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Literature / It Devours!

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It Devours! is the second Welcome to Night Vale novel, written by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor.

Something is creating giant sinkholes around Night Vale, destroying buildings and swallowing up people. Resident scientest Carlos assigns one of his assistants, Nilanjana Sikdar, to investigate the cause of sinkholes. Nilanjana's investigations leads to the Joyous Congregation of the Smiling God and a person known only as the Wordsmith, whose church writings parallel what is happening in town.

To learn more about the Congregation, Nilanjana enlists the aid of Darryl Ramirez, a missionary who is happy to teach someone about the wonders of the Smiling God. But as Nilanjana learns more about the Smiling God she comes up against the local government trying to impede her research, the Joyous Congregation trying to summon the Smiling God to Night Vale, and the question of how much she can trust her new friend Darryl.


This book provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Actually, I Am Him: Darryl is the Wordsmith Nilanjana has been looking for, though he wasn't trying to hide it, he just hadn't been told.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The smiling god is a monstrous centipede.
  • Continuity Nod: Jackie Fierro, Diane Crayton, and Josh Crayton all show up at the same time at Josh's gym when it's swallowed by a sinkhole.
  • Creepy Centipedes: The Smiling God the church is trying to summon turns out to be merely a giant centipede from the Otherworld.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The experiments Nilanjana's companions are working in at the start of the novel come in handy during the climax, as does the power drill Jamillah keeps on her at all times.
  • Foil: Nilanjana has two scientist friends and Darryl has two religious friends that they recruit to their cause, they spend roughly half the time actually being helpful and the other half bickering about their opposing worldviews.
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  • Happily Married: A great deal of emphases is put on the loving marriage of Cecil and Carlos, and their displays of affection are very detailed.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Jackie uses an idiom about leaves while chatting with Laura, the waitress who is a tree. since the story happens during autumn and Laura has no leaves at the moment, she gets very offended and Jackie has to appologize quickly.
  • Insane Troll Logic: There's a machine that's supposed to make a flash and a noise in that order, but keeps malfunctioning and do it in the reverse order. It malfunctions again when the heroes try to use it to distract the centipede failing to do so, the characters assume that if it did it in the correct order then it would work as a distraction. This being Night Vale, when it gets fixed and works properly, the distraction works.
  • Magic Versus Science: Nilanjana and Darryl's friends get into an argument over the nature of the world in Carlos' lab.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Implied to be the case with the Smiling God, with all the teeth symbolism floating around the Congregation.
  • Not A Metaphor: In an attempt to calm her down, Darryl explains to Nolanjana that the devouring referred to in the Joyous Congregation is a metaphor, that it represents the acceptance of everyone into the faith and the destruction of the negative aspects of life within it. The pastor corrects him and tells him that the smiling god is an actual, physical being, and that they want him to actually, physically devour everything including themselves, especially themselves.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: When his family is threatened, Carlos quickly dismisses all his principles of adherence to science and goes for emotional and spiteful action. It doesn't go well.
  • Opposites Attract: A large part of the book focuses on the budding romance between an devout missionary and an inquisitive scientist. ultimately subverted, since the relationship doesn't work on the long term.
  • Stepford Smiler: The Joyous Congregation's doctrine as usual. Best shown in Darryl, who has been taught to respond to everything with a huge, unsettling smile.
  • Fourth Date Marriage: Subverted. Nilanjana and Darryl quickly it it off and even have sex in their first date, and after the few days of the events of the book seem to be in a very solid realtionship however the relationship stops working relatively quickly, and it's acknowledge that without the thrill of the shared adventure they aren't really compatible as a couple, so they break up and remain good friends.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: How time works in the Desert Otherworld

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