It Devours! by Joseph Fink

It Devours!

From the authors of the New York Times best-selling novel Welcome to Night Vale and the number one podcast of the same name comes a mystery exploring the intersections of faith and science, the growing relationship between two young people who want desperately to trust each other and the terrifying, toothy power of the Smiling God. Nilanjana Sikdar is an outsider to the to...

Title:It Devours!
Author:
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Edition Language:English

It Devours! Reviews

  • Maki

    Ouch. My heart.

    It Devours was somehow even more amazing than the first Night Vale book.

    March 15, 2017:

    We have a title and release date! AND a description!

    January 17, 2017:

  • Rachel (Kalanadi)

    I liked the plot of this one more than the first WtNV novel (much more focused!) and the characters were good. I couldn't shake my feeling that the more philosophical point was heavy-handed here though. Religious belief vs scientific inquiry is a very difficult argument to tackle, and WtNV is weird, surreal, and too *silly* in some ways to mesh with that well. I think perhaps this works better in the bitesize podcast stories with Cecil intoning the pithy deep but weird quotes, whereas in a longe

    I liked the plot of this one more than the first WtNV novel (much more focused!) and the characters were good. I couldn't shake my feeling that the more philosophical point was heavy-handed here though. Religious belief vs scientific inquiry is a very difficult argument to tackle, and WtNV is weird, surreal, and too *silly* in some ways to mesh with that well. I think perhaps this works better in the bitesize podcast stories with Cecil intoning the pithy deep but weird quotes, whereas in a longer story it does get dragged out and forced more.

    What really made me wonder about It Devours though is that the whole Smiling God congregation/religion did NOT feel the same as the podcast storyline. I don't remember all the developments from the podcast and time IS weird in Night Vale, but um, I did not remember Kevin as some sort of prophet/creator of the scary toothy cult. Kevin was legit effed up and creepy and the Smiling God cult of the podcast is bloody and threatening and such, but here (post those events) it's... almost tame and prosaic. And wasn't it linked to Strexcorp...? I need to relisten to some episodes. But basically I felt disappointed in the rather comfy Darryl version of the Smiling God. And sorry, a giant centipede is not the same thing or as scary as Kevin's sunshine happiness BS and literal delight in blood and gore for decor. About the only similarity between the podcast Smiling God and the It Devours Smiling God is the horrible smiling.

  • Erin (PT)

    I have mixed feelings about It Devours!. It's a definite improvement on the first novel. It's tighter, less repetitious, has a tighter story line and relies much less on familiarity with the podcast. It was much more enjoyable and engaging. Welcome to Night Vale the novel was a bit of a slog, whereas It Devours! kept me coming back eagerly.

    My main complaint--and it sits a little strangely beside my previous praise of being disconnected from the podcast--is that the story retcons (retroactively

    I have mixed feelings about It Devours!. It's a definite improvement on the first novel. It's tighter, less repetitious, has a tighter story line and relies much less on familiarity with the podcast. It was much more enjoyable and engaging. Welcome to Night Vale the novel was a bit of a slog, whereas It Devours! kept me coming back eagerly.

    My main complaint--and it sits a little strangely beside my previous praise of being disconnected from the podcast--is that the story retcons (retroactively contradicts) certain events from the podcast.

    It made for a disconnect that I couldn't reconcile and made the book a nth degree less enjoyable than it would've otherwise been.

    My other complaint is the ending. The ending is a critical part of any story to me; a mediocre story can be improved by a good ending, an excellent one can be ruined by a bad ending. From previous experience with the podcast, I wasn't surprised by Fink & Cranor taking their neat ending and muddying it up. They don't like neat endings, because life is not neat.

    Which is true...but the messiness of life often makes for a less definite and less satisfying ending.

    It's a thing that works better on the podcast itself, but as an append to the novel felt heavy-handed. It's also this thing that they do, like they just can't help but contradict themselves, building up hope and humanity and positivity so far...before they feel the need to remind you the universe is an uncaring place. Which again...is true, but it makes a considerably less feeling of satisfaction as an ending.

    It's a good story, and I enjoyed it a lot. I would recommend it...but not without caveats and not without reservations.

