- Benedict Patrick does wonders with establishing his Yarnsworld through the use not only of a dual narrative for the better part of the novel but also by telling the fairy tales of this world. And let me tell you, nothing makes a world feel tangible like its own fairy tales, a weave of mythological figures and events. I’m a big fan of fairy tales, and some of these will strike you as familiar, while others will thrill and surprise with their originality.
But it gets better – what first appears as a series of disconnected, one-off stories slowly fit together with one another and with the overarching story. Just like pieces of a beautiful puzzle.
- The cover is gorgeous. All the Yarnsworld novels have fantastic covers, in fact – it’s the kind of art that’ll sell a book on its own merit, regardless of the quality of the book. Luckily enough, this book has a lot more going for it than just the lovely cover art.
- The overall world and plot both feel original, yet familiar. The story of an outcast spurned by his fellow villagers, of a prince trying to protect his people and live up to his father’s legacy, of creatures that come out at night to terrorize and haunt the denizens of the forest; these are all staples of the genre. It’s the twists on those that are so reminiscent to a Grimm fairy tale, with all the cruelty and horror that often come with those.
- The culmination of Lonan’s story is great and the place his tale ends is very appropriate to the sombre tone of the novel. On that note, Lonan (the outcast) himself is a likeable protagonist – clever, lazy, sarcastic, and trying to be better; I identified with him a whole lot, and rooting for him came easily to me.
- The figure of the Magpie King – imagery, mythology, weaponry, it all makes for a figure that’s somewhere between a demi-god-like entity and a superhero.
- There’s something scary about the darkness of the forest, as most traditional fairy tales have taught us. Patrick taps into that.
- Prince Adahy’s story is particularly compelling…
- …Until one particular moment, which was entirely too predictable, and did not ring true to my perception of Adahy’s character. It’s a plot twist so predictable, so obvious that I was hoping, until the very moment it happened, that it wouldn’t come to pass. It’s the kind of moment that has me bump a star off the book’s score. This is the one time my immersion broke, and the only time I actively disliked the direction the book went in.
- Some of the combat ended too abruptly, and a tiny bit of the dialogue felt a bit unnatural. Nothing too major, nothing that really bugged me; but I can’t help nit-picking.
They Mostly Come Out at Night is a solid dark fantasy/fairy tale novel that takes a number of turns, some of them rockier than the others. It comes to a beautiful destination, nonetheless, and a world that’s well-worth experiencing all the way! This book receives 3.5 stars out of 5, and my 'Most awful things that happen after dark in a book since Barbara Hambly's The Time of the Dark' award!
Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the author, against a review, due to the reddit TBRindr initiative meant to popularise indie authors and their works.