I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Night Magic by Jenna Black
Published by Tor Teen on May 30th 2017
Genres: Horror, Young Adult
Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository
Also in this series: Nightstruck
Also by this author: Nightstruck
Jenna Black returns to the quarantined city of Philadelphia, where an unsuspecting seventeen-year-old has unknowingly unleashed a dark power that transforms the city into a monstrous hellscape in Night Magic.
Philadelphia is locked in the grip of an evil magic that transforms its streets into a nightmare landscape the minute the sun sets each night. While most of the city hunkers down and hopes to survive the long winter nights, Becket Walker is roaming the darkened streets having the time of her life.
Once, the guilt of having inadvertently let the night magic into the city―and of having killed her onetime best friend―had threatened to destroy her. But now she’s been Nightstruck, and all her grief and guilt and terror have been swept away―along with her conscience. So what if she’s lost her friends, her family, and her home? And so what if her hot new boyfriend is super-controlling and downright malevolent?
Mesmerized by the power and freedom of not having to care about anyone but herself, Becket is sinking ever deeper into the night magic’s grasp. But those who love her refuse to give up on her―even if she’s given up on them. If they can’t find a way to help Becket break the night magic’s hold, the entire city might soon find itself shrouded in perpetual night. But the last thing Becket wants is to be “rescued” from her brand new life, and she will fight tooth and claw to stay exactly where she is.
This book was as gripping, if not more, than Nightstruck. I was engrossed in this book from the very beginning. It picks up right where Nightstruck left off. Becket is adjusting to her new nightly routine. But she isn’t like the others that have succumbed to the darkness. I loved seeing the dynamic between her, Luke, Aleric, and a few others. She has to find her way, and get used to the fact that she has a darkness inside her.
Beckett has to figure out a way to stop the Nightstruck, but learns she can’t do it all on her own. The scenes in this sequel are just as creepy. I definitely did not want to go outside after finishing it.
After the way it ended, I’m curious if there is going to be a third. I hope so because I want to know what happens next.
On my second full night as one of the Nightstruck, I got falling- down drunk for the first— and possibly the last— time of my life. Aleric had some of his people raid a liquor store for us. We sat in Rittenhouse Square for another picnic, and the Nightstruck soon arrived with a shopping cart full of assorted liquors. They’d kindly thrown in a variety of mixers and glasses as well. Aleric made me drink after drink. Many of them, I only took one sip of. Turns out I’m a picky drinker. Who knew?
I fell dangerously in love with chocolate vodka. It felt a little like battery acid going down, burning all the way to my stomach, but that rich, chocolaty aftertaste was to die for, so I kept drinking it even as the ground turned unsteady beneath me and my limbs started to feel floaty and strange, like they belonged to someone else.
“I’ve never had a hangover before,” I slurred to Aleric as I took another warming sip of pure vodka. “Guess I’m all for new experiences to night.” I’d also never drunk so much I felt like hurling before, and based on the sheer volume of alcohol I’d consumed, that was how I feared this night would end.
“You won’t have to suffer through a hangover,” Aleric said. I knew he was referring to the fact that I wouldn’t be waking up in the morning after having overindulged, and that reminded me that he had never answered my question the night before about what happened to us during the daytime. I once again had no idea where I’d been since we’d dis appeared from the square last night.
However, I was feeling too mellow and fuzzy- headed to tackle such a difficult question, so I let it go and drank some more. Sometime later, the Nightstruck brought us a wireless speaker along with a cell phone. The phone obviously belonged to someone who had an unholy love of music, because there were about a million songs loaded onto it. I tried to find a play list I liked, but my vision was all swoony from the booze, and I doubt my fingers could have hit the right buttons even if I could have focused my eyes enough to read.
Aleric snatched the phone from my hand, and soon music was blasting from the speaker. It was heavy metal, which wasn’t my favorite, but with the bass turned up the beat vibrated through my body and added to the dreamy plea sure of the booze.
“Let’s dance,” Aleric said, tugging me to my feet.
