I have read at least one review that says that this novella is as good as a full novel and I have to agree. As with the regular Keira Hudson novels, there is a great storyline with plenty of mystery, action and emotion. Not to mention intense characters, be they human, wolf or Vampyrus. In this novella the world has been ‘pushed’ and not as we know it: the wolves are living among the humans and the Vampyrus do not exist!
The main focus for this novella is Potter’s search for his first love, Sophie, as she is the only person from his last world that he thinks may exist in this ‘pushed’ world. He is hoping that if she exists here and he can find her, then maybe she will hold some answers to help him understand how the world was ‘pushed’. His aim, ultimately, is to ‘push’ the world back to how it once was.
When we are introduced to Sophie she has problems of her own. She has been ‘pushed’ with the rest of the world. Sophie is running from the wolves and police, desperate to seek out answers to her own questions. Will she get caught? Will she discover the answers she needs? It becomes clear that Potter’s role is to find out as much about this world from Sophie as he can, at the same time as trying to keep her safe from the wolves. Will this rekindle their original feelings for each other?
Even though we know from ‘Dead Flesh (Keira Hudson Series 2, Book 1)’ that this novella is completely about Potter and the twenty-four hours he went away from Hallowed Manor, I missed Keira. This surprised me as Potter is my favourite character, but without Keira it wasn’t quite the same. That said, we must not forget that she is part of the reason for him tracking down Sophie, so that everybody can go back to the world as it were and maybe their curse from The Elders will be lifted in some way.
The world in ‘Dead Night – Potter’s Secrets’ does not seem to be set in the past or the future but more like a parallel universe. As there are no Vampyrus in this world it is uncertain that Potter and co ever existed. However, if there is anyone from their previous life in this new ‘pushed’ world advice is given that it would be best not to track them down, meet them or engage with them in any way to ensure that circumstances are not changed. This reminded me of the ‘Back to the Future’ movies, that I have been watching recently with my son, where the ‘Doc’ is advising ‘Marty’ to not interfere with his family or friends in the past in order not to meddle with the time space continuum. I had to smile when beginning ‘Dead Angels (Keira Hudson Series 2, Book 2)’ as Michael J. Fox is referred to and he plays ‘Marty McFly’ in the ‘Back to the Future’ movies. However, please remember that this novella is not set in the past or the future as far as we know, just a different version of the world we are used to.
As Potter reminds me of ‘Gene Hunt’ from the ‘Life on Mars’ tv programme, this novella and previous novel ‘Dead Statues’ felt that it was like ‘Gene Hunt’ waking up in a different world rather than the character ‘Sam Tyler’. ‘Gene Hunt’, just like Potter, would be grouchy, aggressive and temperamental on the outside, but on the inside would be confused and in search of answers in a similar way to Potter. These types of characters do not wear their heart on their sleeves, and in many ways this supports their mysteriousness and their dark side, thus making them unpredicatable but so loveable.
Throughout the Keira Hudson novels, the iPod is a regular mention and a favourite of mine. For me, it helps me connect more and adds a little reality to the fiction. In this particular book, there is a scene which uses the song ‘Fix You’ by ‘Coldplay’ which is more than appropriate. It completely sets the mood and atmosphere of the feeling of the character and where their head is at. Perfect.
In between the emotions and action that the reader is taken through this novella did hold a few nice surprises, which help keep the hope alive for Potter, Keira and co to ‘push’ the world back to how they once knew it. However, that is not to say that all is well. After reading, I am left wondering whether Potter will keep his secrets or not. How will they affect Potter and co in future novels?
As with all of Tim O’Rourke’s Keira Hudson books this novella is fast-paced and adventurous. It is written from Sophie’s perception as well as Potter’s. This enables the reader to connect with the characters more by understanding them and knowing more about each one. This style allows the reader to feel like they are a part of the story. It is truly amazing.
Reviewed by Caroline Barker