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Nightstruck #1


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It starts with a cry in the night.

Becket, walking her dog one winter evening, fears it’s an abandoned baby left out in the cold. But it is something else—something evil—and it tricks Becket into opening a doorway to another realm, letting a darkness into our world, a corruption that begins transforming Philadelphia into a sinister and menacing version of itself…but only at night.

The changes are subtle at first, causing Becket to doubt her senses and her sanity. But soon the nightmarish truth is impossible to deny: By day, the city is just a city, but at night it literally comes alive with malevolent purpose. Brick and steel become bone, streetlights turn into gallows, and hungry alleys wait to snare mortal victims. Terrified citizens huddle indoors after dusk, as others succumb to the siren song of the night, letting their darker sides run wild.

Once, Becket’s biggest problems were living up to her police commissioner father’s high expectations and a secret crush on her best friend’s boyfriend. Now she must find a way to survive and protect her loved ones…before the darkness takes her as well.

304 pages, Hardcover

First published April 5, 2016

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About the author

Jenna Black

53 books2,510 followers
Jenna Black is your typical writer. Which means she's an "experience junkie." She got her BA in physical anthropology and French from Duke University.

Once upon a time, she dreamed she would be the next Jane Goodall, camping in the bush making fabulous discoveries about primate behavior. Then, during her senior year at Duke, she did some actual research in the field and made this shocking discovery: primates spend something like 80% of their time doing such exciting things as sleeping and eating.

Concluding that this discovery was her life's work in the field of primatology, she then moved on to such varied pastimes as grooming dogs and writing technical documentation. She writes paranormal romance for Tor and urban fantasy for Bantam Dell.


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Displaying 1 - 30 of 126 reviews
Profile Image for Mogsy.
2,073 reviews2,635 followers
May 2, 2016
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2016/04/30/...

I’ve always been a bit wary of “dark” or “horror” YA because so often they don’t live up to those descriptions, but I think I’ve finally found one worthy of those labels. I had a surprisingly good time with Nightstruck, a young adult novel with chilling story that actually shocked me with a couple of its disturbing twists and turns.

It all began with a baby. Or, more precisely, what protagonist Becket thought was a baby, abandoned on the church steps on a cold night in Philadelphia, while she was out walking the dog. Unable to ignore its desperate cries for help, she goes and picks up the bundle, only to find two inhuman green eyes glowing back at her from within the darkness of the folds. The “baby” then crumbles into black dust, the remnants of it dispersing onto the wind like ashes. And thus begins the city’s descent into madness. For days, Becket keeps what she saw a secret, convinced that no one would believe her. But soon, others start to notice their surroundings changing. At first the changes are subtle, such as reports that everyday things around the city are being replaced with obscene or disturbing imagery—easy enough to ignore or dismiss. By the end of the week though, police and hospitals are overrun and baffled by the flood of panicked citizens claiming to have been attacked by inanimate objects that have come to life and transformed into living monstrous constructs.

Worst of all, even though these terrors are witnessed by many, no one has been able to capture any of it on film. Still, no one wants to admit that the causes are paranormal, least of all the federal government. Suspecting a contagious virus or something environmental like hallucinatory agents in the water, Philadelphia is quarantined—which, of course, only makes things worse. Whatever is changing the city starts changing its trapped citizens as well. All across Philly, people are going missing only to emerge again crazed and violent when the sun goes down. Dubbed the “Nightstruck”, they travel the streets in packs to prey on those unfortunate enough to be out after dark. What’s curious is that during the day, things still seem normal enough…but when night falls, the city goes to hell.

While all this is going down, we also have our main character struggling with a couple of serious changes in her personal life. Her parents have just gone through a very messy divorce, with Becket choosing to stay with dad while her mom moved to Boston. Becket’s father however is also the police commissioner, so having to deal with the meltdown of the city means leaving his daughter for most of this book. Thankfully Becket is the independent, capable sort. What’s interesting though, is how far removed she is from your typical “strong female protagonist.” In fact, if we’re talking in terms of willpower or having a backbone, Becket is decidedly the worst kind of pushover. It’s also clear that she doesn’t have the best self-esteem. She doesn’t stand up for herself and she lets others walk all over her a lot, especially when it comes to her so-called best friend Piper, who often talks Becket into things she doesn’t want to do.

