Finished! This was better than the first Night Vale novel, even though quite a bit of it was much more predictable. It took the characters way too long to even start thinking about other explanations for the holes appearing around Night Vale.
I preferred Nalanjana as protagonist more than Jackie (the first book's protagonist), and there were some interesting revelations about a couple different Night Vale storylines, like Carlos's time in the desert otherworld and stuff with the Smiling God. That said, I still think the style works much better for the podcast than it does for a book, even in audiobook form.
As someone who is a bit touch averse, I appreciated that Carlos is a character who generally doesn't like to be touched and that Cecil, his husband, and Nalanjana, a scientist he works with, respected this. At the same time, there was something about the way the authors wrote about physical intimacy (even just hugging or holding hands) that made my skin crawl. I'm not sure I can put into words why. Maybe the focus on little details related to the actions, like the warmth of the other person's skin? I don't generally have this reaction while, say, reading about similar actions in romance novels, so I'm not sure what my issue was here. At any rate, Nalanjana and Darryl's first date was kind of fun, but as a couple they wore out their welcome pretty fast.
My gut-level rating: probably 3.5 stars.