Friday, April 8, 2016

ARC Review: Nightstruck by Jenna Black

by Jenna Black
Series:  Nighstruck #1
Pub. Date:  April 5, 2016
Publisher:  Tor Teen
Pages:  304
Format:  eARC
Source:  NetGalley

My Rating:  
Sultry Scale:

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.

Nightstruck made me reminisce about the good ol' days when I was in middle school reading R.L. Stine at night in my room by flashlight, and generally freaking myself out. It also reminded me of a young adult version of one of my favorite Dean Koontz books, The Taking. I would recommend it for fans of any of these books and authors, or fans of The Talisman and Black House. It just had that kinda feel and it was a nice change of pace from my usual romance reads.

The central character of this story is Becket, a smart teenage girl with career-driven parents who have recently divorced. After the divorce, Becket elected to live with her dad, the police commissioner, so she wouldn't have to move to Boston where her mom was pursuing a corporate legal career. The story is told entirely from Becket's POV, and I had a fairly good connection to her character. Becket was the typical teenager with a strict dad, overworked parents, a frenemy who she has a love-hate relationship with, and the cute teenage boy neighbor perfect for a crush. Then we have the handsome bad boy show up that is so pretty to look at, but sets all her instincts on red alert. Plus there was BOB, the lovable and protective German Shepard.

I loved the world building that Jenna Black has started. The magic or evil or whatever supernatural force is leaking into Philadelphia is warping the environment. Pot holes are eating cars, statues are coming to life with evil intent, trash cans come to life and chase you. It was awesomely crazy. I am looking forward to see how much further this world develops as the series progresses.

I haven't said much about the story because I think its one you should experience yourself. I should also warn you that there is a big ol' cliffhanger, and its a good one. The cliffy should not keep you from reading the book right away (as in waiting for the next book to be published). I think the story paused in the perfect place to make you eager for the next release without making you super mad at being left hanging.

I think this book is going to inspire a horror or thriller kick for me. I haven't read this genre in a while and I forgot how entertaining they can be.

I received an advanced copy of this book from Tor Teen via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.