I really enjoy a good horror story, and there is one in here. Unfortunately, it’s about ten pages long and it’s surrounded by 280 pages of teenage angst and uncertainty.
Beckett is out walking her dog one night when she hears a cry. She’s worried that it’s a baby that’s been abandoned out in the cold. But it’s actually evil incarnate and Beckett has brought it into her home. That evil slowly begins to change the city of Philadelphia, but the changes only occur at night where even the inanimate objects are there to lure a foolish soul to their doom.
The changes are wide-spread, and the police and the hospitals are aware of a growing number of ‘incidents’ taking place in the city, though only Beckett is aware of the cause. Beckett’s father is the police commissioner. He had Beckett’s mother just finalized a nasty divorce. While Beckett chose to stay with her father rather than move to Boston with her mother, the growing evil means that he has a lot to deal with and isn’t home. Beckett also has a best friend, Piper, who is rude and over-bearing when it comes to Beckett. And then there’s the guy Beckett is crushing on, but she’s too timid to let him know.
Author Jenna Black does a really nice job of setting up the horror in the darkness here, and it grows nicely, spreading like a cancer through the city and through the reader.
For me, however, there was a lack of ‘action’ or motivation. We get the growing evil and the fear for Beckett, but we have 300 pages of growing evil and not much else. Does Beckett fight this evil? Does she try to warn her father and by extension, the city?
I got so bored reading through this. The opening pages really hooked me, but I slowly grew to be more annoyed by Beckett and her friends than anything else. Just as I stopped caring about the growing evil Black would manage to bring about a paragraph or chapter that renewed my interest in what was happening, but then Beckett would go off and do something that completely made me not care anymore. It was an annoying roller-coaster of a ride for me.
Those teens who enjoy reading about other teens with lots of angst and problems, and who also want to read a good horror story, would probably really get in to this story. I, however, was bored and will look for a good horror story elsewhere.
Looking for a good book? Nightstruck by Jenna Black is a dark story of an un-named evil spreading through a major city at night, and a teen who unwittingly brought it about and her problems as a teen.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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author: Jenna Black
series: Nightstruck #1
publisher: Tor Teen
hardcover, 304 pages