Welcome to Nightvale by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor & The Bees by Laline Paull
I’ve been a fan of the Welcome to Nightvale podcast for quite a while! I used to listen to it while walking around on campus back in college, although I’m not caught up with all the recent episodes. Still, since I liked the podcast, I was curious to see how it would translate into book format. Part of why I like Nightvale so much is the voices, the quirk, and the fun songs….I mean….the fun weather reports. The book hits on 1.5 of those points. The quirk and a half point for the voice, which I heard in my head while I was reading it, especially during the parts of the book that were actually by Cecil himself.
Overall though, it wasn’t my favorite thing. I much prefer the podcast to the book. It is cool that the book expanded on others characters though, since the podcast is mainly all about Cecil, since he is the radio host and all, so obviously you get more information on his life and day-to-day doings, well him and Carlos, the beautiful scientist permanently visiting the quaint desert city. The language of the book does feel a lot like the podcast’s spoken language as well, which I wasn’t sure translated well onto paper or not.
It was kind of a toss up for me. I love the podcast and the book was so-so, in my opinion. It was a complete story, with all the weird quirkiness that people have come to know and love Nightvale for. It could also be a great way to get readers who might not listen to the podcast interested, but on the same note, I feel like it could also turn them off, just depending on the person. I mean, that sort of works for all books based off something else. Either you like it, or you hate it, and that’s kind of all there is to it, I suppose. Anyways. If you’re interested in the podcast, I’d suggest listening to an episode or two and pick up the book if you’re interested, or just keep with the podcast and enjoy the weird news from the lovable desert community that is Nightvale.
So, let me start this review by saying: I literally run away screaming whenever I see a bee. I also hate wasps/hornets. I’ve been stung more times than I can count at this point in my life, and I’m only a quarter of the way through it, so who can say how many more stings I have in store? I’m not allergic though….yet. Anyways, with that, let’s continue. So this book is all about bees, but not in the way that you’d think. It’s a dystopian about bees, from a bee’s point of view. That bee is named Flora, and she is the lowest caste of bee, a lowly worker who just cleans the hive up, and normally Flora can’t speak, but this Flora was born with the ability to talk and despite being the object of scorn and disgust from higher caste bees, she is granted a special job in the nursery feeding the queen’s babies. This is where it all starts.
There is discord in the hive and Flora ends up right in the middle of it. She continues to break all the rules of the hive, taking on jobs that Flora would normally never, ever be allowed to hold. She also harbors secrets that would get her killed if she ever allowed any other bee to find out.
It’s interesting to read a book from the perspective of something not human. A book from a bees perspective is interesting and…oddly….sexual? Yep. You heard me right. That was probably the most awkward part(s) of the book for me….like just realizing that they are talking about bee bits and what have not. Weird. Kinda…..very weird. But other than that….I mean, the book was an experience.