The start of a paranormal horror series from Glimmerglass author Jenna Black.
The night is the enemy, and the city of Philadelphia is its deadliest weapon.
Becket is an ordinary teenage girl, wrestling with the upheaval of her parents' divorce. Her biggest problems to date have been choosing which colleges to apply to, living up to her parents' ambitious expectations of her, and fighting her secret crush on her best friend's boyfriend. That all changes the night she tries to save an innocent life and everything goes horribly wrong.
Becket has been tricked into opening a door between worlds. As dark magic trickles into Philadelphia, strange creatures roam the streets and inanimate objects come to life, all of them bloodthirsty and terrifying. The city returns to normal when the sun rises each morning. The moment the sun sets, most citizens shut themselves in their houses and stay there no matter what they hear.
The magic is openly hostile to most mortals, but there are some it seems to covet, trying to lure them out into the night. While Becket struggles to protect her friends and family from predatory creatures of the night, she is constantly tempted to shrug off her responsibilities and join them.
I received this eARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.
Jenna Black has been one of my favorite authors for years now! I’ve adored her foray into the YA world since Glimmerglass, and when I heard she was writing a horror filled YA read, I knew I had to have it!! Nightstruck was one of the creepiest reads I’ve read in awhile. Not so much where I was afraid to sleep at night, but the things that happened at night in the book, were terrifying! I’m not going to be looking at sewer drains or park benches the same way again!
Becket is your average teenager in some ways. Her parents are newly divorced and she decided to live with her dad in order to stay at the same school so she can graduate with her best friend, Piper. Piper is Becket’s complete opposite. It was kind of amazing that they were friends, because Piper is popular, gorgeous, outgoing, and all over the place. Becket is the more serious type and only gets into trouble when she hangs out with Piper and things get out of control.
Why their friendship works, I don’t know. Becket even mentions she usually has to wait for Piper to have time for her in her busy schedule. But despite Piper’s flaws, she can be a pretty good friend.
The weird stuff starts happening fairly early on when Becket stumbles upon a crying baby while walking her dog at night. Though the baby is far from any she’s seen before. There’s an oddness to it. And when she accidentally cuts herself and blood dripped onto said odd baby, the baby disappeared! So pretty much right away my attention was grabbed with this first scene!
The coming changes were gradual. Becket starts noticing little things throughout the day and then seeing at night how they are totally different. It’s some time down the line where it becomes dangerous to be out at night. There’s also changes in Piper’s behavior. She becomes very unlike herself, it’s like she’s a whole different person!
In the midst of all this chaos, we also have Becket dealing with her crush, Luke, who is her neighbor and Piper’s boyfriend. It makes the crush complicated because in a way, she introduced the two and a relationship just kind of formed. But since Piper’s going through dramatic changes that she’s no longer her old self, and there’s chaos reigning in the city…you can imagine “things” start to happen. And it was actually done rather well and realistically. Nothing overly clichéd either, at least I thought.
I also really enjoyed that Becket’s dad was in the picture, at least occasionally. More so than you see in other YA novels. His absence is warranted though as he’s the chief of police and when the horror and downright scary stuff starts happening in the city, he becomes a little preoccupied. But he’s still there for Becket when it counts. And you have to admire that. Even when Becket and him got into arguments, like teens do with their parents, I still really enjoyed his fatherly role in her life. He really does want the best for her.
The pacing to this one was crazy! And I mean that in the very best of ways! We don’t really understand what’s happening. There’s just tons of chaos going on at night and it’s really scary because people do die! We even “see” some of these nameless people die. This was in the beginning when we weren’t consciously aware of all the crazy going on. And it’s terrifying. There’s a mysterious guy who keeps popping up around Becket when it was still safe to be outside and naturally, you get the idea of that he might know a thing or two.
Needless to say, there’s a lot I can’t say about this one without getting into spoiler territory! Just know that it’s downright freaky and has a heavy air of mystery to it all because we still don’t fully understand what’s going on here. And the ending…ohdeargod don’t get me started on that ending!! It’s a cliffhanger and it’s pretty high on the scale of screaming WTF repeatedly and endlessly. I both love and hate those! I love the excitement and the not knowing of what’s going to happen next, but I LOATHE the year long wait until the next book! That’s always the worst thing about a cliffhanger! The WAITING!!
Despite that ending that’s going to add nervous tics to my sanity, I quite enjoyed this one! It was a thrilling and engaging read! It keeps you guessing and on your toes because danger is at every corner, especially at night. It seems no one and nothing is truly safe at night, unless you stay inside behind locked doors. And have a shotgun! Kind of glad I read this one just during the day time. It’s an added balm to my personal being, though that ending pretty much ripped apart my sanity in some ways! LOL!
If you’re looking for a read that’s freaking and exciting, one filled with horrors to curl your toes and tingle your spine, and a mystery that’s decidedly dark, you couldn’t choose a better read than Nightstruck. Read it if you dare!!* (MUWHAHAHAHA!!)
*a pun on the scariness and the cliffhanger! LOL! I truly get a little too giddy with these reviews!
Overall Rating 5/5 stars—yes, even with that incredibly painful cliffhanger, I can’t bring myself to knock it down a half star. It was truly and incredibly a GREAT read!
Nightstruck releases on April 5, 2016