Night Film Could Have Done With More *Action*

night filmAt first, the lights came down, there was a hush and I was tucked up with my popcorn… well, minus the popcorn. Point is, I was captivated by the opening to this book. I loved the way it was done and the slow build of several mysteries had me intrigued. I was shivery with anticipation and found my old squeamishness had returned as dread built. And then… the story began to lag. I was turning page after page after bored page. It did eventually pick up again, but the damage was done. A book has to justify its length and this really didn’t do that- it just felt needlessly long.

One of the biggest causes of this dull interlude was how unnecessary the tag-along characters felt. Their connections to the case felt far too tenuous and even with hints that there was more to it, I couldn’t bring myself to care for them. Least of all for the mc’s love interest which, to coin Lucinda’s phrase, may as well have been a “sexy lamp” for all the impact she had. All the characters seemed superfluous- written in and out of the story as if they were nothing more than extras or there merely to change the scene. I just couldn’t connect with any of them.

I also didn’t like being told what a genius Cordova was- over and over again. And maybe it’s unavoidable in a book about another artistic medium to have to tell how brilliant someone’s art is- but frankly it didn’t feel that way for Ash, the prodigy in the book. I simply felt her mastery flying from the page like notes gliding from a piano. I actually was far more invested in Ash- with her wonderful stage name “Ashes from the ruins”- than I ever was in anyone else. She had the command of her audience from beyond the grave.

The *fade to black* ending was somewhat enigmatic- which can work- yet in this case only served to leave me less than satisfied. I frequently felt like the book was trying to convince me how oh-so-clever it was, but actually this led to it falling flat and feeling like a waste of my time. All those spooky hints had gone nowhere and the greatness it reached for was untapped. It felt like all I’d caught were red herrings.

And what was more disappointing than anything else was how the multimedia aspects weren’t what they were cracked up to be. Having read other books with this sort of style now, I felt like these additions had to mean something. And yet, it turned out I could have skipped them and I wouldn’t have missed anything from the story. Frankly, that was a bit of a piss-take. While initially this felt like peering behind the curtain, adding to the creep-factor, eventually I realised that there really was no wizard hiding out there and the bloke pulling the levers didn’t even have the power to transport me home. I’d followed the yellow brick lane to nowhere special.

Ultimately I was letdown by this book, but for the strong start, I’m giving it:

Rating: 2½/5 bananas


Have you read this? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments!


38 thoughts on “Night Film Could Have Done With More *Action*

  1. Ahhh, the good old sexy lamp trope! How irritating. This book sounds like it could have been amazing but failed in it’s execution. I’m seeing a lot of that at the moment too. Still, it made for a great negative review, that “this is a piss take” comment made me spit my tea out!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thank God!! I disliked this book so much but thought I was the only one who didn’t connect with it, lol! It took me months to read it because it was so boring. You hit on all the reasons I couldn’t like it in your review. Fantastic!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. No, not at all! I thought I was crazy, so I’m glad I’m not (or I am but not about this 😉 ) A definite pain and I read it for a book club, hahaha! YW! 🙂


  3. Well, it my oblivious fashion, this is the first time I’m hearing about this book. 😂😂 And after reading your well-thought-out review, I seriously doubt I would enjoy it either. I’m sorry it was a let down, especially after such a promising start. That always sucks. 😞 Thanks for sharing your thought, great review. ❤️


  4. It’s been a while since I read this but I remember feeling a bit let down mainly due to all the hype surrounding it and the ending. It was a great idea but the execution… could have been better. Your review sums it all up nicely. I actually just finished Pessl’s new YA this morning (Neverworld Wake) and absolutely loved it!


  5. The second I start reading a book and I feel like they’re going for the “oh so clever” routine, I totally lose interest. Like, I can handle some gimmicks in a short story, but a whole NOVEL full of an author showing off? Nah.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have heard great things about this book. Too bad that you didn’t enjoy it. I haven’t read it, nor do I plan to. It just doesn’t intrigue me that much. Great review! 🙂


  7. I actually really enjoyed this one. There was one part 3/4ths of the way through when the MC was hallucinating in the compound, where I felt things drag, but once that ended I felt like it picked up again. I felt like some of the multimedia additions weren’t necessary but others were simply a device through which the story was told. I wouldn’t consider dialogue, or a flashback gimmicky and I viewed those in a similar way. What I liked about it was that in the end, the freaky, paranormal explanation actually feels more “real” than the more realistic one. Just an alternate opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hmm, sounds like this book started with a good idea (as in, it knew how it wanted to start and end) but didn’t understand how to execute all the stuff in the middle. Also, the characters do seem like they weren’t fleshed out too well, which can definitely ruin a book for you. Excellent review! 🙂


  9. *runs far far away* If I read someone else calling something slow and unnecessarily long I get very scared since I’m the least patient person out there. Great review though, sorry you didn’t enjoy it more.


  10. I read this book when it first came out, which was a while ago, and hundreds of books ago for me unfortunately. So although I remember reading it, that’s about all I remember about it-which probably says enough in itself, it obviously didn’t leave a lasting impression 😦


  11. I actually really enjoyed this book. But I can see where you’re coming from. I felt like the book was more about the atmosphere, and I had to be in the right mood for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Ugh, I hate when the only evidence of a character’s genius is that the author repeatedly tells us how smart they are. That’s one of my more recent bookish pet peeves.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Mmm… I think as many others, this one goes to my ‘pass list’… there’s nothing worse than the draggy middle part that ruins the good start and the what could have been a great ending… sigh… oh! did you know Cordova is a genius? 😀 😛
    Hope you’re doing well! 🙂 ❤


  14. Oh man, I remember when I discovered this very early in my blogging life and was really excited to add it to my TBR (and have yet to get a copy and read it). I’ve seen some mixed reviews since then, and yours definitely cements the fact that it might not turn out as amazing as I thought it would be. Great review as always!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I completely agree! I had such high hopes for this book and found it to be a major drag. And the tagalog characters definitely felt out of place and kind of “off” with the tone of the story.


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