35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2012
This is the first book by Scott Sigler that I have read. I am a big fan of horror novels and thrillers, so this sounded right up my alley when I found it. Needless to say, I wasn't disappointed. This was quite a long book - well over 550 pages long. The chapters were short, which keeps the reader actively engaged in the story. The narrative is very well-written and the characters are deep; it was easy to get sucked into the freakish world that Sigler had created. The novel is fast-paced; so even though it was long, it didn't take very long to read. I couldn't put it down. The plot had so many twists and interesting ideas that it truly keeps the reader on their toes and trying to figure out what is going on - right up to the very last chapter. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes horror novels, thrillers, and things that go bump in the night.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
This novel starts out at a plain police procedural but then adds another minor layer. As it proceeds it adds yet another layer then another and then it starts to twist them making the reader as well as the novel's subjects constantly revise their beliefs about what exactly is going on and what they are facing.
The skill of the author is apparent because these layers, these twists, these new developments never cloud the narrative power of the book. Instead they add to it. So you have elements which could be related to any police story (crime, whodunit, how to find them) mixed in with several personal stories involving the players' relationships with their families and finally a citywide mystery somewhat reminiscent of Gaiman's _Neverwhere_ book.
Finally toward the final third of the book, you are off on a fantastic adventure involving the initially mundane characters of the police procedure but somehow you are buying into it as if it were just one more commonplace 'police catches the bad guy after a chase' book.
Let's say this chase is one you've never encountered before. I don't wish to say more because I don't wish to give any spoilers. Highly recommended. A really fine read and as the cliche has it, 'impossible to put down'.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
In my opinion, Scott Sigler is the best horror novelist writing today. His characters are believable without being predictable and his research is first rate. As a bit of a gun nut myself, nothing is more aggravating as when a well-meaning author messes up on issues of magazine capacity or stopping power. Sigler avoids this pitfall by taking the time to learn about the background elements of his story before he publishes. Utilizing short chapters, he draws you into worlds that are alien, yet disturbingly comfortable. While some may object to my headline reference to Stephen King, I would simply state that I've read dozens of King's books and lately I've felt consistently disappointed by crummy endings. Sigler's books always wrap up in a powerful, satisfying and plausible manner, leaving me happy to have read them. What struck me most about this book was the way my feelings towards the main characters evolved as I progressed through the story. I couldn't put this book down.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on June 22, 2012
I've seen the movie Misery several times and love it. But I have to admit that every time I've watched it (since the first time), I've had to turn my head away and close my eyes when Annie hobbles Paul with the block of wood and the sledgehammer. I've never been able to watch the footage of Joe Theismann's final play. I know what happens, and I'm not man enough to handle seeing it. There's just something about limbs bending where they're not supposed to bend that I don't do well with. Bloody entrails pulled out of a person's abdomen, decapitations, stuff like that doesn't bother me, but a visibly broken limb makes me cringe and quite honestly makes me a little light-headed. Which brings me to Scott Sigler's new book Nocturnal.
I know when I start reading a horror story by Sigler, that I'm going to experience some light-headedness. I know I'm going to cringe and squirm at parts, but I still can't wait to read one every time one comes out.
I first discovered Sigler when I picked up a copy of his book Infected about microscopic aliens that enter earth's atmosphere and then the bodies of humans and begin to grow. That book made me cringe numerous times as the human hosts took drastic measures to try to rid themselves of the parasitic hitchhikers. Nocturnal delivered as well.
Bryan Clauser is a homicide detective in San Francisco who has begun having vivid and disturbing dreams in which he stalks and violently kills human prey. But these aren't merely dreams he's having. At the same time Bryan is having these violent dreams, they're actually taking place on the streets of his city. As he tries to investigate the murders he discovers that all of the victims are tied to one person, an awkward and bullied boy named Rex.
Rex likes to draw. It provides him an outlet for the miserableness of his life. He's the victim of abuse, both at school and at home, but his drawings have begun to become reality. Shortly after he draws the horrific demise of one of his abusers, that abuser comes to an eerily similar demise.