  • rin (lorenzo)

    tell me it'll feature cecil/carlos and have my money

  • Beth The Vampire

    It Devours!? Oh yeah, I’ve read that book.

    This is apparently something I can say now.

    Night Vale is a compelling and strange place, filled with odd people, secret service agents, shapeshifting teenagers, invisible farms, and the Glow Cloud. I loved the first novel

    and I loved this one just as much, although not quite. This world is absurd, at times disturbing, and always laugh out loud funny.

    It Devours!? Oh yeah, I’ve read that book.

    This is apparently something I can say now.

    Night Vale is a compelling and strange place, filled with odd people, secret service agents, shapeshifting teenagers, invisible farms, and the Glow Cloud. I loved the first novel

    and I loved this one just as much, although not quite. This world is absurd, at times disturbing, and always laugh out loud funny.

    The story begins and ends with the house that doesn’t exist. Nilanjana, a scientist, and her boss, Carlos, suspect that there was be a link between the house, the strange desert world inside the house, and the earthquakes that have been opening up around Night Vale, swallowing building and people whole. Their experiments are always stopped by the City Council, which leads to hypotheses that they may be hiding something. Further investigation, which is not science, leads Nilanjana to the Joyous Congregation of the Smiling God, and to Darryl, who has bucket loads of faith, but doesn’t realise that his religion isn’t talking about having their sins devoured in a metaphorical sense. As people continue to disappear, Nilanjana and Darryl find they need each other to stop whatever is happening, which means combining his faith and her science together. Recipe for disaster, right?

    This story feel more complete than the book proceeding it, and it felt like there was a philosophical story as much as anything as you examine the different realms of science and religion. The characters, Nilanjana and Darryl, were strange and interesting in their own way and I really became invested in them. The cast of supporting characters was also amazing, such as Nilanjana’s lab partner Luisa, whose science experiment is to do with being visibly disappointed in potatoes, and Pamela who used to be Mayor but didn’t really want the job as she just loved giving emergency press conferences and was now the Director of Emergency Press Conferences in which she creates emergencies so she can hold a press conference.

    Everything in this world is strange, nothing is familiar. And it just is, no explanation needed.

    The creativeness of this place and everything to do with it is just off the charts!

    My only hold ups were some the writing, mainly that I didn’t get a sense of scale in relation to the pits or the centipede who has come to devour them all. The ending was also a little disappointing when it was found out what was causing the earthquakes and why. Also the final outcome, religion vs science, was underwhelming as well, but at least Nilanjana got some new friends out of it all. Small gripes really, but it does stop it from being a perfect book.

  • [Name Redacted]

    On the one hand, this book does continue the tradition (begun in the previous book) of being profoundly anti-heterosexual and deeply anti-male. Once more, all heterosexual relationships are presented as stupid, silly, awkward -- hetero love scenes are just kind of...elided over...while homosexual intimacy is described in loving detail & sincerity. You can tell where the authors' hearts are, but it makes for a sort of lopsidedness which Tumblr would send death threats over were it reversed so

    On the one hand, this book does continue the tradition (begun in the previous book) of being profoundly anti-heterosexual and deeply anti-male. Once more, all heterosexual relationships are presented as stupid, silly, awkward -- hetero love scenes are just kind of...elided over...while homosexual intimacy is described in loving detail & sincerity. You can tell where the authors' hearts are, but it makes for a sort of lopsidedness which Tumblr would send death threats over were it reversed so that straight relationships were all good and gay ones were all fumbling idiocy. And again, all men are buffoons while all women are earnest heroines. It's tiresome and, by now, a cliche straight from 1990s sitcoms.

    Also, while we do learn more about the nature of "mountains" and the Desert Otherworld, it really feels like they've forgotten everything they'd previously written about the Joyful Congregation of the Smiling God. COMPLETELY forgotten it. Forgotten it so thoroughly that this narrative doesn't actually fit in with the rest of the series if you remember ANY of what had previous been established about the JCotSG -- because Fink & Cranor certainly don't remember a bit of what they'd previously created. That's frustrating and more than a little disappointing.

