23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I can already tell this is the start of something great. Based on what he has written on the last page it appears he has three more books in mind for this series. I can't wait for more!
In this book we get to meet the hero, Bron Smith. David Farland fulfills this beautifully as I think this is one of the best introductions I've read to a character in a long time. Bron Smith is a troubled child due to his unfortunate luck in foster care, which makes him a hard and sometimes unloving character. Yet, we see many scenes of Bron acting unselfishly towards others and caring for those around him; you just can't help but care and root for him.
At the beginning Bron is sent to a new foster home in a new town, St. George, UT. Olivia, his new foster mom, seems to know more about who Bron really is more than he can imagine. Throughout the book is a discovery to find out who exactly Bron is and what he is capable of, as he appears to be far from ordinary and possessed of a rare power of possible good or destruction. Will he be able to control himself? Can he come to grips with who he really is?
The majority of this book takes place in the City I live in (something I didn't know when I picked this book up). This really fascinated me because David Farland nails the geography perfect, such as the driving directions from nearby cities to the Tuacahn High School and Amphitheater and how our Best Buy lies in proportion to the freeway. It was exciting to see everything be spot on. The only thing that drove me nuts was his description of the St. George Police Department primarily because I work there. I'll have to give him a pass for not knowing the layout of the inside or some of the procedures that occur there. I'm sure I'll be one of the few bothered by this.
This book is filled with action, conflict, and tension. If it isn't one thing, it is another. There were several times where I thought, "How on earth is Bron going to get out of this mess?" Yet David Farland does a masterful job of resolving the problems in a believable way. Not only that, but he gives us even more insight on the character of Bron Smith, making us cheer for him even more. The action is well-paced as Farland does allow a little bit of a breather now and then. And just as you start to get comfortable, BAM, he throws in another scene of action.
There are even romantic elements throughout the book and I think he does a convincing job of writing how teenagers interact with each other and members of the opposite sex. Bron is not the only point of view character as you will see him through the eyes of three women, two of them being teenage girls. If you like romance in books, this has it but doesn't take things so far that I'd feel uncomfortable having my teenager read it. Except for the violence, this book keeps things in a solid PG rating.
I've heard this described as "Twilight for boys." I think that is a pretty apt description. If contemporary fantasy is your thing, I would highly suggest giving this a shot. However, this is not just for boys. Girls will also enjoy it and might even like it more than Stephanie Meyer's Twilight Series.
That said, two others popular books came to mind as I read Nightingale: the Lorien Legacies/I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore and the Michael Vey Series by Richard Paul Evans. I've read them both and the plot elements share a lot of similarity. I think this is much better than I Am Number Four and I'd put it right on par with Michael Vey. So if you enjoyed either of these books, I can guarantee you'll enjoy this one just as well, if not more.
So, if you haven't figured it out yet, I really enjoyed this book and I can't wait for the sequel. Again, if you like contemporary fantasy then this should be right up your ally. This isn't the epic fantasy that David Farland is usually known for (see his Runelord Series) but I completely enjoyed this just as much.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
My First Impressions: I was approached by a publicist from the new publishing company East India Press, and I was asked to take a look at this new book, Nightingale. It's an enhanced ebook edition that can be used on the Web or on iPad. I had NO idea what any of that meant until I spoke more with the publicist and started to read the novel. As all of my readers know, it's usually my husband's job to do the reviews for ebooks. I typically don't enjoy ebooks as much as I do print. It's just a matter of preference. I like the feeling of a book in my hands. But, this idea of an enhanced ebook novel sounded really clever, so I agreed to check it out.
My Review: Right from the start, there is immediate action and suspense. I was hooked right from the start. Sommer is a strong female character, which it one of the many reasons why I adored this novel. She knows how to defend herself and she doesn't need to be saved. Sommer has a great mystery to unravel in the very beginning, with the loss of her memory of a very important event that she cannot recall. She has a missing child, her child, who for some reason seems to be very important. Adel Todestall is the head of a man that had kept Sommer captive for many years, Lucius, a wicked being. In order for Sommer to save her sisters lives, she has to find the child. But for what reason? Well, that's the mystery.