Bryan's dreams and Rex's drawings are signs of something much larger that's been going on in and under the city of San Fancisco for more than a century.
I enjoyed Nocturnal a lot. I've never read anything by Sigler that I didn't like, so I'm not surprised. His stories are always entertaining, and even though they occasionally make me question my manhood by making me cringe like a little school girl, they always jump to the top of my to-be-read pile whenever a new one comes out.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on April 5, 2012
Scott Sigler has become my favorite author and single handedly got me reading horror. Before I read (and listened to) his books I stayed away form horror at all costs. His plots are thick with unpredictable twists, interesting sub plots, and lots of action. This book is no different; I haven't finished it yet but I can't put it down. I listened to the podcast of this book when he originally turned it into a podcast as he wrote it. It was great then and has many changes that make it even better now. If you haven't read or listened to Scott before look up his other books, to include his self published series.
I think it says a lot about him that he can get a book this long published so early in his (to be long) career. I believe Scott Sigler will be a huge star with many movies based on his books. He's like a mix of Steven King, George Lucas, and Gene Roddenberry but with harder science and less utopia to make things more believable.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
NOCTURNAL by Scott Sigler is a most curious creature. In all my years of reading I can't remember coming across a book quite like it. This isn't because NOCTURNAL features some brand new theme or idea, but because it is a book that showcases Sigler's evolution as an author and still manages to be an inferior novel than its predecessors. Considered to be Sigler's most ambitious novel to date, NOCTURNAL is a supernatural police procedural with a score of highs and lows.
Monsters lurk in the ruins of San Francisco's past, striking out at night to hunt for those who won't be missed in order to sake their blood thirst. Homicide detective Bryan Clauser is drawn to this dark secret by a crop of serial murders that bear chilling resemblance to his own twisted dreams. With his partner, Pookie Chang by his side, Bryan must uncover the mystery of Marie's Children and the shadowy vigilante known as Savior who kills the killers with supernatural strength.
I was pumped to read NOCTURNAL, a whopping 500+ page urban fantasy police procedural from the notably twisted mind of Scott Sigler. Having recently read Sigler's INFECTED, I expected no small amount of depravity and gore. INFECTED was a rough novel in many regards but it showed a certain potential that I was keen to see develop. NOCTURNAL being Sigler's latest piece of fiction, displays many of the ways his writing has improved over the ensuing years. The pacing is much more steady and deliberate this time around. I wouldn't jump to call this book a slow burner but much more time is spent getting the ducks in a row. The characters, by and large, are infinitely more likable and believable as well. And yet despite this progression NOCTURNAL still seems to be the lesser novel.
The characters may be more likable but they are still flat. Bryan (aka the Terminator) is dull during the first half of the book, exhibiting all the emotion of the killer robot he got his nickname from. During the second half of the book he compensates for his lack of depth by becoming extremely expressive and a bit hormonal. Robin the obligatory love interest is no better. She is an intelligent medical examiner for the police department but her whole existence seems to revolve around Bryan for no discernible reason. Ironically, though Bryan is the intended protagonist his partner Pookie is the one who comes off as the main character. Pookie is a decent individual, showing the most depth of any member of the cast even if his jokes are hit-or-miss.
The rest of the cast is passable for the most part. John Smith (aka Black Mr Burns) turned out to be my favorite character of all and I couldn't help but feel sympathy for Rex, at least at first. Then comes a character like Mr Biz-Nass the vocally challenged fortune-teller with Tourette's. Yeah, if that seems to be reaching a bit for comedy that's because it is. I get that with these dark and serious novels a little humor is necessary to break up the morbidity but there is a line between funny and ridiculous.
I will commend Sigler for not falling back on the typical urban fantasy monsters. Marie's Children are definitely a unique creation, one that had promise. Unfortunately the gamble didn't entirely pay off as the monsters range from genuinely creepy to outright silly. That's really the largest problem NOCTURNAL faces, the constant tonal shift between horrifying and ludicrous. Early parts of the book, those that focus on the investigation, are dark and ominous but when the monsters finally reveal themselves they lose most of their potency. It's like those old horror movies when people are dying for unknown reasons and then eventually the killer turns out to be this dude sweating profusely in a really cheaply made monster costume. The two tones just don't reconcile.
