Review: The Trouble with Nightingale by Amaleen Ison

The Trouble with Nightingale
Amaleen Ison
Musa Publishing
Ebook provided by the publisher
When eighteen-year-old Millie Scrubbings moves to new digs on East London’s Nightingale Estate, she believes she’s finally closed the door on a childhood dictated by strangers. But overnight, her peaceful high-rise turns bonkers, and a series of grisly murders leaves Millie frightened and more helpless than ever. 

Millie must accept her lead role in rescuing Nightingale from its descent into anarchy, or risk all Hell breaking loose.

I had some reservations before I read this book since it is only 38 pages long. My question then was How can you tell a story in 38 pages? But then I thought, I've read one-shot fanfiction, some 1.5 books, the Up movie seven-minute starting sequence and they managed to tell a story in that short amount of time. So I dove in and read The Trouble with Nightingale on a chilly night in a school converted to a hotel.

This was the first time I've read of a girl, or a story even, being the gatekeeper to Hell. It reminded me of the anime/manga Jigoku Shoujo, but that girl is literally a girl from hell. Millie, in this story, is some sort of apprentice witch somewhat chosen to be the next Gatekeeper.  

I liked it when the book started in the middle. Get what I mean? Action starts right away... but the problem I had was that there was no world building, not anywhere in the book and that was the first detracted point from the book. There were hints spread throughout the book but reading it did not get me past the surface. I so wanted to go deeper.

*sigh* Being so short, the book did not do justice to the story that could have been spun. There was so much to explore - Millie's past, Millie's journey (I know lengthy journey stories become somewhat stale but abbreviated ones may also miss the mark), the back-story of the previous Gatekeeper, the personal story of that yummy familiar, Fabian (animal in the human world, gorgeous boy on the other side).

That is why I'm giving the rating of three apples and two apples - the story was good as it was told in the book but being so short and full of what could-have-been-written would merit some straddling fences. I hope that if there would be more editions of this book or a sequel then it would be more... lengthy.




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