Author: Jenna Black
Series: Nightstruck (Book 1)
Publication: Tor Teen (April 5, 2016)
Description: The start of a spooky yet romantic dark 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. A studious high school senior, her biggest problems to date have been choosing which colleges to apply to, living up to her parents' ambitious expectations for her, and fighting her secret crush on her best friend's boyfriend. But that all changes on the night she tries to save an innocent life and everything goes horribly wrong.
Unbeknownst to her, Becket has been tricked into opening a door between worlds, allowing a dark magic into the mortal world. As the magic trickles in, the city begins to change at night. 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 in the morning, and no one can capture the strange changes--such as potholes turning into toothy mouths and wires turning into strangling vines--on film, which prompts the government to declare that the city has been infected with some kind of madness and must be quarantined. Meanwhile, venturing out of one's house at night has become a dangerous proposition, and the moment the sun sets, most of the citizens of the city shut themselves up in their houses and stay there even in the case of dire emergencies.
The magic is openly hostile to most mortals, but there are some individuals 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 all her responsibilities and join them. Joining the night world means being free of not just responsibility, but conscience, and it means no longer caring about the fate of others.
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed NIGHTSTRUCK. Becket is a pretty normal high school senior until she accidentally opens the door to let evil paranormal creatures into the city of Philadelphia. She has pretty ordinary problems: dealing with her parents' acrimonious divorce, deciding what colleges to apply to, and having a crush on her best friend's boyfriend who is actually the boy next door. Soon she is dealing with all sorts of unexplained things. Did she really see the ironwork on an ornamental fence change? Did the trash from a spilled trash can really form itself into a monster and chase her?
Soon Becket isn't the only one dealing with unexpected and unbelievable things. Her father - the police commissioner - is working even longer hours than normal dealing with all these strange reported occurrences. There are all sorts of bizarre crimes happening each night. Street people and anyone else out at night have a tendency to disappear. The CDC is called in to investigate and try to come up with a reality-based explanation. The city is quarantined. A curfew is established to keep everyone indoors once darkness falls.
Soon Becket's best friend Piper is caught up in whatever is going on. Her personality changes. She becomes someone unrecognizable to Becket and she becomes evil. She is determined that Becket come out of her house and night and embrace the changes. She is aided by a strange young man with piercing green eyes named Aleric who has found a way to bump into Becket more often than could be explained by coincidence.
This story was spooky because it brought the paranormal into the life of an ordinary girl - a girl who had no idea what was going on. The only negative is that there is a cliffhanger ending that will keep me wondering until the next book comes out. Fans of the spooky will definitely enjoy this excellent story.
But I just couldn't do it. I told myself I didn't want to burden him, that he was already too tired and dispirited, that maybe it was all over and I'd never have to think about it again. But I think the truth was that I didn't really want to know what was going on with me. The way I saw it, there were three possibilities: something was physically wrong with me (i.e., the brain tumor theory); I was going crazy; or it was some bizarre anomaly that was all over now. Option three was probably a pretty fragile possibility to hang my hopes on, but options one and two were both too terrible to contemplate. I would face them if and only if I had no other choice.I got this ARC from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.