Stefani's Reviews > Nocturnal

Nocturnal by Scott Sigler
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's review
Jul 09, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: hardcover, owned, keeper-shelf
Read from April 08 to June 07, 2012 — I own a copy

Just as fair disclosure, I love Scott Sigler and so it is very unlikely that any of my reviews are or could be all that objective. I try and I still find things that just kind of irk me about a particular story or character but none of that really seems to influence my enjoyment of the book in general. I feel this is a talent of the author since these same things can completely turn me off of a different book.

But anyway, I got off topic there. So let's talk about Nocturnal. This book was originally released as a podcast, and was the first such podcast to turn me into a fan of the author. This is the revamped, re-edited, and largely rewritten print version of the story. To be honest, there are those talking about how this was practically a different story because it was so different, I didn't get that while I was reading it. Perhaps its because it has been so long since I listened to the podcast, or perhaps because when listening it was more difficult to commit the plot to memory. Yes there were significant plot changes and certain characters were vastly different or their storyline was changed dramatically. But it was nothing that really smacked me in the face and I thought, wow that was really weird and different. To me the story flowed along just fine and I didn't really notice the differences to the story as much I thought I would based on other reviews.

My first thought on this plot is, how could you not love it? It's about mutant monsters who live under the streets of San Francisco and prey on people. As someone who is in San Francisco every day, it gave me pause as I was walking over the PG&E grates in the sidewalk, or reading the part about the monsters disguising themselves as the city's homeless as I walk through one of the more homeless heavy parts of the city. This is what engrossed me into the story. It was something that lingered in my mind for long after I put the book down.

The story was enthralling and the action is off the charts. There were a few moments where I had to wrinkle my nose and stop eating my snack while I was reading because it had turned my stomach a little. Even a few times I remember thinking, okay Sigler that was a bit over the top wasn't it? But that is just one more reason he is my favorite author. There is nothing that is out of the realm of possibility. If you find yourself thinking "he won't do that" or "he couldn't do that to X person", you are oh so wrong. Nothing and no one is sacred in a Scott Sigler book. No amount of icky is unthinkable and all characters could be cannon fodder. This gives the plot and story a level of unpredictability that is largely unheard of in today's world of fiction. In most books you can feel relatively certain which characters will make it and which will not, especially if it is a series, but with Sigler you just never know. He will kill off a main character if necessary just as easily as a character who is on the outskirts of the plot.

But there were a few things that I didn't like all that much. Brian was one of them. I know his nickname is Terminator, but that was supposed to be in relation to his job and his ruthless proficiency at it. So when these changes start happening to him the character is supposed to undergo a level of transformation that blurs the line between his off job and on job personality and I just didn't feel it. He seemed largely the same through all of the book and so the other character's reactions to this drastic change in him was just weird. This also made the romantic angle to the story seem perfunctory and required, not genuine at all. Because I didn't feel like there was anything under the surface of Brian Clauser, I couldn't connect to the other characters in relation to him at all. In the end however the rest of the story carried me past this so that it didn't affect my overall love and enjoyment of the story.

Another notch in the belt of Scott Sigler and another happy junkie to add to the list. Now, Mr. Sigler, back to work on Pandemic!! We want that story ASAP, this was only a short term fix and the withdrawals are quickly returning.

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04/08/2012 page 5
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