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Thoughts on “It Devours!”

Thoughts on “It Devours!”

I believe in mountains. There. I said it. It’s a little hard not to living in Boulder. My friend and I actually have a running joke that we’re living in Night Vale, it’s a long story, maybe later. Let me back up a second. So, maybe you have heard of or are a fan of the excellent podcast Welcome to Night Vale? (If not the Night Vale Secret Police will come by to take you to the abandoned mineshaft shortly…I MEAN everything will be fine. Yeah. Fine.) You don’t have to know the podcast to enjoy the Night Vale book, they stand alone. I recently read It Devours! by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, I believe it was the second Night Vale book to come out. It’s excellent, 100% recommend. It discusses relevant, and relatable topics, like the relationship between science and religion and the feeling of being an outsider in an unfamiliar place, while maintaining the absolute absurdity that WTNV is known for. One of my favorite things about WTNV has always been the characters. Them and the world building. I think it’s a really character driven story, both the podcast and the books, and that the creators have made some really awesome, quirky people. The lead in It Devours! is a scientist named Nilanjana Sikdar (she’s a victory for diversity in fiction in general, but, female scientist! Yay!) She’s from out of town, or as locals like to say, “INTERLOPER!”, so she is a relatable character for the readers. When you listen to the podcast you experience the town with Night Vale native, Cecil Palmer. When you read It Devours! you experience it beside someone who’s reaction to a giant glowing cloud that rains dead animals as president of the school board is “WHAT?!”  These are both great experiences, but this book is unique in what it does with its protagonist. Of course, part of it is giving her the opportunity to go on a journey that makes Night Vale truly feel like her home…but…spoilers. Nilanjana ends up mixed up with the Joyful Congregation of the Smiling God. A god which…well…devours… Both the followers of the Smiling God and the scientists discover something shocking, and end up having to work together to save Night Vale. Anyway, if I keep writing I’m gonna give away the plot, but it’s a great book. It does that thing that “social commentary wrapped up in absurdism” that the Night Vale stories are so good at. So yeah, I believe in mountains, and once you read It Devours! you’ll understand how risky that is…


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Olivia is a creative human who writes for IDEAS and reads many, many books. Got an idea for a guest blog? Email