|Will Elliott is writer of offbeat fantasies that adhere only
tenuously to the expected tropes of the genre; Nightfall is his latest
outing. Most unusually, given the preponderance of trilogies flooding the market these
days, Nightfall is a single volume work.
Nightfall is the
story of Aden Keenan, a recent suicide, who has come back from the dead in his
grandfathers unpublished novel. Adens appearance is a surprise not only to
himself (how and why did he come back from the dead?) but also the characters in the
novel. By his very existence Aden has upset the inter-character balance of his
grandfathers world. Nightfall is also Mr Elliotts take on what
happens to a fictional world and, by extension, the people in it when the mind that
created that world fades and dies.
Nightfall, the fictional world, is populated by characters big and small and people who
are mere scenery the human backdrop that the characters play out their lives
against. Aden Keenan is a wild card in that world, as he was never a character in the
book. So why is he there? Can he be manipulated by the other characters? Is he some new
plot device? The characters are aware they are characters playing roles and take any
opportunity to break the mold decided for them.
Nightfall is an amuse bouche of a book as it leads an idiosyncratic path
from beginning to end. By turns: fanciful, serious, wry and even skirting philosophical
before veering into elliptic and laconic. A must read for those who despair of
over-written doorstop fantasy.