Eat the Night
By Tim Waggoner
Pub. Date: September 26, 2016
Rating: 3 and 1/2 out of 5 stars
I have read two novels by Tim Waggoner and the thing that stuck with me on both is the sense that they are excellent introductions to fascinating alternative realities that would be fun to explore.
In Eat the Night, we are introduced to two separate persons. Joan Lantz is a woman who buys a house and finds an basement hidden behind the wallpaper. She is having dreams of a past ritual and hearing death metal songs that seem to be related to her presence in the house. Kevin Benecke is an employee of a mysterious organization simply called Maintenance. It seems to be the obstacle that blocks evil entities from invading our world from other dimensions. The stories of Joan and Kevin are told separately for a brief period then merge together as Maintenance follows a source of evil to Joan's house. Add on the malevolent spirit of a Jim Jones influenced rock singer and you have all the basics.
The novel is slightly over 100 pages and that is part of the problem. The other book I read (The Last Mile to which I awarded 5 stars) was brief too but it involved one story line that carefully fed us background until it all came together). Eat the Night feels a bit fragmented and I never got the idea that I knew what this world was really about. In telling the story in a shortened length, neither Kevin or Joan really came alive for me. Yet despite that it does manage to work and I got enough of the world and its alternate universe to bring it all together. It's an exciting story nonetheless. I just kept wanting more. When you think about it that is about as positive a criticism as they come.