Dead by Morning (Rituals of the Night) (Volume 1) Paperback – May 21, 2015
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Luna is smart and a bit of a geek and outsider at her high school. Her best (and only) friend is Violet who has a crush on Chance, the charming golden boy of the school. However, Chance only has eyes for Luna, maybe because she is so vehemently uninterested in him. Chance schemes and uses Luna's father, David, to wiggle his way into her life, ingratiating himself so that Luna must date him and go to the next dance. Chance also gets the popular girls in school to help Luna with a dress and to befriend her.
However, Chance is more than just a pretty face. Several girls in the school are missing and Chance has used his Ted Bundy-like appeal to cover his involvement. Then Chance starts to invade Luna's dreams.
There are a lot of twists in this story which kept me reading and not wanting to put the book down. If you like Steven King's Carrie and books of that time, you'll enjoy reading Dead by Morning.
Now spoilers (don't read enless you've read the book or plan to and don't care for spoilers
* the whole satanic thing going on, I feel like she dropped this element completely
(Or maybe not this could be explained in a sequel) (also as a person whose read the satanic bible and not a satanists I would like to point out actual satanist don't do this)
This is a good book and is scary. I hope she writes diffrent books and created a sequel. She has a lot of talent.
The author presents realistic teenagers who can't make convincing arguments and go through on plans that don't make much sense (that's a good thing, in case you can't tell). But I still found it a little frustrating that the main character, Luna, never goes ahead and calls the police to tell them that she suspects who the killer is. I guess this happens in a lot of crime thrillers where you just want to yell at MC, "Call the police already!" In such instances, you need to step back and think about what the MC knows versus what you the reader knows; then it might make sense why the police aren't called. Even so, at some point in this book, Luna has seen quite a number of things that would make a certain boy a strong suspect in a murder case ... but she just figures the police won't do anything no matter what she tells them. I know the author doesn't want to sabotage the kind of story she wants to tell, but I still found it frustrating.
Stephen King's influence can definitely be felt thanks to some supernatural elements in the story, and there's a character who happens to know all about these elements and what to expect from them. For some reason, Luna doesn't find it odd that he knows these things, and she never questions him about it. There's a small explanation at the end of the story, but it's not enough to excuse a weak story narrative.
And finally, there's a certain house that seems to have no grownups. High school students just do as they please there which includes driving to places and answering the door. I'm sure the idea is that the parents are off at work during the day, but still, there's simply no mention of them at all. Even when two police officers show up, they don't ask if there are grownups around.
I gave the book three stars because I did find it gripping at times, and the villain is truly, horribly evil. It also had a narrative flow that was easy to read and follow.
Luna is a senior in high school and anything but popular. For the most part her classmates avoid her except for the stunning, most handsome boy in school, Chance. For reason's Luna can't fathom Chance begins to turn up wherever Luna happens to be. Unlike her fellow female classmates, Chance creeps Luna out. She rebuffs his advances but he continues to shadow her, eventually stalking her. Chance starts displaying odd behaviors. He even gets Luna in trouble with her dad who takes Chance's side and forces Luna to go out with him. The more time Luna spends around Chance the more evil she sees in him. She loathes him and can't seem to get him out of her life. Then she begins to have nightmares about him. Soon she learns from friends that are having similar Chance nightmares, that a place called DreamWorld exists and things that happen there can leave a mark in reality.
A couple of high school girls come up missing. One is found dead and Luna suspects Chance is behind these horrible incidents due to some clues she found when he forced her to go to his home. Is she right? Is Chance a murder? Or is he just a misunderstood high school boy with a crush on a girl who hates him?
I found the book riveting. It had a good pace, well developed characters and great twists and turns. You felt the heroine might never come out on top, yet you're rooting for her the whole time.
