When Night Falls by Parker DeWolf
Posted by travizzt on April 3, 2010
When Night Falls by Parker DeWolf- This is the second book in The Lanternlight Files trilogy. The first book is called The Left Hand of Death, it is currently available, and the third book is called Death Comes Easy, it is unknown when it will be released. The series takes place in the setting of Eberron, a setting of Dungeons and Dragons. When Night Falls was released in 2008 and published by Wizards of the Coast.
Ulther Whitsun does things that not many people can do. He fixes problems that people have. So when a series of gruesome murders start to occur, he’s hired to find the murderer and fix the problem. At the same time, the city of Sharn is on the brink of a revolution. A group calling themselves the Order of the Golden Horn is leading the revolution by appealing to the poor and downtrodden to rise up and fix the city. During Whitsun’s investigation, he gets caught up in the beginnings of the uprising. After being released by the Watch, he meets a young chronicler, who’s past isn’t what she says it is. After discovering more about the murderer, Whitsun starts to suspect that these murders aren’t as random as they appear to be. As the body count rises, the people of Sharn become more restless.
1) Characters. The characters in the story weren’t interesting. Whitsun was a decent character. But that’s all he was, decent. It felt like Whitsun was just there for the ride. Basically, he was someone we can follow through these events. He had his good moments, but they were few and far between. Instead we just have him watching as things seem to play out around him. Not only that but there was barely any character development. He just stays the same smug person as he was in the beginning. The other main character, the chronicler named Arianna, felt wooden and hollow. She just wasn’t interesting. She was like a one note character, who’s secret was the only real good thing about her. Her naivety, while interesting at first, grew to the point of unbearable, mostly due to her whiny personality. Then you have the secondary characters. This was the real problem of the story, because while Whitsun and Arianna weren’t all that interesting, these characters were just forgettable. For one thing, there was just way too many of them. I understand that Whitsun needed to gather information and in order to do that he needs people to talk to. I have no problem with that. The problem is that when these people appear, it seems like we, the reader, should know who they are, know the history between Whitsun and them, and we should care about them. Yet, we don’t. So do we care about this people? Not really. I do have to say though, when Whitsun talks with a man called the Red Hand, that was an interesting scene.
2) Climax. The story just loses everything interesting about it around the climax. After you hit a certain point, you know what is going to happen. Not only that but the pacing slows down, and the story becomes a little confusing. I just lost interest in it. The main problem was the slower pacing. Up until this point, I really enjoyed the fast paced story. Yet, it just slowed to a crawl when everything was being revealed. Yet, even before the reveal, we already knew what was going to happen. So there was little to no shock. Not only that but the murderer confrontation was a mess. I honestly had no clue what was going on.
1) Plot. I really did enjoy the plot. Sure it was cliché and straightforward, but the pacing was just wonderful. The build up of who or what was causing these murders and the unrest in the city was just great. While The Left Hand of Death had a mess of a plot, When Night Falls is more contained and easier to follow. Also, there was a wonderful sense of mystery throughout the novel. I honestly was on the edge of my seat wondering if and when the murder will be caught, even though it was a disappointment. It was nice to have little tidbits given that helped build up the mystery. The simpler plot really helped.
2) Descriptions. The descriptions were impressive. I felt that The Left Hand of Death‘s descriptions were good, but they weren’t describing what needed to be described. Here, the descriptions really described what was needed to be described, obviously. The description of the heat made me feel like I was there sweating and exhausted like the people of Sharn. Then you had the gruesome descriptions of some of the crime scenes and fights. This is what really impressed me. They made me feel uncomfortable and grossed out at the same time, with the dismembered limbs and people. It was at times a little unbearable, but in a good way. The fight scenes, except for the murderer’s, were done wonderfully. I was really able to follow the fight and understand everything that was happening. I am very impressed with the descriptions.
1) Continuity. It was nice to see that the events of The Left Hand of Death were mentioned. But at the same time, continuity didn’t seem to be there.
2) Chapter Endings. I’m happy to say that there were no cliffhanging chapters!
3) Cover Art. It’s the same as The Left Hand of Death, generic and bland. Only this time, there is a blue back ground with a crescent moon behind Whitsun and some character who I have no idea who she is. She isn’t Arianna, that’s for sure. I still am not a fan of the characters faces. Seriously, who is that woman?
The book really is average. Everything that I mentioned above were the only real things that stood out, with everything else just average. The characters didn’t really add to the story. The story was fun and exciting, up until the climax and ending ruined it. But in all honestly, the negatives and positives were just really average. I mean, the characters are just generic and the story is cliché and generic. It was really hard to write anything about this story without mentioning how average it was. It’s not good, yet it’s not terrible. I do have this to say, it really did improve on everything that was wrong with The Left Hand of Death, and that is a good thing. The other good thing is, you don’t really need to read The Left Hand of Death in order to follow the story. Should you pick this up? I can’t really recommend it, but if you are bored and want to read a decent mystery story, sure. Otherwise skip it.