NOCTURNAL isn't entirely a bad novel, the police procedural and forensics portions work much better than the supernatural parts. The nature of the monsters was even scientifically plausible (for an urban fantasy novel anyway) until the halfway mark when Sigler decided to give up trying to explain these mutant creatures. Fans of Sigler's work are bound to love this book as all the reviews until this point have been rave. I will go so far as to say that Sigler has come a long was as an author since INFECTED and I will continue to keep an eye out for his work.
Recommended Age: 18+
Language: No shortage here.
Violence: Plenty of blood and guts and carnage for all.
Sex: One very disturbing scene and lots of other disturbing mentions.
Elitist Book Reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
When I first opened this book, I was afraid it would be a riff on "Reliquary" by Preston and Childs: the subterranean world of monsters beneath a major American city. But Sigler has his own vision and brings it out very well in this novel, including reasonable motives for some of the characters and a dash of science to make the premise easier to swallow. He has also reined in his "squick" factor, which turned me off in a previous book, "Infected". There are some flaws, though - most noticeably the stereotyping, from Mafia to gays, as well as some unnecessary cutesie-poo nicknames, from Bri-Bri to Pooks. Overall, this is a quick read and an enjoyable one, if you like monsters and things that go bump in the night. It suffers from the usual lack of character development common to books which are plot-driven. Sigler has a great imagination, and I would really like to see him try a book with more emphasis on the characters. I think he could have done a lot better by deleting some of the secondary characters and focusing more on Bryan and Robin, their personal history, and the like.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2012
Every book I've read from Scott Sigler has been awesome, and this one was no different. Don't be intimidated by the length of the book, it just seemed to fly by, and you're never bored. I highly recommend this book, and any of Scott's other books, especially Ancestor.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2012
Let me just start by saying Scott Sigler is one of the most creative,realistic,innovative,brutal,violent,and action packed authors I have ever read and listened too. Disclaimer I have not read this novel I listened to the full 20 plus hour podcast performed by the master Scott Sigler himself. He is amazing the story is amazing and it probably ranks as the best book you never read. From characters you can relate to and actually feel emotion to so many cliffhangers all throuhout the book leading up to one of the most satisfying endings to a book ever, which is a big deal with all the big name dark sci fy stories as of latey really letting down on the climax [ie Mass Effect 3 (game) Lost (TV) etc...] It is awesome to have an extrememly action packed ending that makes modern hollywood action movies look soft and weak in comparison really tie things up but leave the universe open for a sequel or just to imagine the world still alive with dark forces at work just fought back for the moment in retreat waiting for there time to rebuild and strike back. Thank You Scott for reinvigorating my passion for reading. Your personal story has inspired me to pick up my pen or rather my laptop and to start writing again.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 11, 2012
What to say? Where to begin? What to write?
NOCTURNAL by Scott Sigler is unlike ANY thriller I have read in many years. Part crime novel. part serial killer thriller, part horror novel..major fantasy vibes..burst at the seams of this almost 600 page opus.
The true talent of an author is when they have the ability to blur the lines of genres and create almost a living, breathing tale that allows the reader to keep turning the pages way past human exhaustion.
Bryan Clauser and Pookie Chang are San Francisco homicide detectives who stumble upon a conspiracy involving a large sector of the SFPD and an array of killers, monsters wearing masks, monsters, mutilated bodies, a cult going back a hundred years, a new strain of human DNA, cannibals, dark humor and the renewal of a love thought to be over...To give a synopsis of this huge gem of a thriller ...no one could give it the justice it so wonderfully deserves...
HBO should seriously consider purchasing this book for a series. Television could not do it justice....a major motion picture would have to be eight hours long to cover all the details and provide a retelling worthy of Mr. Sigler's talent as a writer...
Jim Munchel/Co-Manager/ BAM Harrisburg, Pa.