That said, I suspect that this is all a set-up for Becket’s personal growth for the rest of this series, and we’ll probably see her gradually gaining confidence and becoming more assertive. Piper is a very complicated character as well, with many redeeming personality traits, making it easier to see why Becket would value their friendship. I thought that their relationship was established really well in this book, and it made for interesting (and traumatic) dynamics between the two girls when Piper becomes Nightstruck, and Becket has to deal with the horror of watching her best friend become a monster.

I also enjoyed the pacing of the novel. The chaos that descends upon the city is not an explosion that happens overnight, but rather a steady but devastating erosion of everything normal in the world. I loved the atmosphere of rising dread, which was sometimes punctuated by moments that were downright creepy, and there were even a few really terrible and heartbreaking scenes for our protagonist that I found emotionally hard to read.

I only had a couple main issues, which were largely inconsequential considering how much I enjoyed the book overall. The first is the romance: it’s REALLY annoying. Since forever, Becket has had a secret crush on neighbor boy Luke, but she’s always been too timid to say anything. The resulting dance of mixed signals was almost more than I could take, but the only reason I tolerated it was because this kind of behavior actually made sense with Becket’s personality profile. My other issue is the city quarantine. Once it was determined that people weren’t sick and that there wasn’t anything in the environment that could have caused all the nighttime mayhem, wouldn’t a mass evacuation during daylight hours technically make a ton more sense? But then, I suppose that bit of logic had to be swept under the rug in favor of having an actual story.

Also, major cliffhanger alert! But I admit it, I. Am. Hooked. Nightstruck did what it set out to do, and I’m really looking forward to what’s coming next!
Profile Image for Giselle.
1,057 reviews908 followers
December 5, 2016
An Electronic Advance Reader Copy was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review. Quotes have been pulled from an e-ARC and may be subject to change.

Imagine a city where there are no rules, and chaos reigns. Where people let go of their inhibitions and murder others. This is the setting and premise of NightStruck. This was a really engaging read! I was never bored. From the start I was so into it. It started off super sinister then just turned into a horror. It actually reminded me of the movie The Purge where people hole up inside their homes because the citizens outside are trying to kill you. Yep this is pretty much the story. I just had one major question.. Why is this happening in the first place? I thought this would be a stand-alone but when it ended like that I knew it wouldn't be.

I had a bit of trouble with the characters. Namely Piper. Ohhhh how I wished Becket grew a pair and just for once stood up to her. She's not your best friend if she manipulates you like that. It drove me crazy how she treated Becket. And the thing is Becket let her. I rolled my eyes at least twice. I loved Bob the dog, he's just great. Luke was cute, but again I didn't condone what they were doing..it wasn't morally right at all.

I did find the book to be super violent and gory. The writing is good, and execution was passable but I was looking to be more emotionally invested in the characters. In this case I wasn't, so I ended up not caring too much about them lol

Nightstruck is an engaging read that will have you turning the pages. Naturally with a big cringe or two because of the gore. You were warned!



"Jealous was better than humiliated."

"Just because I don't know what I want to do, that doesn't mean I don't have ambitions."

"Isn't it a bit patronizing to think I'll only be safe if there's a male in the house?"

"It's a different world out there. A world where you can do anything you want and there's no one to tell you you shouldn't or try to make you feel guilty for it."

"My mom had always warned me that some people who don't know better confuse shyness for aloofness or unfriendliness."
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,741 reviews712 followers
February 29, 2016
4.5 stars

This came highly recommended by a friend and I was immediately captivated.

I loved Becket. She smart and a lot more capable than most people would be in the situation she's in. I really enjoyed being in her head. There are a few other characters {and one very awesome German Shepard}, but it felt like this was Becket's story entirely.

The plot is interesting and the descriptions of the world and the Nightstruck people were a perfect combination of creepy and fantastic. The only reason it's not 5 stars is because there is absolutely no explanation why any of these things are happening. Perhaps details will come out in the next book?

Overall, it was a quick read that hooked me from page one. There is a pretty wicked cliffhanger ending and I'm beyond curious to see what happens next. I will be devouring the next book as soon as possible.