Fast Forward quite a few years and we meet Bron, a young boy who is in foster care with Melvina. He's been bounced from home to home and doesn't quite know his place in the world. Pretty much anywhere would be better than living with Melvina, who uses Bron much like a slave and only keeps him around for the payments she receives. Bron is accused of stealing peaches and gets kicked out of his current home and is picked up by his caseworker. In less than an hour, he will have a new family, a new city, and a new home, with hopes that everything new will be better than the old.
Olivia Hernandaz, Bron's new foster mother, gives us readers more insight into Bron's background. Some of the events he had to endure as a small child were absolutely horrible. She seemed to be a nice lady who sincerely wanted to make Bron's life take a turn for the better. She seemed a tad bit eccentric, but good of heart as she tries to make Bron feel welcome to his new life. Olivia decided withen minutes that she would like to adopt Bron, even though the consequences could be enormous. She could be killed for what she is going to do. Bron on the other hand, seems almost confused at all of this newfound good behavior from his adoptive mother. To him, it almost seems too good to be true and he awaits the days when Olivia decided she no longer wants him.
Olivia to me felt more like a best friend then a mother. Yes, she was caring and protective of Bron, but she did some odd things with Bron that seemed more friendly than motherly. I really enjoyed her character though. She was very unique in her own way. She goes on a shopping spree to buy all of the things that will make Bron "a cool teenager," and at a stop to pick up some electronics, danger awaits.
I don't want to give away any more spoilers but what follows is a gripping story into Bron's past and the uncovering of secrets and mysteries that have never before been told. I devoured this entire book in just a couple of hours, and for once I could not walk away from my laptop. The story is extremely intriguing and I just had to keep going to find out what would happen next. This E-book even has its very own soundtrack which is pretty cool!
Everything flowed so easily. The fantastic writing, the pace, and the word-smithing were simply spot-on. It felt like I was experiencing the book, not just reading it. So many digital pages had music and small clip- its of comic-like motion images that really enhanced the reading process. Throughout the text, there are links with Author's Notes which gives the reader a little more insight into certain phrases or current events, or just the author's thoughts on whatever is going on. There are also short videos with the author which I found really interesting. It definitely was a completely new experience for me to dive into!
My Final Thoughts: This book ends with a cliff-hanger that made me want to pull out all of my hair. Oh yeah, I became completely attached! I absolutely cannot wait for the next book in the series, Dream Assassin! I hope it won't be too long before its release because I simply do not know how much patience I am going to be able to have.
I am SO glad I gave this a try. It really surprised me! I highly, highly suggest giving this book a try when it is release. I cannot emphasize enough just how good this story is! It's creative, imaginative, and the most unique book I have read this entire year, hands-down!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
I was fortunate to get an advanced copy of the hardcover of Nightingale, written by New York Times bestselling author David Farland. I was very impressed Farland's first YA fantasy novel, and it has a great opening chapter, and definitely hooked me right way. After the prologue--which features a young woman named Sommer--the story centers around a 16-year-old outcast boy, Bron Jones. He has never fit in, and is stuck living in a terrible foster home with grotesquely fat woman who uses him as slave labor to take care of her house and her brood of children.
Bron seems to have nothing going for him, except he is an incredibly handsome young man, but he can't make friends because of his ragged clothing and the stigma of being a "foster kid." He's quite cold and distant, which seems to be from the treatment he received in the foster care system, which moved him around a lot and never let anyone really bond with him. The truth is more complex, and is buried very deeply and Bron is fascinating character.
Everything changes when Bron ends up with a new foster mother, a music teacher named Olivia Hernandez, and we find out that Bron is not who he thought he was. This is the main issue in the book: "who," or more precisely, "what" is Bron? We find out that his birth mother, Sommer, who is featured in the prologue, gave him up when he was an infant, and he is not like everyone else . . . (minor spoiler) because he is not human. He is one of the masaak, a species similar to humans, but more evolved. Bron has strange and terrible powers that are discovered by his new foster mother, who is like him, one of the masaak, but has far different abilities than he does. She is a "memory merchant" or a "Muse" and Bron turns out to be something extremely rare, which is why his father's hunters are after him, and why his presence endangers everyone around him--and puts one person in the hospital by mistake.
At first, when Bron moves in with his new foster mother, Olivia, he thinks that he's going to be just a regular kid in a high school for the performing arts, a real place in southern Utah called Tuacahn High School where he can learn to be a guitarist--one of his few dreams in life. He meets a girl, actually he meets two gorgeous girls, who vie for his affection, but when he is spotted by masaak hunters, (known as the Draghoul) his life is at stake, and the big mystery about who he really is becomes extremely important for his survival. His foster mother helps him as much as she can, and wants to save him from becoming a pawn of the Draghoul, and their adventure leads them down a dangerous road, where dating and the drama of high school seems fairly unimportant.
