“It Devours!,” the third “Welcome to Night Vale” novel by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, based off of their well-known podcast of the same title, was released on October 17th, 2017. “It Devours!” meticulously balances parody and dark humor alongside heartwarming characters (old and new) and the struggles of regular life, all in the podcast’s “Twilight Zone-esque” town of “Night Vale.”
As someone who has listened to the “Welcome to Night Vale” podcast for three years, I went into this read with high expectations and preordered a signed copy. Not only was I welcomed back into my favorite quirky world that co-creator Joseph Fink has often and openly referred to as a creative outlet to deal with debilitating axiety, I was hit with something new and particular to “It Devours!” that “Welcome to Night Vale” hasn’t deeply explored before.
“In Night Vale it’s alien abductions and in real life it’s cancer, but I think having this model for how to deal with a life that is random and scary and still be okay — I think that resonates with a lot of people,” Fink said in an interview with “Podcast Playlist’s” Lindsay Michael.
The main character of “It Devours!,” Nilanjana Sikdar, is a scientist and a newcomer to “Night Vale,” which is uncommon as “Night Vale” is hard to find and even harder to leave. She goes to “Night Vale” with the perspective of studying it, and has difficulty understanding many aspects of “Night Vale’s” culture. She, after four years, is still considered an outsider and is often called “interloper” by the residents.
After a year in Japan, I’ve had a lot of difficulty in finding media that expresses the anxiety of feeling out of place and the frustration that comes with wanting to be accepted without knowing what you can do to be. “It Devours!” takes that difficult and horrible feeling and wraps it, lovingly and delicately, in a shroud of science fiction and horror that will wiggle its way into your heart like a pit full of wriggling worms.