**Huge thanks to Tor Teen for the invite to read**
Profile Image for Heidi.
1,395 reviews158 followers
March 15, 2016

Three and a half stars: An exciting and creepy book with strange nightly creatures. Beware of the cliffhanger.

Becket flops on her bed in frustration. She just had another troubling altercation with her father over her calling 911. Becket was forced to lie about her call as no one would believe what really happened in that dark alley. Becket thought she was saving an abandoned baby, but what occurred after she picked up the bundle defies logical explanation. Shortly after Becket's strange experience, inexplicable things start appearing all over Philadelphia at night. Becket wonders if there is something wrong with her, until she learns that she isn't the only one seeing these odd things. It gets worse when people start acting strangely and roaming the city at night, forcing normal folk indoors. What is going on in Philadelphia? Is it a virus or something far more sinister?
What I Liked:
*Nightstruck was a creepy little adventure that plunges the reader into a well known city that becomes sinister after dark. Imagine normal buildings and landmarks changing into monsters when darkness falls. It is reminiscent of something right out of the Twilight Zone. I loved the strangeness of this book, and I liked that I had no idea what was going on. It was a fun read.
*The world building was exciting. I liked watching Philadelphia morph and change a bit more every night. There are some strange and creepy phenomenons such as a door knocker that changes into a tongue, potholes that grow teeth, statues that come alive and chase after folks, and the worst: The Nightstruck, people who have given into hedonism and roam the streets at night looking for trouble. I enjoyed plunging into this eerie city.
*The story centers around Becket, a normal teenage girl who is dealing with the pressures of her teenage life. Becket is smart and capable. She is trying to get into a good college so she stayed behind to live with her dad during her senior year after her parents divorced. Becket finds herself clashing with her dad over her best friend and her desire to live a little. Things quickly change for Becket once the strangeness starts. I liked that she remained brave, focused and resolved to keep her wits even when she is confronted numerous time with horrible situations. I admired her fierceness and determination. I also had a soft spot for her German Shepherd, Bob Barker.
*There is a bit of romance in this one, and I loved seeing it unfold. It is a romance that is slow and sweet and it stems from a long time friendship. I appreciated that the romance was subtle and that it never overtook the story.
*I liked that Becket's father was a big part of the story. All too often, parents in YA are absent. At the start of the story, Becket and her father are often at odds, but their relationship changes and evolves, and they grow closer as the story progressed.
*What drove this story was the strangeness and the eeriness. You never know exactly what is going on. You have a vague idea that something magical and unworldly has seeped into the world and is slowly taking over. As far as the ultimate goal, it remains to be seen. Even though I was a bit frustrated by the end because I didn't have all the answers I wanted, I liked the mystery and suspense. I will definitely be reading the next book as I have to know what is going on.
And The Not So Much:
*This was a strong four star read until the big cliffhanger ending. The book ends in a big dramatic moment, leaving me on edge and eager for me. Very frustrating. To make it worse, at the time of this review, I have no idea when the next book will be out.
*The other thing that held this read back was that it ended leaving me with a whole lot of questions. I especially wanted a better understanding of the Nigthstruck. What drove them? What did the eat? Where do they go during the day? I also wanted to know why the city only transformed at night? There are a lot of outstanding questions that need some answers.
*This is a book that is best suited for older teens as there is violence, murder and teen drinking. It isn't for the faint of heart.

Nightstruck was a creepy read with plenty of interesting paranormal and suspense. I enjoyed this strange little book. I liked the characters, the mystery and all the spookiness in the city. The only thing that held this book back was that it ends abruptly with a jarring cliffhanger, leaving a whole slew of unanswered questions. I am most eager to read the second book as I have to know what happens.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.
Posted@Rainy Day Ramblings.

Profile Image for Crystal.
449 reviews92 followers
March 25, 2016
I am incredibly frustrated by this book. The story was a really interesting one, but the main character Becket is insanely annoying and really killed this story for me.

The story opens up really strong and I liked the whole creepy factor that the author chose to go with. Was it original not really, but her spin was great and I found I liked it. That all changed when Becket became the main focus. Her constant "I'm not good enough, nobody will ever like me" grated on my nerves almost from the get go. I like stronger characters and this story deserved a stronger character. It needed it honestly. She was a weak minded person who didn't fight. I kept screaming at my Kindle FIGHT!! She never did. Even in the end she never fought and I just can't forgive her for what she did.