This book is definitely aimed at today's teens, primarily boys, but I think girls will enjoy this book as well. There are numerous references to current movies, music, and media that today's teens will be intimately familiar with. Somewhere in the first third of the book I started to feel like this novel was not the flavor of fiction that I liked best--as I'm no longer a teenager with raging hormones--but once the mystery of Bron started getting solved, and information was coming out about the masaak, and their powers, I was extremely interested again. The writing was solid the whole way though, but the drama of high school, first love, going to a new school, bullies, and the somewhat immature nature of teenagers clashed with where my sensibilities are at this stage of my life. I think also, I didn't want to remember how awful aspects of high school actually were. Poor Bron doesn't realize what his powers are doing to some of the people around him, and he causes havoc that he doesn't intend, making the high school experience even worse.
Even though I felt this book was aimed at the teen demographic, I was fascinated with the true nature of the masaak, and their role in shaping the world with their amazing powers. They go way back in history, and were instrumental in so many things, and learning the details of that was my favorite part. Toward the end of the novel, you get to learn a lot about the powers the masaak possess, and Bron comes into his own--though this is just the beginning.
Nightingale is Bron's origin story, and creates a dark shadow world, where factions of super-humans war for the future of the planet. Bron's lineage has given him rare powers and the choices he makes might alter the course of history. The awesome ending was a huge payoff, and this series is just getting started. I blasted through Nightingale in two days, and whenever I wasn't reading it, I wanted to be reading it. I can't wait for the next book, Dream Assassin.
Highly recommended for teens and fans of Twilight and The Hunger Games
Author of the Iron Dragon Series and Editor of the Crimson Pact Series
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Nightingale is the latest novel from David Farland, who is best known for his epic fantasy series The Runelords. Nightingale is a young adult novel, but some of the core themes in epic fantasy carry over to this tale set in modern-day America. In it, Farland tells the story of Bron Jones, an orphan with a troubled past who is placed with a foster mother who seems to know far more than she's letting on about who - and what - Bron really is.
Nightingale starts off (once you get past the prologue, that is) as a fairly typical young adult novel. It takes place largely in a high school setting, and things like clothes and phones and cliques and love interests seem to be Bron's main concerns. That is until his foster mother awakens Bron's latent powers and he discovers he's the heir to an almost-immortal and totally ruthless villain. After that it's a fast-paced journey to discover who he is, what he can do, and how he can stay one step ahead of the monsters who are chasing him.
Much of what made Farland's Runelords series so memorable is present in Nightingale, specifically the interesting characters and the constant sense of danger. There are a lot of interesting concepts here, even as the book tries to stay within a fairly predictable genre. Where the book stumbles a bit are the dialogue and the pace. The dialogue may look good on the page, but it just doesn't sound believable or natural, especially coming from high school students. The pace is an issue in that some of the things the author spends a great deal of time on - shopping for cars and phones, talking about school clubs, etc. - seem utterly irrelevant once the "real" story gets going.
Despite some flaws, Nightingale is an enjoyable story overall, and one that ought to satisfy most fans of the young adult genre. It's not breaking any new ground in the genre, but it's certainly a fun ride.
Disclosure: I received an electronic copy of this book from the author for reviewing purposes.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
I read the book in approximately two days. I haven't done that in years. I still love reading. I write my own stuff too, so I have to read fiction to keep up on my trade. However, I haven't had a book pick me up and become one I couldn't put down in years. I don't even think I had a single college text that engaged me this much. But, not many of my college text books dealt with topics like the following:
*Identity of the Self
*Moral Obligation to Self and Society
*Immoral Actions that Must be Performed for the Greater Good of Society
*Emotional Impact of Those Immoral Actions
Many would classify this as Fantasy. Indeed, I believe Dave did himself. But the echoes of his SF roots are felt and carry through this story to a deep level. He pits his characters, ones for whom you root, against moral choices that will leave the character permanently scarred.
Once again, Dave proves himself a master of the craft. Read this book and read it again. Get the enhanced version for your iPad. Don't miss out on this wonderful peak into a new, unique universe.