BEWARE THE NIGHT, by Jessika Fleck , Swoon Reads, March 12, 2019, Hardcover, $17.99 (young adult)
In Jessika Fleck’s Beware the Night readers are transported to a dystopian land that feels very much like ancient Rome.
On the island of Bellona, life is peaceful–as long as the citizens dutifully worship the Sun, which protects them from all harm. Seventeen-year-old Veda knows that keeping the Sun happy will protect her and her grandfather from the Night, the dangerous people who snatch innocent citizens from their beds under the cover of darkness, never to be seen again. As long as Veda follows the rules, she will be safe.
But when Veda’s grandfather is offered up as the next sacrificial offering to keep the Sun’s favor, she starts to see that the safety she’s been promised comes at a dangerous price. Maybe there is more to fear above than there is below.
With a mysterious young man, Dorian, at her side, Veda has to figure out if the scary bedtime stories she grew up hearing are real — or dangerous lies. —Synopsis provided by Swoon Reads
Beware the Night is a fascinating mix of the familiar and the unknown. By setting Bellona in a world where there are sacrifices and a coliseum with very specific social classes, Jessika eases readers into a world of her own making.
And that world is one of complexities. Like an onion, Jessika slowly peals back layers that provide sharp and sometimes jarring revelations. Though there are some slower sections throughout Beware the Night they add a nice contrast and create suspense where needed.
Beware the Night ends with a surprising cliffhanger that will leave readers a tad frustrated and wishing the next book in this planned series was already out.
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