I also had a HUGE problem with Piper, Becket's so called best friend. How Becket could ever call Piper that is beyond me. This girl was rude, self-absorbed, and downright mean. If you have to schedule time to be with your best friend months in advance because she is too busy with her other friends she is not a friend to you. I have read several books where the BF is the best person ever, but I hated Piper. Yes I said hated. Every time she would come into the picture I groaned and just wanted to hit her. And this shows again that Becket wasn't a strong character because she made up excuses for Piper and just let her walk all over her. It was painful to see and I wish Becket would have kicked her to the curb.

The romance was okay. I would have liked to have seen a certain someone profess their feelings out loud. Instead I got to see Becket agonize over every single signal and it got annoying. I promise I really tried to cut her some slack as I was the overly shy nerdy in my high school days, but I couldn't look past all of it.

What stinks is that I loved the story. The small glimpses we get to see I loved. It was dark and crazy and felt like The Purge on magic steroids. I would have loved to have seen more development in the overall world. I wanted the hows and whys and way more details than we were given. I think if the author had chosen to focus more on the dark story and less on the teenage angst this would have been a huge hit for me. I will read the next installment because even though I'm really angry the cliffhanger ending did reel me in. GAH! I really hate when that happens, but it did and all I can hope for is that we get to see more of the magical side of things and I hope I get to see a stronger Becket.

A side note I'm beyond furious at what Becket's dad did. I can't say much because its a huge spoiler, but man I have never been madder at a parent in my lifetime of reading. She didn't deserve what he did and for that I have to give her a few sympathy points.
Profile Image for Melanie.
1,181 reviews134 followers
April 4, 2016
Review originally posted at RabidReads.com.

This is the first book in a new series by Jenna Black. If you’ve read my reviews before, you know I’m not a huge fan of YA books. However, there are a few authors that I will read their YA stories. Jenna Black is one of those authors. I’ve read both her Faeriewalker and Replica series and enjoyed both. So, when given the chance to review this new series, I jumped on the chance. This story is a combination of science fiction and horror and will keep you glued to the pages.

Becket is a pretty normal seventeen year old girl. She is a bit shy. She is also a bit of brainy school girl. She gets great grades and is in all AP classes. She is having to deal with the divorce of her parents. Being that it was her senior year of school, she chose to stay with her father to finish out her school. Both of her parents were self-made and didn’t want to just and her things growing up, so she doesn’t have a car. Her dad is a bit overprotective and won’t let her go to any parties that even might have underage drinking.

Becket’s best friend, Piper, is none of these things. Her parents bought her a car. She shops a ton. She has a packed social schedule. She has grades that are good enough, but not great. But, she has been there for Becket, especially when Becket needed her during the divorce. Piper is also dating Becket’s crush and neighbor, Luke. Not Piper’s fault, since Becket never mentioned that she had the crush, but this is hard for Becket.

Anyway, one night when Becket is walking the family dog, Bob Barker (yep, that’s his name), they come across a crying baby. But something doesn’t feel right. Bob is a trained police dog, though he wasn’t a police dog, just a pet and protector of the family. Bob doesn’t like this “baby”, but Becket can’t in good conscience leave a baby, so she goes to investigate. Then she sees something that she shouldn’t.

After that, things in Philadelphia start to get strange after that. People start to get more violent. People are calling 911 for weird things, but can’t seem substantiate anything. People are disappearing. Becket is even starting to see things that she shouldn’t. Piper starts acting way different from the Piper that Becket knows. Every night seems to be worse than the previous night.

This book does tackle a few things that teenagers will have to deal with like peer pressure as the more evil Piper talks Becket into doing some things that she wouldn’t normally do. There is even a scene where Piper, Becket and Luke sneak into a bar. Did I mention that they were still in high school? Piper starts drinking and drinks way too much. There is a great discussion between Luke and Becket about not letting Piper drive in her condition. I love how the Ms. Black tackles this issue without making seem like she is trying to give out “the moral of the story here is” type of feeling.

