Book Review: Nightstruck by Jenna Black

Posted July 7, 2017 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 2 Comments

Book Review: Nightstruck by Jenna Black

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Nightstruck by Jenna Black
Genres: Horror, Urban Fantasy, YA
Published by Tor Teen on April 5, 2016
Pages: 303
Format: eBook
Source: the library

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First in the Nightstruck urban fantasy horror series for young adults set in Philadelphia in the Center City neighborhood and revolving around the beleaguered Becket Walker.

My Take

Whew…that narrative hook Black used is a psychological foreshadowing priming that pump of fear. And I’m torn between ticked off and shivering in horror. I can whine all I like that Becket “should have known ‘better’”, but when you place “experience” in the real world, there is just no way anyone could anticipate the world that Black has created. Worse, it appeals to that side of you that would like to forget the bad things, the grief, the abandonment, the horrors of your past…until your conscience rears up in horror.

Becket’s character did tick me off. She is such a chickenshit and could have saved him. All the horror that could have been prevented in that one moment, although it wouldn’t have provided all those “juicy” issues later. I keep reminding myself that a kill creates a heap of emotional baggage that sucks the reader right in.

Her dad seems oblivious to a number of things in Becket’s life: that long commute she has to get to school every day and how his attitude is affecting his relationship with his daughter. As for Becket, yeah, she’s oblivious to the real Piper, the one we learn of through that anagnorisis plot beat. As for her mom’s issues with her dad’s working hours…what a hypocrite! And it’s all a great way to inform the reader of what has happened in the Walker household to create their current family issues.

The deathtrap plot beat was inspired, and part of that psychological horror, followed by one CLIFFhanger of an ending with those hints of flashforward, of what “should” become of Becket. Jesus, I have GOT to get Night Magic!

The Story

It’s that seventh “stretch” that allows him to come through, and an accident that gives him life. A humanitarian action that could doom all of mankind, as the city comes alive at night.

The temptation is there, for who wouldn’t want to dump all of one’s miseries and not suffer any more?

The Characters

Becket Walker is the family disappointment and an overachieving senior high schooler at the Edith Goldman School for Girls. Dad, Pete Walker, is the police commissioner. Bob Barker is their German shepherd. Her mom, a corporate lawyer, is the ex-wife who moved to Boston. Beth is Becket’s five-years-older sister.

Piper Grant is Becket’s best friend, a dubious one with lots of money and suspicious morals. Dad says she’s “a spoiled, entitled rich kid who got off on manipulating her ‘worshippers’”. Dr. and Mrs. Schiff are friends of Piper’s parents; he works in the Princeton University admissions office.

Luke is Piper’s current boyfriend, the neighbor Becket has had a crush on forever. Dr. Gilliam, an ER doctor, is his compassionate mother. Marlene is his cousin.

The Night Makers are…
…coming. Billy is the horned goat, a metal construct, who incites. Aleric is the gorgeous guy who “rescues” Becket.

Jimmy thinks Maria may be the one. Jill Jameson should have gotten her feet wet. Mrs. Pinter is another neighbor.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a montage of events in the story as the world becomes a nightmare when the sun goes down: a street light coming alive, twisted into a noose, a manhole cover in a cracked road becoming a snaggle-toothed gaping maw, the deep browns of houses gone dark, all but one trio of upstairs windows. The sky a bruised purple brown of clouds with a sliver of moon shining weakly. Add a smoky haze rising up from it all, its menacing shape reinforcing the anticipation of evil. The author’s name is in a shadowed white as are two informational blurbs, one at the top and the other at the bottom. The title. Oh, that cloud-filled title seems to melt into the street scene.

The title is what you should fear, being Nightstruck.

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2 responses to “Book Review: Nightstruck by Jenna Black

  1. I love it when a character really ticks me off. LOL Got this and the second book waiting for me to read. I may have to bump some others and I’m anxious to get started. Great review, Kathy!

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