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Literature / New Night

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The quarantined city of Gothic is leaking its secrets... and its monsters.

New Night is a sci-fi thriller written by Fiona van Dahl. It is a (stand-alone) sequel to the scifi horror novel Eden Green; therefore, assume New Night (and this entire page) spoils the ending of Eden Green. The author has also released a free online serial, City on the Edge of Nowhere, to bridge the gap between the books.

Lucas was a police officer in Gothic, Arkansas, on a career path to success. That all ended the day horrifying needle monsters tore through his beloved city, killing hundreds and forcing a federal evacuation. Now Gothic is quarantined behind high, razor-wire-tipped fences, and Lucas works as security at a FEMA refugee camp outside its borders.

But just when things look bleak, a mysterious young woman named Io blows into the camp. Her fate is tied to that of Gothic, and the quarantine's ruthless director will recapture her even if it means plunging the FEMA camp into chaos. Lucas — with the help of his stoner friend Zechariah and a cryptic old computer wizard known as Mr. Condy — must fight tooth-and-nail for the innocents he has sworn to protect.

The novel contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Aliens in Cardiff: Once again, takes place in and around Gothic, Arkansas, an expy of the author's hometown of Fayetteville.
  • Another Dimension: Fortuna, where time progresses more slowly than on Earth.
  • A Storm Is Coming: Zechariah starts the book by warning Lucas that he senses a storm coming.
  • Big Ego, Hidden Depths: Lucas fights for control of every situation and constantly asserts his authority to hide the fact that he's off his meds and suicidally depressed.
  • Black Site (Secret Lab, Temporary Facility, and Secret Prison subtypes)
  • Bodyguard Crush: Lucas, after he rescues the young woman in the tank.
  • Bungled Suicide: Eden nearly gets a chance to permanently die using a hammer, only to discover that it won't open for her, thanks to Drews. Her reaction is not pretty.
  • Combat Breakdown: The final battle, Drews versus Eden.
  • Cutting Off the Branches - The ending of Eden Green is vague on whether the main characters survive, but their permanent deaths were heavily implied. Late in New Night, it is revealed that all three narrowly survived the blue pulse.
  • Doomed Expedition: The most recent (and most ambitious) research expedition on Fortuna, which led to the first Director's death.
  • Driven to Suicide: After months of hopelessness and stress in the aftermath of the Disaster, Lucas fantasizes about committing suicide in front of a news camera. Meanwhile, Eden continues her streak of ineffectual suicide attempts.
  • Enchanted Forest: Io has recurring dreams about a mysterious wood on the other side of the portals.
  • Freudian Slip: While giving Condy a tour of the facility, Drews mentions 'acicular' (literally 'needle-shaped') teammates and then claims he meant 'ancillary'.
  • Freudian Trio: Zechariah has a taste for violence and serves the role of id; Lucas insists on sticking to the law as much as possible, as the super-ego; Io is forced to balance the two, as the ego.
  • Great Offscreen War: The Army vs. the needle monsters in Gothic, and the implied ancient war between the needle invaders and the natives of Fortuna.
  • Happy Ending Override: Specifically, New Night overrides the ending of Eden Green by revealing that Eden, Veronica, and Kazuma all survived Eden's plan to destroy them with the blue pulse. Everyone has suffered in the interim, and Eden remains suicidal, but the ending is optimistic about their future.
  • I Choose to Stay: Lucas, according to the ending narration, chooses to remain on Fortuna.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: Lucas and The Director end up arguing over who has control of the FEMA site. It doesn't end well for Lucas.
  • Miles to Go Before I Sleep: Death Seeker Eden tries to make sure Lucas makes it to safety before asking Drews to let her destroy herself.
  • My Blood Runs Hot: Eden reveals that aciculars have a base body temperature of 104° F, equivalent to a deadly fever in humans.
  • My Greatest Failure: Condy is haunted by the knowledge that he caused the Gothic Disaster and would nullify the damage if given the chance.
  • No FEMA Response: Averted. As detailed in City on the Edge of Nowhere, the government response to the Gothic Disaster was surprisingly efficient.
  • Non-Human Undead: The needle monsters invading via portals are animals native to the alternate dimension, and have all been infected with a symbiote.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The spire platform with no handrails.
  • Patient Zero: Veronica claims to be the first infectee in order to hide that Kazuma ever existed, and that Eden murdered him.
  • Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain: Averted, in that Io says aciculars will heal from brain destruction (with mental consequences).
  • The Nicknamer: Eden calls Lucas 'Telenovela', and still needs a pet name for Veronica, though it's now the less-transphobic 'Vee'.
  • Title Drop: Late in the book, it's revealed that a 'new night' ('noon-it') is a military code word for 'an asset out of bounds' (possibly shortened from 'new nightmare'), such as escaped acicular humanoids and a stolen hammer.
  • Wham Line: Especially in the second half, revelations start coming rapid-fire.
    Drews heaves a sigh and shoots Lucas in the head.

    In the middle of the street, beset by three different aliens, Zechariah meets Kazuma.

    Before her needle-transformation into Io — before the endless running and hiding — before the agony of knowing her blood-sister was locked in containment — she had called herself Veronica.

    "My name is Eden Green."