This is a great story that really kept me glued to the pages. I just couldn’t believe everything that was happening and wanted to know what was going to happen next. I don’t know the official subgenre this book is supposed to go into. I would include it as a dark science fiction or a horror story. All I can say that it is good. I will say that not everyone has a happy ending, but that is not an uncommon theme in Jenna Black books. She doesn’t write books that are all hearts and rainbows. People in her books will die and stay dead. The series isn’t over, so I don’t know what will happen in the overall end. I will say that I will be looking out for when the next book comes out.

**Book was provided to me by the author. This review is my opinion and was not requested or provoked in anyway by the author.
Profile Image for Kristin.
955 reviews102 followers
April 4, 2016

Nightstruck is one of those perfect urban fantasy stories that will find an audience with teens.  With a straight forward, easy to follow storyline and world building, it's a quick read.  I read this almost in one night!  I tore through this story so fast that when I got to the ending...



First, let me tell you what I liked about Nightstruck:

I loved how Nightstruck started with a Prologue about the barrier between our mortal world and another darker world where dark magic could leak into our world and bait a "hook" for the unaware.   Already I'm interested in what this magic is going to do once it gets into our world!
The story is told from the point of view of Becket, the teenage daughter of the police commissioner dad in Philadelphia and a corporate lawyer mom in Boston.   She is a typical teenager dealing with her bickering, divorced parents while keeping her grades up so she can go to any college she wants to.  She doesn't have a lot of friends but oddly, the one she does have is pretty superficial.  I thought this was a pleasant change from the typical dynamics you see in most teen books.
I liked Ms. Black's imagery of inanimate objects coming to life and terrorizing people at night.  If you need an example, just look at the cover!
Ms. Black took the violence THERE.  Yep, no holding back for this lady!  LOVED IT!!!  Blood, gore, and "Oh no, she did not just do that!"

And what I didn't like so much:

For a pretty good chunk of the story, I'd say about 5 solid pages, there is a straight up teenage angst story.  Not one mention of the paranormal.  For a second, I thought I opened the wrong book.  Where did my horror story go?  Oh, that's right... angst.
No clear reason why Becket's best friend, Piper, wants her to turn to the "darkside" other than "It's fun."  I mean, Piper's life is pretty good, from all accounts.  Why she hatin' on life and draggin' everyone with her?
Finally, the ending...  freakin' cliffhanger.  I think I hit the canyon floor, too.


I'd love to hear what you think of this one!  I think it will be a great young adult book, especially around Halloween when everyone is out past dark imagining shadows coming to life.  However for me, I think I just got too picky for my own good.

Review appears on Addicted to Happily Ever After
Profile Image for Misty.
796 reviews1,232 followers
June 23, 2016
Dark and tense and unsettling and brutal, and I'm not sure if there's going to be a sequel, but I think so (hope so?) and will be looking forward to it. (Not that I'm opposed to a dark, un-pretty ending. But there are still questions to be answered!)
Profile Image for Michelle .
2,039 reviews239 followers
April 4, 2016
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
YA ReviewMy Thoughts

Whoa, sometimes a book really gets to you. Nightstruck really got to me. And not in the usual ways a book gets under my skin. Nightstruck freaked me the F out! Nightstruck is the first in a young adult series by the same name, by Jenna Black. Nightstruck is part urban fantasy and part horror. The main Character, Becket unknowingly opens a portal to another world, and creatures take over Philadelphia every night. And trust me when I say that the things that come through this gate are super creepy. The things of nightmares.

I liked Becket. You can tell right off the bat, that she is a good person, as soon as she went to help the baby in the blanket, and then what happens next is enough to test anyone's character and strength, and I thought she really stepped up to the plate when the situation called for it. I didn't love the secondary characters nearly as much as I liked Becket. I thought her friend was kind of lackluster. I am hoping for a bit more on the character front in the next book.

Where Nightstruck really excelled was the descriptive writing. As much as I sometimes didn't want them to, the scenes and creatures jumped right off the pages and embedded themselves in my mind. If you are a fan of dark and terrifying, this is a book that you need to be reading.I couldn't tear myself away from the plot.

Bottom line: If you like urban fantasy and can't get enough of things that go bump in the night in young adult, this is going to be a big hit with you. Not to mention the writing is pretty kick ass. Add it to your must read list today. Be forewarned though, there is a pretty big cliffhanger, and these creatures will haunt your dreams.

