Shortening days and increasingly chilly weather carry a whole new meaning for me since reading Nightfall by Jake Halpern.
On the island of Bliss, Night lasts for 14 years and necessitates the complete evacuation of the island. So, as the sun begins to disappear behind the horizon and the tide begins to recede, the islanders prepare their homes for their departure. One might expect them to clean things out, put belongings into storage, and lock everything up tightly. Instead, they remove locks from doors, set dishes out at the table, and perform all sorts of peculiar rituals that no one can really explain. In their haste to reach the southern deserts, the islanders leave behind three teenagers: Miran; her twin brother, Kana; and their friend, Line. All three have grown up among the island’s deep forests and steep cliffs and know how to navigate and survive the environment, but that’s during the Day when the sun is always overhead and the air is warm. Now, it’s cold and dark, and Line has injured his arm. Kana, however, seems to be getting stronger as the Day dwindles. His previously weak eyesight is becoming keen, his muscles stronger. He’s even growing! As the three desperately try to find a way off the island, and as Kana yearns to discover what’s happening to him, they must also learn who or what is hiding in the Night.
It’s been awhile since a book actually gave me shivers. But Nightfall did. From early on, it was clear thatsomething was terribly wrong on this island. The clues were tantalizing and perfectly frustrating. I loved following all the twists and turns of the story. If you’re looking for a good cold-weather chiller, check out Nightfall.