Nightstruck by Jenna Black. Book review
Becket Walker is a teenager who is not only wrestling with the emotional fallout from her parents’ divorce, but also the fact that the object of her desires is focused solely on her best friend, spoilt Piper Grant. But when Becket’s concern for what she thinks is an abandoned baby opens up a portal that allows in an evil force from another and very dark world, her problems multiply.
For anyone thinking of writing an urban fantasy Nightstruck is a really good book to read and absorb.
The story starts off with Becket’s absorption in the woes of her life. Her parent’s divorce, the fact that her father won’t buy her a car to make it easy for her to go out or get to school, her next door neighbour doesn’t notice her in the way she would like, and to cap it all she’s unjustly grounded. So even if you are well past your teenage years, Jenna Black soon has you right back into the type of angst someone of that age group usually has to grapple with as a process of growing up. Becket certainly needs to do that, and fast, as the situation begins to escalate around her.
This is done well, with an incident here and there as inanimate objects come to life with dire consequences, as well as Becket gradually coming to the realization that things aren’t quite right and setting out to prove it to other people who don’t believe her.
In a type of coming of age Becket has to adjust to her surroundings as her world falls apart and the once all important decisions are forced into the background as she is literally forced to make life and death choices, which make the restrictions her father once placed on her life meaningless.
This novel is more likely to attract female readers as it is firmly centred on a young female protagonist and her emotions. There is a love interest that is not easy to develop in such a fast-paced and dark plot without it appearing to be an add-on. Again the author handles this well within the continually shifting allegiances and manipulations of the dark force at work that has made Philadelphia a no go place at night. There is also the inevitable bad boy, who we see just enough of to make us want to know more about him, but will have an agonising wait until the next book to see what happens with his ‘relationship’ with Becket.
The ending is an interesting one, placing Becket in a situation where she will have an even bigger fight on her hands to overcome the all-pervading evil.
So as a model for a young adult urban fantasy this hits all the marks in the right places and makes for an exciting and fluid read.
Nightstruck is courtesy of Tor Teen via Netgalley