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Nightstruck Hardcover – April 5, 2016
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Becket thinks her life is already complicated enough with her parents' divorce, college decisions, and obsession with her neighbor who is her best friend's boyfriend. But in an attempt to aid what she believes is an abandoned baby one night, Becket unknowingly unleashes an evil upon Philadelphia. During the day, everything is fine, but at sundown, dark magic appears and wreaks havoc on the innocent. Bizarre sightings of inanimate objects alive and roaming the streets along with other murderous creatures become the norm. To protect its citizens, the city imposes a curfew, but later as the situation becomes more dire, Philadelphia is quarantined with the National Guard called in to restore order. While nothing will stop the wicked black magic, it seeks out Becket and entices her to join with it. Becket knows she is the only one with the power to turn the tide, but does she have the strength and fortitude to do what is right? Black weaves an original tale of heart-pounding terror full of suspense and intrigue. Becket is a likable protagonist—strong-minded and stubborn yet ultimately vulnerable and very human. She and the other well-defined characters drive the action-packed and mystifying plot, which keeps readers hooked to the very last page. VERDICT A captivating start to an up-and-coming series. Sure to be a hit with fans of the occult and supernatural.—Donna Rosenblum, Floral Park Memorial High School, NY
“A creepy series with an imaginative and unsettling premise.” - Publishers Weekly
“If readers want something a bit different from typical YA fare, I’d recommend reading Nightstruck.” - RT Book Reviews
Top customer reviews
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Becket is your average teenager in some ways. Her parents are newly divorced and she decided to live with her dad in order to stay at the same school so she can graduate with her best friend, Piper. Piper is Becket’s complete opposite. It was kind of amazing that they were friends, because Piper is popular, gorgeous, outgoing, and all over the place. Becket is the more serious type and only gets into trouble when she hangs out with Piper and things get out of control.
Why their friendship works, I don’t know. Becket even mentions she usually has to wait for Piper to have time for her in her busy schedule. But despite Piper’s flaws, she can be a pretty good friend.
The weird stuff starts happening fairly early on when Becket stumbles upon a crying baby while walking her dog at night. Though the baby is far from any she’s seen before. There’s an oddness to it. And when she accidentally cuts herself and blood dripped onto said odd baby, the baby disappeared! So pretty much right away my attention was grabbed with this first scene!
The coming changes were gradual. Becket starts noticing little things throughout the day and then seeing at night how they are totally different. It’s some time down the line where it becomes dangerous to be out at night. There’s also changes in Piper’s behavior. She becomes very unlike herself, it’s like she’s a whole different person!
In the midst of all this chaos, we also have Becket dealing with her crush, Luke, who is her neighbor and Piper’s boyfriend. It makes the crush complicated because in a way, she introduced the two and a relationship just kind of formed. But since Piper’s going through dramatic changes that she’s no longer her old self, and there’s chaos reigning in the city…you can imagine “things” start to happen. And it was actually done rather well and realistically. Nothing overly clichéd either, at least I thought.
I also really enjoyed that Becket’s dad was in the picture, at least occasionally. More so than you see in other YA novels. His absence is warranted though as he’s the chief of police and when the horror and downright scary stuff starts happening in the city, he becomes a little preoccupied. But he’s still there for Becket when it counts. And you have to admire that. Even when Becket and him got into arguments, like teens do with their parents, I still really enjoyed his fatherly role in her life. He really does want the best for her.
The pacing to this one was crazy! And I mean that in the very best of ways! We don’t really understand what’s happening. There’s just tons of chaos going on at night and it’s really scary because people do die! We even “see” some of these nameless people die. This was in the beginning when we weren’t consciously aware of all the crazy going on. And it’s terrifying. There’s a mysterious guy who keeps popping up around Becket when it was still safe to be outside and naturally, you get the idea of that he might know a thing or two.
Needless to say, there’s a lot I can’t say about this one without getting into spoiler territory! Just know that it’s downright freaky and has a heavy air of mystery to it all because we still don’t fully understand what’s going on here. And the ending…ohdeargod don’t get me started on that ending!! It’s a cliffhanger and it’s pretty high on the scale of screaming WTF repeatedly and endlessly. I both love and hate those! I love the excitement and the not knowing of what’s going to happen next, but I LOATHE the year long wait until the next book! That’s always the worst thing about a cliffhanger! The WAITING!!
Despite that ending that’s going to add nervous tics to my sanity, I quite enjoyed this one! It was a thrilling and engaging read! It keeps you guessing and on your toes because danger is at every corner, especially at night. It seems no one and nothing is truly safe at night, unless you stay inside behind locked doors. And have a shotgun! Kind of glad I read this one just during the day time. It’s an added balm to my personal being, though that ending pretty much ripped apart my sanity in some ways! LOL!
If you’re looking for a read that’s freaking and exciting, one filled with horrors to curl your toes and tingle your spine, and a mystery that’s decidedly dark, you couldn’t choose a better read than Nightstruck. Read it if you dare!!* (MUWHAHAHAHA!!)
*a pun on the scariness and the cliffhanger! LOL! I truly get a little too giddy with these reviews!
Overall Rating 5/5 stars—yes, even with that incredibly painful cliffhanger, I can’t bring myself to knock it down a half star. It was truly and incredibly a GREAT read!
Becket thinks she is going crazy with the bizarre things she started seeing after an encounter in an alley that she hardly believes happened herself. People are changing, and the night seems to be taking over with unexplained changes and murders.
It gets worse with every night. Darkness is taking over.
This story is an amazing read with a creative story line and characters you will fall for. The words on the page blurred as the story took to imagine in my mind. It is fast paced and never lets up. You don't want to miss out on this series. It is an incredible from the first page to the last!
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 chicken 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 !
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?
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.
Most recent customer reviews
As soon as I heard about Nightstruck, I knew that I was going to want to give it a read.Read more