Monday, November 26, 2012

Book Review: Nightingale by David Farland

Grand Prize Winner of the Hollywood Book Festival, placed first in all genres, all categories. 

Winner of the 2012 International Book Award for Best Young Adult Novel of the Year!

Finalist in the Global Ebook Awards.

Some people sing at night to drive back the darkness.  Others sing to summon it. . . .

Bron Jones was abandoned at birth. Thrown into foster care, he was rejected by one family after another, until he met Olivia, a gifted and devoted high-school teacher who recognized him for what he really was--what her people call a "nightingale."

But Bron isn't ready to learn the truth. There are secrets that have been hidden from mankind for hundreds of thousands of years, secrets that should remain hidden. Some things are too dangerous to know.  Bron's secret may be the most dangerous of all.

In his remarkable young adult fantasy debut, David Farland shows why critics have called his work "compelling," "engrossing," "powerful," "profound," and "ultimately life-changing."

Those who have followed my blog over the years know my daddy died when I was only four. I was raised by a single mother who gave my younger brother and I all the love she could, because most of the time that was all she could give us. Love and time. There wasn't a lot of money to go around but somehow we managed. My mother could pinch a penny until it screamed for mercy.

You may wonder what any of this has to do with this book review of Nightingale, but it has a point, I promise.

When I was a teenager, barely nineteen years old, I got the most awesome present ever--at least it was awesome  for a poor half-orphaned girl who didn't have much.

I got money, and a lot of it. Five beautiful, brand new twenty dollar bills were found in an envelope beneath the Christmas tree and I was ready to run to the store in my pajamas to purchase things. New and wonderful shiny things, but a very specific thing. Despite my mother's admonitions to not spend it all in one place, there was only one place I wanted to go. It wasn't for new sweaters or jeans. It wasn't for jewelry or a makeover (I was a massive tom-boy). No. I wanted one thing and one thing only.


(Do you see where this is going now?)

Now think about this. It's 1989. Paperback books are anywhere from $2.99 to $3.95 for the most part. Maybe $4.50 for a really thick book. So, say I took my $100 dollars and spent it all on $4.00 books. Do you know how many books that will buy? Twenty-five books. Seriously. TWENTY-FIVE BOOKS! I was in heaven. I picked up the entire Belgariad series by David Eddings. I purchased a book called The Earthlords by Gordon R. Dickson. I got Edgar Rice Burroughs John Carter of Mars series (all 13 books)--and I got a book called On My Way to Paradise by first time author Dave Wolverton. Of course I got others as well, many of which I still have, but Dave's book really stuck with me.

Fast forward fifteen to twenty years and I went to LTUE (a writing conference for Sci-Fi and fantasy lovers.) It was the first conference I'd ever been to and I was a bit nervous. I didn't know what I was doing as a writer, just that I loved to write and wanted to learn more. I went into a panel. I couldn't tell you what the topic was now, but sitting on that panel was an author by the name of David Farland, whom I had heard of, but hadn't read yet.

As the panelists introduced themselves, David Farland introduced himself as David Farland OR Dave Wolverton, depending on what genre you read.

I about fell out of my chair. THAT was a name I knew and loved! It turned out that David Farland writes fantasy and Dave Wolverton writes Science Fiction. They were the same person! Who knew? Evidently everyone but me!

Anyway, when I was approached about reviewing this book, I'll admit to having a bit of an elephant tromping about my belly. I was nervous! Review one of Dave's books? Really? I mean, he's DAVE WOLVERTON! How was I supposed to give an honest review on the work of one of my literary heroes?

Well, I shouldn't have been afraid. Nightingale was every bit as good as On My Way To Paradise and The Runelords books were. Actually, it was phenomenal. I love the direction he is taking e-books, in particular. The interactive book is A-MAZ-ING! The story is fantastic. The imagery is vivid. The characters believable. The world is one I want to live in myself! Add to that all the horrifying stories about foster care and adoption, learning trust when all you've known is pain, and the fragility of emotions--well, having adopted two sons through the foster system, it was painful, and honest, and hard to read, but oh, did I connect with Bron!

So, the best I can do here is say, thank you, Dave, for all the years of letting me live in your awesome worlds, for writing books that are REAL, despite the fiction label, and for encouraging a newbie from afar to never give up the dream.

What others are saying:

"Superb worldbuilding, strong characters, and Dave's characteristic excellent prose."
--Brandon Sanderson, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author

"A wonderful tale of a young man trying to find his humanity, even though he's not quite human.  One of Farland's very best!"                                                   --#1 International Bestseller Kevin J. Anderson

Now, everyone, go out and buy this book!
KINDLE: Amazon
NOOK: Barnes and Noble
IPAD: iTunes

You can find Dave at


Melissa @ Melissa's Bookshelf said...

Wow, after a review like that, how can I not get this book?? Thank you for pointing me to a new author to discover!

Monique said...


What a great story!! And review!! I also had the pleasure of reviewing Nightingale for my blog--but now I want to go out and read "On My Way To Paradise!" :)

And the Runelords (all 8 of them)--which--don't tell my husband--I had Dave sign for my husband's Christmas Present.:)

I love it when authors get excited about books--then we know they are really good.:)

What a fun blog entry--GOOD JOB!!

Tapper said...

Thanks for the head's up. I haven't read any of his work and it sounds great. And thanks for the story of the Christmas books. I can just imagine those stacks of books and what they meant to you. Are they battered and loved on your shelf still?

Karen Hoover said...

Tapper, most of them are still here, though I covered them in clear contact paper to preserve the covers. The pages may be yellowing, but the covers are near perfect. They are definitely well read! :D

Rachelle said...

Karen, I loved your story about buying books with Christmas money! What a great memory and a super review. I enjoyed this book too. :)

Angie said...

Nice review! And great story too. On My Way to Paradise was one of the first books I read when I decided I wanted to write sci- fi. Love you, friend!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I've seen his books several other places. Since I like most of the books you said you purchased years ago, and you like this one, I will have to pick it up.
And I understand you have another book coming soon? Very exciting!!!
New follower from your die-hard friend and fan, Konstanz.

Tammy Theriault said...

that is cheap and you got it all...very smart.

new foller from writeaway!! great blog you got girl!!

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