Source: Hardcover copy provided by the publisher, thank you!
Summary: On Marin’s island, sunrise doesn’t come every twenty-four hours—it comes every twenty-eight years. Now the sun is just a sliver of light on the horizon. The weather is turning cold and the shadows are growing long.
Because sunset triggers the tide to roll out hundreds of miles, the islanders are frantically preparing to sail south, where they will wait out the long Night.
Marin and her twin brother, Kana, help their anxious parents ready the house for departure. Locks must be taken off doors. Furniture must be arranged. Tables must be set. The rituals are puzzling—bizarre, even—but none of the adults in town will discuss why it has to be done this way.
Just as the ships are about to sail, a teenage boy goes missing—the twins’ friend Line. Marin and Kana are the only ones who know the truth about where Line’s gone, and the only way to rescue him is by doing it themselves. But Night is falling. Their island is changing.
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Nightfall has a very strong beginning that pulled me in. The premise is so mysterious and things get crazy quickly.
There are so many weird things the characters do to prepare for the Night, and both the reader and the main characters aren't exactly sure why they do all of this. It makes for a spooky and ominous atmosphere. I loved the mysteriousness of it and eventually figuring things out. This island is very strange and weird stuff is definitely going on.
As the story continues, we get to see how the island changes during the Night and it gets scary. This is really more of a thriller read and I enjoyed the creepiness and intensity. However, from the middle on, I got bored with it and lost interest. Maybe the revelations of what the island really is didn't satisfy me or the direction the plot took wasn't intriguing enough.. I'm really not sure what happened. I just found myself skimming the last half and just wanting to finish it, but not really caring. The story lost its intensity for me.
The characters are pretty young so it almost has a middle grade feel, but it's a dark story that probably wouldn't be appropriate for middle grade. I liked the younger characters, it made for interesting dynamics that I don't normally read about. There wasn't really romance, which was appropriate for this type of book. I enjoyed the relationship between Marin and her twin brother Kana, and the addition of Line made the character relationships even more complex. I liked the characters, but again, didn't care as much towards the end.
Overall, this is a dark, creepy, and mysterious read that grabbed me at first, but, unfortunately, didn't totally deliver.