Video Night is set in the late eighties, and gives a vibe that will be familiar to anyone who grew up in that time period. Billy Rile is a smart, nerdy kid who excels at school and video games, and has a strong obsession with horror movies. His best friend Tom is the polar opposite of him. Tom is a little rough around the edges, doesn’t often attend school, and doesn’t come from a well-adjusted household. Billy lusts after his neighbor, who is smart and beautiful. When their Long Island community starts being infested by these alien creatures, in Invasion of the Body Snatchers style, the trio must take cover and defend themselves from this attack on their video night.
There’s a lot to like in this novel. Being around the same age as the main characters during that time in the eighties, I could certainly relate to what they were going through and the references from that time period. The characters are well formed and relatable. The writing style is fast paced and matches the tenor of the plot. There is a nice build to the finale at the end and a strong payoff. If I were to offer a criticism, it’s that the novel doesn’t cover new ground. This type of alien invasion/takeover has been done frequently before, but it’s certainly well done in this novel. Fans of aliens, horror movies, video games, and quality fiction should check this novel out.
Carl Alves – author of Blood Street