Over the last few days I consumed David Farland’s engaging Nightingale, a YA tale of the SFF persuasion. When it comes to leisure reading, I’m much more likely to pick up SFF if it’s a YA novel because I like to read what my kids like to read. To be completely forthcoming, I probably wouldn’t have purchased my Kindle copy of Nightingale were it not for the recent Facebook campaign to promote the book. I knew I’d enjoy Dave’s book because he’s a wonderful storyteller, even if weird stuff happens in his books. Like suction cups appearing on the fingtertips of the protagonist. Most of the time, I just can’t make the leap SFF writers hope I can make, but every Farland (or Wolverton) SFF novel that I’ve read has made me a believer. Heck, when I hit the 70% mark in my read-thru of Nightingale, I texted a friend who loves SFF and told her not to miss this one. I was completely taken in.
And then the ending hit. Or rather, the non-ending. Okay, I admit I didn’t love the wind-up of his historical fiction, In the Company of Angels, but for an entirely different reason. I simply didn’t agree with where he chose to end that one. The “problem” I have with Nightingale’s ending isn’t so much a problem with the ending as with the trend it successfully follows. The truth is, Dave ended Nightingale with the skill and craftsmanship a great writer should. I just don’t like the trend toward serials that has taken over YA fiction. My complaint, then, is not about Nightingale, which achieves its aims with great success, but with the current love affair YA publishers are having with serial fiction.