cover image It Devours! A Welcome to Night Vale Novel

It Devours! A Welcome to Night Vale Novel

Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. Harper Perennial, $21.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-06-247605-0

Fink and Cranor’s thought-provoking second novel tied in to the paranormal podcast Welcome to Night Vale (also the title of the first book) examines how religion and science work in a town that doesn’t make sense. Nilanjana Sikdar has the difficult job of being a scientist in Night Vale. After head scientist Carlos gives her a secret assignment to investigate a rumbling in the desert, Nilanjana meets Darryl Ramirez, a member of the Joyous Congregation of the Smiling God, and asks him out on a date. During her investigation, she becomes convinced that the Joyous Congregation has something to do with the rumbling. Nilanjana and Darryl, along with their scientist and worshipper friends, must work together to figure out what is threatening the town and stop it. They neatly sidestep clichés and instead become wholly three-dimensional characters. The relationship between science and religion is satisfyingly explored with humor and insight. Readers need not be familiar with the podcast or the previous book to enjoy this work, but fans will appreciate the cameos from well-known Night Vale residents. Agent: Jodi Reamer, Writers House. (Oct.)