This review was originally posted on Book Briefs
Profile Image for Liviania.
957 reviews64 followers
April 14, 2016
One night, Becket hears a baby crying in a dark alley. Despite her misgivings, she goes to help the baby. But the baby isn't human. And ever since that night, strange things have been happening in the city of Philadelphia after dark. Statues and other inanimate are coming to life. People are dying.

NIGHTSTRUCK starts creepy and ramps up the horror as the story continues. This is the first in a series, and fairly light on plot. Becket has a rocky relationship with her best friend Piper and gets closer to her crush and neighbor (and Piper's boyfriend) Luke. The focus is on them living under siege, the way the escalating threats sap at their will. Becket knows the night wants her, and she's tempted to let it take her to make the awfulness stop. (Even if it won't stop, not really.)

The revelation of just who is attacking Earth and why is left to future novels, but enough is revealed to make it clear that the larger picture will be explored throughout the series. But NIGHTSTRUCK is a small story, focused solely on Becket, her loved ones, and her city.

And did I mention it is creepy? I am going to be staying away from grates for awhile.

As far as the romance goes, I fear a love triangle in the future, but I did like Luke. There's little conflict to their romance aside from his dwindling attachment to Piper. He's a nice, steady boy and they like each other. A little more passion might've been nice.

I think NIGHTSTRUCK could have used a bit more plot, but that the atmosphere sold it. It felt very much like a prelude, but it did its job: I'm ready for the show.
Profile Image for Shelley.
5,220 reviews462 followers
February 15, 2016
*Source* Publisher
*Genre* Young Adult, Dark Paranormal Fantasy
*Rating* 4.0

*My Thoughts*

Nightstruck is the first installment in a brand new young adult series by author Jenna Black. Black also wrote series such as Fairiewalker, Nikki Glass, Gifted, and Morgan Kingsley. Nightstruck is a story that will give you the creeps, goosebumps, and leave you stunned while demanding more! The Night Makers have tried SIX times to open the gates between the worlds, always using some sort of bait, and have always failed. Now, they return for a SEVENTH try and this time thanks to 17-year old Becket Walker, they are successful.

*Full Review Posting @ Talk Supe Blog* Link to Follow

Expected publication: April 5th 2016 by Tor Teen
Profile Image for Kathy Davie.
4,713 reviews708 followers
June 25, 2017
First in the Nightstruck urban fantasy horror series for young adults set in Philadelphia in the Center City neighborhood and revolving around the beleaguered Becket Walker.

My Take
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 chickenshit 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 !

The Story
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?

The Characters
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.
Profile Image for Cindee.
857 reviews36 followers
August 18, 2017
This book kept me on the edge of my seat the whole way through it I was amazed at just how good this story I really need to get the next book soon. It started slowly but then it picked up the pace and I just could not stop reading even with the cliffhanger that just makes me want to read the next book really soon. So overall I think this book is really good and I can't wait to continue the story.
Profile Image for Cassie C.
631 reviews60 followers
May 29, 2016
Update 5/28/16:

See more reviews on my blog Novels and Necklaces

This new story from Jenna Black is definitely an interesting, creepy read, but it does have its flaws. Nightstruck will appeal to many readers looking for a quick YA paranormal fantasy with a straightforward storyline and descriptive world building. This is an easy read that you can enjoy in one sitting. However, there were several aspects that took what could have been an excellent book, and made it just a decent book instead. I actually enjoyed this book a great deal and was on track for giving it 4 stars, but then came the ending....and let's just say I wasn't happy.

The story follows Beckett, the Philadelphia police commissioner's daughter. When she finds a "baby" outside a church, things start going crazy. The city becomes pure chaos with the creatures roaming in the night, and when those closest to her are affected, Beckett has no choice but to step up and become a fighter against the evil plaguing her city. The main problem I had with her character is the fact that she didn't actually "step up" until close to the end of the book. I also didn't really get her friendship with Piper, as it was extremely superficial, and this was the exact opposite of who Beckett was as a character. Regardless, Beckett was a very likable character, and I did like when she had her moments of bravery. I just wish that the true bravery she had at the end of the novel was featured throughout.