Top international reviews
There's a narrowing sense in her world as he circles her and turns her vulnerabilities against her. The book has a smothering, circular atmosphere that really brings out what Luna is going through. She's just trying to get through the next few weeks smoothly so that her conservative father will let her go to college. But there seems to be no chance that she'll be able to keep her head down and just get through it!
I also loved the sound of the main character, a pessimistic senior called Luna Ketz, so opted to give the book a go and I'm glad that I did.
Dead By Morning is a tale of obsession. What happens when someone very dangerous becomes obsessed with you and things take a creepy turn? How do you live like that?
That's the situation Luna finds herself in in this engrossing book by Kayla Krantz when Chance, the boy that every girl wants except for Luna, sets his sights on the girl who despises him. But Chance isn't all that he seems and the reality is pretty shocking.
I won't spoil the ending, but you will want to read this book right to the end.
Another thing. Superb cover from the author. It really made the book stand out in what's a crowded market.
High on atmosphere, chills and thrills, Dead by Morning is at heart a tale of obsession, a dangerous trait for all who encounter it. The author explores that trait well in a page-turner of a novel. The book is the first in a series, which will be well worth following, but offers a satisfying read as a stand-alone.
It is aimed at a teenage readership, hence the setting of school and dates etc. It does, however, have a creepy and evil vibe that roots itself in obsession.
The tone and style of writing are good, giving it both a realistic feel and one of surrealism.
I did prefer the Dreamworld idea and not all was revealed, but that will come in future installments, I suppose.
Overall, a good fantasy read.
I loved the story and how the characters changed and progressed throughout. A engaging well written story that is definitely worth the read!
I would probably say that the book is not aimed at my age group ( 46 ) but as stated it kept my interest to the end.
Good luck in all your writing endeavours Kayla
Chance becomes obsessed and stalkerish in a way that should have resulted in a restraining order, but even Luna’s father falls for his charm. Elements of fantasy surface as not only does Luna have to contend with him in her waking hours, but also when she’s asleep as he manipulates her dreams.
Kayla Krantz leaves a trail of breadcrumbs for the reader that leads to final showdown between Luna and Chance, but also sets the scene for book 2. The author is heartless and has no qualms about taking the lives of her characters (meant in a good way) as the shock value helps to further entrench the depths of evil.
This book reads like a young adult book. No sex, little swearing, high school theme. Just murder, mayhem and unexpected turns and twists.
Let me start off by saying this is not my usual genre. The author is a fan of Stephen King and his work is something I’ve never really connected with, despite numerous attempts. (King is one of the authors I always felt I should like, but can’t for some reason.) But I find Luna and Chance more engaging characters. The choice of including the killer’s POV was a pleasant surprise. I do think the prose and pacing could have been a little tighter and more streamlined (the chapter breaks were sometimes jarring and there's a lot of telling instead of showing), but it was still a quick read and kept me wanting to learn more about the characters and plot. (I knew I was going to keep reading the series, especially after reading the blurbs for the next two books.)
I loved the idea of a killer stalking his victim in her dreams. A person is completely vulnerable when they sleep and it’s something everyone has to do eventually. The scenes that occur in Dreamworld are sufficiently creepy and the murders are violent enough to give a true sense of how dangerous the killer is without being gratuitous.
I was very pleased that Luna wasn’t swayed by Chance’s good looks or charms. Some many times in paranormal YA, stalking and abusive behavior is painted as romantic, but the author makes it clear that this is not the case. Even though almost every other character pushes her towards Chance (even her own father, which drove me nuts!) Luna consistently stands up to Chance and tells him she doesn’t want him near her. Chance makes her uncomfortable and while I would have liked for her to be a bit more assertive, I didn’t think she was being a doormat.
This novel reminded me a lot of the paranormal slasher flicks from the 80’s and early 90’s. I would have adored this book in high school. It’s an intriguing idea and I’ve already started the sequel.
of peculiar magic and evil exists parallel to our perception and a handful of interesting characters have discovered it. A very fun read, I definitely recommend it.