The Nites is a fun sci-fi adventure for young readers that is the first in a series of yet-to-be-published books by writer Charles Winters. It follows the story of Joe, a night watchman, and the bizarre happenings in his office while he is on shift. After Joe finds a strange, unknown object at work, he seeks out the advice of a professor from the local university. Both men's lives become entangled, along with Joe’s coworkers, as the days pass and still there is no answer as to what the object is or what strange occurrences are happening at Joe’s office. Tensions rise along with the ever-increasing sense of danger. Winters is remarkable at building the feeling of unrest. The main character, while a little monotonous and predictable, is likable, as is the professor. Most importantly, the story is interesting and one that children will want to grab a hold of and relish. Here is where Winters' heart lies and where I see true potential in a series. If you don't have likable characters or an interesting story, particularly with children, you lose them. But, things that go bump in the night? A night watchman turned detective? There are a plethora of possibilities here that The Nites alludes will continue on in the series.
What is holding The Nites back from its potential is editing, which is to be expected with self-publishing; however, the degree of editing issues is notable enough to make passages difficult to follow. This would be problematic for student readers, especially ones that are still new to reading novels versus story books. Therefore, things such as keeping tense consistent, as well as the use of quotations for conversation, are key to helping the readers follow and enjoy all of the creativity that The Nites is filled with.
The Nites ends on a cliffhanger, teasing readers for what is to come next in The Nights Volume 2. I won't divulge any secrets, but I am awfully curious to know what's going on with the strange lights and whatever happened to . . . gotcha! Charles Winters shows his love for story in The Nites which is packed with creative love and mystery.