    BUT...its plot and characters are FAR better than the previous entry! The former is far more focused, far more engaging & far more gripping, while the latter are far more interesting, far more sympathetic & far more enjoyable. Nilanjana in particular feels like an actual PERSON rather than a hollow puppet serving an authorial agenda (as in the previous novel), so i think they might be learning how to better write women -- good news, given that they seem to intend for women to be the protagonists of every book & the prime movers in the show.

    It also helps that the story is directly related to my field!

    I don't regret reading this and I'm far more likely to re-read it than the previous entry. It's fun. It's a good read. It just has some inescapable issues. So if you can ignore the contempt for men and clear heterophobia, and can forget everything from one of the longest-running plot-threads/mysteries of the series -- maybe by pretending this book is set in an alternate continuity? -- you can have a great time in this trip to Night Vale!

  • Billie

    I vacillated between three and four stars on this one because I really enjoyed it, but it felt like it was trying to say something deep-ish and important-ish about belief and science and, honestly, it just got in the way of the weird. It's not that Night Vale can't get philosophical, it just felt too...obvious in this case.

  • Kayleigh

    It Devours!? Oh yeah, I've read that book.

  • Tim

    Fun note: the first book I reviewed here on Goodreads was the first Welcome to Night Vale novel. While it is not an anniversary per se, in a sense it is. After all, time is weird in Night Vale.

    Oh yeah, I’ve read that book.

    This is a book about science and religion. Note, I did not say science vs. religion. Fink and Cranor seem to be going to great lengths to avoid that can of worms. This is a…

    book on the topic. While it discusses the viewpoints of both sides, it seems to be sa

    Fun note: the first book I reviewed here on Goodreads was the first Welcome to Night Vale novel. While it is not an anniversary per se, in a sense it is. After all, time is weird in Night Vale.

    Oh yeah, I’ve read that book.

    This is a book about science and religion. Note, I did not say science vs. religion. Fink and Cranor seem to be going to great lengths to avoid that can of worms. This is a…

    book on the topic. While it discusses the viewpoints of both sides, it seems to be saying that both can bring good or bad things into the world depending on how you use it.

    In an interview with Fink (found here for those wanting to read it: "

    ) he says the following:

    “I was raised by a math professor. I was raised reading Richard Feynman books. Science has always been very important to me. But I was also raised religiously Jewish—going to synagogue at least once week, my father having Shabbat dinners at home. We really wanted to write a book about science and religion as modes of human thought that have their uses and their dangers, [which] should be considered for what they are.

    The stance we would take is, the conflict’s kind of fake. Or, it’s not fake, but it’s coming from the extremes of religion, for instance. The religious people [who] deny the basics of science are loud, but they’re in the vast minority. There are lots of religious people who are also scientists, or just religious people who completely trust in the process of science.”

    This is a book that is interested in exploring the differences, and similarities in both topics. It is not antagonistic towards anyone… unless you happen to be a giant centipede intent on devouring things, or part of a bunch of cloaked figures that usually hang around dog parks making static noises. If you happen to be one of those two categories, then yes, it could be a bit tense for you (and if you happen to be a giant centipede reading this, I congratulate you on your grasp of language and figuring out how to hold something so small as to be insignificant in your presence).

    I feel that this second novel is greatly improved over its predecessor. Fink and Cranor feel like they’ve grasped the novel format better, and have found voices in Night Vale that don’t all feel like a copy of Cecil. In fact, very few of my complaints from the first book show up in this at all, save for a few awkward transitions. The novel is such an improvement, that I really can’t wait to see if there’s another Night Vale novel. The first felt like an interesting experiment, this one feels like a welcome addition to Night Vale’s bizarre world.

    The writing has actually improved so much that there were sections that I sat there legitimately impressed by what they were conveying. The last couple of pages sum up the book beautifully and really take their writing to another level. All in all, I am very pleased with this book and it's one of my favorites so far this year.

    Side note: I’m becoming increasingly convinced that Night Vale’s vague yet menacing government agency are watching me. Not only do the TV news anchors have mine and my wife’s names, but I made a joke in my first review about unlimited teeth inside some editions of the book. What’s the first thing you see when you open the cover? Teeth… so… many… teeth…

  • Arnis

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