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review 2016-09-26 11:53
Review: The Night Parade
The Night Parade - Ronald Malfi

 

I received a copy from Netgalley.

 

It’s been a while since I read a really good horror novel, and this one caught my attention whilst browsing through Netgalley. Viruses that wipe out the world stories kind of leave me apprehensive in that it will either wind up focusing on zombies or be far too like Stephen King’s The Stand. This book stood out on its own merit.

 

I think what was so great about this one was that the main character, David, was just an ordinary guy. He wasn’t trying to save the world or find a cure or save his town. His wife had died under mysterious circumstances, and government doctors looking for a cure for the virus were supposedly involved. His main concern is to save his daughter.

 

David is a likeable guy because he’s a normal guy. A regular family man who works as an English professor with a wife and a smart small child. As the novel progresses and you learn the circumstances of how the virus stared told in flashback chapters, and the where David is now – on the run from the government, trying to debate how much to confess to his daughter.  The daughter Ellie, appears to be quite apathetic about the whole thing. She appears to be very quiet and very intelligent. At eight nearly nine she’s very well spoken, very well behaved and seems remarkably mature as things go from bad to worse as she and her dad try to find somewhere to hide. David has a brother, Tim, who lives “off the grid” who comes in to help at some point.

 

The tension is well written, the scenes are pretty damn creepy as David and Ellie go from town to town meeting a variety of scary people and towns all virus effected. Ellie starts to exhibit strange powers and there’s hints that her mother knew and possibly could have had them too only the government got to the mom first. The flashback chapters tell how everything started – and it’s completely believable which makes it even more tense and uncomfortable in parts.

 

As it goes on, it’s completely unpredictable as well. And as a reader I found myself really caring about David and Ellie and hoping they made it out okay. You get a sort of sense of how on earth is this going to wind up comfortably for everyone? But it’s a realistic horror novel. A happy ending isn’t necessary. The end was again well done and believable in keeping with the tone of the novel. It didn’t go down in a rush of stupid action. It built up to a dramatic conclusion left very open ended.

(It actually made me sniffle a bit).

 

I would really like to see a sequel following on from this one. Definitely an author I would read again.

 

Thank you to Netgalley and Kensington Books for approving my request to view the title.

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review 2016-09-15 20:25
The Night Parade - Ronald Malfi
The Night Parade - Ronald Malfi

There are writers and then there is Ronald Malfi. From the first chapter of The Night Parade, it was evident that Malfi's caliber of writing was a notch above what I'm used to seeing from the genre. The verbiage and imagery raised the writing into something majestic. It makes me want to throw away my laptop and quit pretending that I could ever write something of this quality. OK, maybe that's a bit harsh, but you get where I'm going with this.

 

The Night Parade starts out with David and his daughter Ellie on the run from the government. There's an illness going around called Wanderer's Folly and it makes people hallucinate and bleed out of their noses before they either drop dead, kill themselves or kill someone else. The CDC doesn't know if it's spread by air or contact or if it's somehow imbedded in our DNA and something has caused it to turn on in some people. All they know is David's wife, Kathy, was immune before they killed her off testing her to death and that Ellie is also immune...and they want her.

 

The story has a nice slow build up that ratchets the tension to the breaking point. Malfi also uses a series of flashbacks that slowly unravel the past slowly before our eyes. It's extremely effective in teasing the reader with just enough information that only leads to a whole slew of more questions that need answering. The characters are vivid and masterfully three-dimensional where you can literally feel the tension and exhaustion that David is going through in your bones. The Night Parade has shades of Firestarter, Swan Song, and The Dead Zone all mixed within, yet at no time does it feel derivative. It has everything that I look for in a great story - strong characters, realistic dialogue, a slow build up of tension that leads to a climactic ending, and a lasting impact that keeps you thinking about the story long after you've closed the cover.

 

 

5 Oriole Eggs out of 5

 


* I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

 


You can also read my other reviews and author interviews at:

 

https://kenmckinley.wordpress.com

 

http://intothemacabre.booklikes.com

 

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5919799-ken-mckinley

 

 

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review 2016-09-08 17:58
The Night Parade by Ronald Malfi
The Night Parade - Ronald Malfi

Set during the onset of an apocalypse in the form of a plague, The Night Parade is part road trip, part survivalist thriller, part emotional relationship drama and, fortunately for me, all parts were good.

The plague is dubbed Wanderer’s Folly because it makes you lose your marbles before killing you. You might wander about in your undies and do such strange things like setting your house aflame or walking off a cliff before dropping dead. Yikes, I don’t know about you but those images haunted me. It was horrifying and scary and seeing as I love these types of stories, I was in it from the very beginning.

David has blood on his sleeve and is trying to outrun the plague and keep his daughter Ellie safe from an evil doctor. That’s all about all we know when the story begins. As things slowly unravel, we learn everything but it takes its sweet time getting there and I will not spoil the trip for you. The getting there is all the fun (well, fun isn’t exactly the appropriate word for this emotional and grief laden story). The book is filled is with scary people, frighteningly large bugs and lots of them, fatherly love and strange discoveries.

There is such pain and sorrow in both David and Ellie’s past and nothing but fear in their future but they manage to keep going. I enjoyed reading about them both. It’s a gripping and well-paced read that, unlike many of these types of stories, never forgets about its characters. The world may have gone to shit but humanity still survives. I recommend it highly and hope there is another book set in this world because there are a few plot points I’d like to see expanded upon. 4 ½ Stars

*I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for a review.

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text 2016-09-08 04:54
Reading progress update: I've read 28%.
The Night Parade - Ronald Malfi

David discovers his daughter's secret ability.

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review 2016-08-15 14:09
Review: The Night Parade by Ronald Malfi
The Night Parade - Ronald Malfi

 

I received a free copy of The Night Parade from the publisher in return for an honest review.

 

I have had Ronald Malfi recommended to me several times and somehow I have never managed to get around to reading any of his work. Darn have I been missing out!

 

The Night Parade was not what I was expecting. I think I go into stories set around a virus with preconceptions, I feel very much been there, read that already but not this time. The writing style and the character building in this one drew me in right away. All preconceptions disappeared and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

 

This isn't an easy light read that you can just sit back and enjoy. The story has a heavy foreboding atmosphere that builds more and more as you read further. You're never quite sure what's ahead for the main characters, you know that whatever is coming can't be good but at the same time you are hoping for that small chance that things will end up ok. I found myself thinking ahead to all the possible outcomes, analyzing all the little details, trying to pick up on any clues that would prepare me for a happy or sad conclussion, while at the same time trying to stop myself from having a quick peek further down the page. I felt like I had to prepare myself because I was so invested in the characters.

 

The main characters are very well written and easy to relate to. You want them to succeed, to be safe, to get to safety and that happy ever after but there is so much happening and the action and danger just doesn't let up. You are kept on the edge of your seat, anxiously following their story, helpless and unable to help but at the same time eagerly looking forward to the next obstacle in their path. I read it in one sitting. I couldn't put it down, there was no safe place for me to leave the characters.

 

Definitely one I would recommend.

 

 

 

 

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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