Additionally, there was a lot of teen angst that didn't really have a place in this story. It felt very out of place in the parts in which it was featured, and ultimately it came across as just being there for added drama (even though there was plenty already). My last (and biggest) complaint was the ending. In all actuality, this is the main reason that I lowered my rating. The ending was the mother of all cliffhangers and I still haven't recovered from it!! To the best of my knowledge this is not a series, so for me this is a completely unacceptable ending. It felt extremely rushed and almost as if the story cut off mid-chapter.

Nevertheless, this was an action-packed, dark story with amazing world-building. I do wish it would have been longer because this was such a unique and creative concept. There's a lot to love about this story, but the flaws (the main one being that ending) were too much of a problem. Perhaps if there was more of a resolution to the story, or there was going to be another book, these flaws wouldn't have mattered as much to me. But with this being such a short story, all of the flaws need to be considered equally. I would recommend checking this book out, but just be warned about the ending!

Happy reading :)
Profile Image for Susan.
748 reviews16 followers
September 23, 2016
There's a lot of action and scary stuff in this book! It's a fun, creepy read. I can't say I like the ending. It's either shocking (nooo!) or there will be another book to come?
Profile Image for Jessica (a GREAT read).
1,690 reviews101 followers
March 31, 2016
I received this eARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Jenna Black has been one of my favorite authors for years now! I’ve adored her foray into the YA world since Glimmerglass, and when I heard she was writing a horror filled YA read, I knew I had to have it!! Nightstruck was one of the creepiest reads I’ve read in awhile. Not so much where I was afraid to sleep at night, but the things that happened at night in the book, were terrifying! I’m not going to be looking at sewer drains or park benches the same way again!

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!

Nightstruck releases on April 5, 2016
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,128 reviews563 followers
October 16, 2018
Entertaining. The elements of the story and the characters reminded me of a few other stories. I have the 2nd book waiting on me. I might take a small break and read a different book before starting it.
2 reviews
December 1, 2017
Overall I enjoyed this book. It was kinda slow in the beginning but then it took off and became exciting and enticing, leaving me to wonder what's going to happen next. Some aspects were predictable, but that's bound to happen.
My favourite part is that there was no happy ending to this story. I'll have to read the sequel at some point to see if there is one though!
Profile Image for Katherine Paschal.
2,183 reviews57 followers
June 7, 2016
One night while walking her dog, Becket hears a baby crying. Regardless of her apprehension and the fact her dog is freaking out, she goes to help the baby. What she finds was not a baby, not really anything she could describe outside of a nightmare, with piercing eyes. She ends up getting cut by something in this strange “baby” bundle which then dissolves into the night. Becket calls the police, but nobody believes her claim, not even her police Commissioner Father. This was the last night the world was normal.

I equally loved and was horrified by this book. It was so interesting and different and odd, as well as eerie, and disturbing and supernatural. I had no idea what I was getting into but man can I not wait to get into more with the next book. This is the first in a series (duology?trilogy?) and the ending was awful and bittersweet and sad and I am hooked. This was my first book by this author and it will not be my last. The idea for this book is unlike anything I have ever read and the author did not pull any punches. Without giving anything away, nobody is safe and the unexpected is the norm. I was kept on my toes, and when I started to relax, something terrible would happen that shook me out of my comfort zone. I could not put down this book.

There is a lot of strange things and violence that goes on in this book, but there are no answers to anything. The story has a slow build, but I do not mean that in a negative way at all. The world (or the city, actually) changes into something bizarre and unknown gradually for the first half of the book until utter madness exists. But while we get this slow build, there was a lot of character development for Becket (who I really liked and rooted for despite her conflicted feelings) as well as the side characters like Luke and Piper, as well as the questions surrounding Aleric. The author eases us into the surreal environment gradually, with relationship building between the characters to help set the tone for the outcome of this book and the personal drama that goes on. Mixed in here and there were short chapters from random people who became victims of the changes, fast and violent to help paint the world. The author is really good with descriptions because I could see the scary things that roamed and the acts committed as if I was there.

I will make this review short because I don’t want to give anything away. I enjoyed this book and the terrible things that occurred in the pages. Be aware that it is not for the faint of heart because there is murder and gore thrown around casually. I need the next book like immediately to see what will happen next because the ending was SHOCKING.

