulsive novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Treatment .

Theo and her brother, Marco, threw the biggest party of the year. And got caught. Their punishment? Leave Arizona to spend the summer with their grandmother in the rainy beachside town of Nightfall, Oregon—population 846 souls.
The small town is cute, when it’s not raining, but their grandmother is superstitious and strangely antisocial. Upon their arrival she lays out the one house always be home before dark. But Theo and Marco are determined to make the most of their summer, and on their first day they meet the enigmatic Minnow and her friends. Beautiful and charismatic, the girls have a magnetic pull that Theo and her brother can't resist. 
But Minnow and her friends are far from what they appear.
And that one rule? Theo quickly realizes she should have listened to her grandmother. Because after dark, something emerges in Nightfall. And it doesn’t plan to let her leave. 

I didn't catch onto Suzanne Young's In Nightfall right away, but as soon as I saw the cover, I was intrigued! The tagline of it being The Lost Boys meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer had me ordering this book SO fast! I was literally just reading what the book was about and the next day I saw Suzanne's devastating post about her signing being empty! I immediately ordered a copy from her store since I was planning to buy it anyway, cursing my luck of living in the Middle of Nowhere all the while! But oh man, this book was SO amazing! If you've known me at all, you will know I have an absolute love of vampire books, and with the aforementioned tagline, I knew this book was going to be just for me and it so was!

Theo and her brother Marco got themselves into a bit of trouble just as their summer break was starting by throwing a wild raging party while their dad wasn't home. Cops were called, and it was not a pleasant night to say the least. Theo's parents' divorce was just finalized and her dad suddenly felt an urging to return to his childhood hometown and visit his mother in idyllic Nightfall, Oregon. Not trusting his unruly teenagers, he brings them along.

Nightfall is the epitome of classic small towns! It's a place where everyone pretty much knows each other and their business. Theo is quite taken by its appearance, especially, the welcome sign featuring the siren singing sailors to their doom. A bit morbid, but it's done in a beautifully, terrifying way. She and her brother meet their grandmother for seemingly the first time and she's an eccentric old lady, but charming. Although, when Theo and Marco wish to go out after dark, their grandmother appears as if she's seen a ghost. Nighttime is not the best of times in Nightfall and Theo will soon learn the reason why.

When the siblings hit the town at night, they see that it is something of a completely different world. Most businesses are already closed down for the night and not many people are out either. But then they happen upon a group of teenage girls and Marco, is naturally drawn to the girls. Theo feels a pull as well, but she figures it's just their enigmatic presence.

Then Theo meets a guy named Parrish and feels an immediate attraction of her own. There is just something about Nightfall that calls to her and her brother. The people seem to get them and everything seems perfect...until it slowly spins out of control. Theo soon begins noticing a change in her brother's behavior, he's not acting like himself. She soon starts seeing her new friends acting a bit bizarre too, it would seem there is more mystery to Nightfall than Theo realized. As luck would have it, her favorite horror story podcast stars are in town as well, apparently looking into the mystery that is Nightfall and when Theo gets the gritty news from them, she's not sure what to believe. There is rich supernatural history within this town and it's downright frightening.

I'll admit, when I went into this story, I was expecting the Buffy and Lost Boys vibes, but then I noticed things that kept getting shined with a spotlight and I started to wonder, what exactly are we dealing with here? The mystery of what are they, does get drawn out, but while some might find it taxing to have to wait so long, I must admit, I loved it! The suspense of just what is going on in this town drove me nuts but in the very best possible way! I kept going back and forth between two creature features and wondering which one was hiding in the town, because it's obvious something inhuman is lurking about. I had chills for the last chunk of this book! Once Theo finally realizes what is happening, once she finally believes in things she never thought possible, oh man was it good!

The characters were very mysterious as well! The story is told from Theo's point of view, but her observations of the trio of girls; Minnow, Beatrice, and Annemarie definitely made you wonder what exactly were they? I mean the two options I battled with both seemed to fit these girls and their actions, so to say I was surprised when their "identity" was revealed was pretty on point! I couldn't really make up my mind and then suddenly it's said what they are! Then there's Parrish and I thought I had this boy pegged down to a T. I was wrong, lol.

The ending...oh wow. That ending was intense! Naturally this was where the action hit you with a big punch and just whoa! Even in the aftermath, there was still mysteries and secrets to be uncovered and it was just a mind-blowing ending to say the least! 

I think what I loved the most about this book was the slow building mystery! Just the way it was done, teasingly and giving you little bites and tastes of the bizarre and glimpses of something unusual really hooks you in! I kept reading for when I wanted to get to these bizarre and startling moments, trying to piece together what the mystery of Nightfall was! Answers took awhile to come, because history books are just hearsay anyway, but the darkness that was always around the events of the story really kept me on edge and I just devoured this book with every waking moment I had!

If you're a fan of dark and mysterious reads that slowly draw you in with a false sense of security, In Nightfall is the read for you! The synopsis above says it all with The Lost Boys meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer and this book will still have you doubting yourself as to just what is going on in Nightfall! Prepare to have a new reason to stay inside at night and always stay in the sunlight!

Overall Rating 5/5 stars

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