All around us, the Nightstruck were moving to the music, bodies writhing and whirling, hips gyrating as they abandoned themselves to the beat. Under the best of circumstances, I dance with all the grace and ease of Frankenstein’s monster. Since I was under the influence and thought standing up was a pretty tough challenge, I figured I was taking my own life in my hands by making any attempt to dance. However, I knew Aleric wouldn’t laugh at my clumsiness, wouldn’t make fun of me or judge me or grade me. And probably if one of the Nightstruck dared do any of the above, he or she would be dead in seconds, thanks to my knight in shining armor. So I danced.
Okay, maybe saying I danced is a little . . . generous. I made it to my feet and moved my arms and legs around in some approximation of the beat. I tried to twirl once, and it would have turned into a face- plant if Aleric hadn’t grabbed me and held me up.
Once he grabbed me, he didn’t let go. The music was still heavy metal, the lyrics— when I could understand them through the screaming— nasty and offensive, but I was content to wrap my arms around Aleric’s neck and slow dance with him. He put a hand against the small of my back, pulled me close so that my breasts were squashed against his chest and I could feel his whole body pressed up against mine. Tonight, he was wearing some musky aftershave that blended deliciously with the scent of his jacket. I buried my head in his shoulder and inhaled deeply. We were dancing so slowly we were practically standing still, and yet I felt the earth tipping and swaying under my feet.
“I am so drunk,” I murmured against his chest. I’d kind of liked the sensation when it had first set in, but by now the wooziness and lack of balance was getting old. I guess becoming Nightstruck hadn’t swept away my control- freak nature. Thank goodness I wouldn’t have a hangover, and thank goodness I didn’t feel like puking. At least not yet. But I decided then and there that I’d be a little bit more careful about my alcohol consumption in the future.
Aleric’s hands had somehow found their way to my butt, his fingers squeezing hard enough I could feel them through the thickness of the mink I still wore. The touch was meant to be sensual, but at that precise moment a wave of dizziness hit me. All I could think about was trying to stay upright as I clung to Aleric’s neck and ordered my knees to firm up. If he’d been hoping to get me drunk so he could get into my pants, he’d chosen the wrong strategy.
Aleric lowered me down onto our nest of pillows, and the world steadied, though not by much. He lay on top of me, and one of his legs found its way between mine. I could feel the warmth of his breath on my face, smell the anise scent of the Sambuca he’d been drinking. I liked the scent of anise, but a single sip of Sambuca had threatened to come back up immediately, and that sensory memory made my stomach turn over. He tried to kiss me, but I turned my head, afraid I would puke if I tasted his mouth.
“Never drink Sambuca again,” I ordered him, afraid he’d be angry with me for turning him down. I wanted to kiss him, wanted to do far more than kiss him, but not when I felt like this.
Far from being annoyed, Aleric laughed lightly and brushed a stray lock of hair out of my face. “Your wish is my command, my queen,” he said and winked at me. His body was still pressed against mine, warm and inviting, and I loved the feel of him. It never even occurred to me to feel self- conscious about being outside and in full view of about a dozen Nightstruck who were still dancing to the music. Of course, considering how much crotch- grabbing, twerking, and stripper-strutting was going on around me, I suppose we fit right in.
“I’ve had a great time tonight,” I told him, still a little worried I’d offended him. I felt like I lost a little piece of myself as I looked up into those green eyes of his.
“I know,” he said. “And I promise there will be many more good times to come. Sorry about the Sambuca. I’m still learning my way around what you like and don’t like.”
My nose wrinkled, because he was still really close to me and I couldn’t help taking in that anise scent. My stomach felt wobbly and unsure. I wondered how long we had before dawn would take me away from all this. It was abundantly clear that if it didn’t come soon, I would have to suffer the consequences of my overindulgence— which was just wrong. Being Nightstruck was supposed to mean I didn’t have to suffer consequences, didn’t have to think about consequences.
“I don’t want to be sick,” I said, even as I grew more certain I soon would be.
“Just close your eyes,” Aleric advised me, “and it will all go away.”
Despite my skepticism, I did as I was told.
And the next thing I knew, I was standing on the corner of a street, my hand clasped with Aleric’s, my mind clear and my body steady.
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