I received this title from the publisher in return for my honest review.
For more reviews visit my blog at http://smadasbooksmack.blogspot.com/
Profile Image for Kit (Metaphors and Moonlight).
904 reviews127 followers
April 1, 2016
3.5 Stars

Full Review:
*I received a free ecopy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

I was so excited when I saw this book because I LOVE the night, and I've always believed there's magic in the night. So magic taking over and everything changing once the sun goes down was a completely irresistible premise to me. It didn't matter that bad things were happening, it was still magic in the night!

And what the description promises (and what the cover shows) is exactly what happens. Some of the weirdness was pretty creative too. I was actually kind of freaked out during a couple scenes, just enough that it was fun, though the fact that I was alone in a dark room at night probably helped ;-)

The way the characters, and society as a whole, reacted to the crazy night magic was pretty realistic, so I also appreciated that. The main character made some questionable decisions sometimes, but that's what teenagers do, and they were the kind of decisions you couldn't really blame her for. The love interest was also a great person and easy to like. I think my favorite thing about the characters though was that this was a YA book that actually did NOT suffer from Crappy Parent Syndrome. Becket and her father didn't always get along perfectly, but he was involved, and they loved each other, and I loved their relationship.

The thing about book though is that it just didn't reach out and grab me. But I think this is one of those personal preference kind of things because it was not a poorly written book. It was just that the book was kind of subdued, middle-of-the-road, and I like books that are dark, intense, more towards the extremes. I thought this book would be somewhat like that (as much as YA ever is, at least), but instead it was fairly slow-paced and focused on suspense and creepiness---which is not a bad thing, just not quite my thing.

The main characters were also a little too likeable and perfect for my taste. They weren't so perfect that it was unbearable, I just happen to like my characters broken, flawed, and/or brooding.

So overall, even though this book wasn't as intense as I thought it would be, it had a great premise and some fun, creepy scenes (not give-you-nightmares creepy, just ooh-what's-going-to-happen creepy) and was enjoyable to read.

Recommended For:
Lovers of YA who enjoy slower-paced, suspenseful, creepy books.

Original Review on Blog
Profile Image for Jen Ryland.
1,552 reviews903 followers
March 24, 2016
Hmmm... Even though I watched all the Buffy episodes I really don't read this genre - blurb calls it paranormal horror. Is there a difference between that and Urban Fantasy? Please explain in comments if you can shed light on this for me....

So Becket lives in Philly with her police commissioner dad and her loyal dog, Bob Barker. One night she finds an abandoned baby on some church steps, picks it up, gets her finger pricked with a pin that's holding the blanket closed and then realizes the baby isn't a baby, but some kind of demon.
Things go downhill from there as some sort of malevolent force is unleashed and throws the city into turmoil.

The violence and gore in this was a bit much for me. And despite the super-cliffy ending, I'm not sure if I'll be continuing with these. Just not sure they are my kind of read. But the book was very absorbing and kept my attention and if you do like this kind of book, you should a) give it a try and b) let me know what you think.

Read more of my reviews on YA Romantics or follow me on Bloglovin

Thanks to the publisher for providing an advance copy for review!
18 reviews
May 20, 2016
I'm not quite sure why this one grabbed me as hard as it did, but I loved it, finished it in one sitting, and even did this fanart of Piper and her pet/sidekick, Billy the Leg-Humping Metal Goat of Doom:

Some aspects of the plot stretch believability (once they're sure it's not a disease outbreak, why aren't people being evacuated? Why is Black Friday apparently still happening when, in Philadelphia, door busts YOU?), but it's compelling, fast-paced, and the living, malevolent city provides one beautiful, eerie image after another, from the carnivorous potholes to the Venus-flytrap benches. And Billy! Billy made me want my own pet evil goat statue. (And I was delighted to discover that Billy is REAL!)

Favorite characters: Piper, Billy, Cousin Marlene, Bob Barker.
Profile Image for Kara.
539 reviews166 followers
March 14, 2016
This is one of the most frustrating books I have read so far this year. I'm not sure I can pinpoint why, but the ending irritated me, the plot didn't work for me, and the fact that the book was all dark, death, and dismemberment without a single second of levity really turned me off. It's personal, but those aren't the types of books I generally like. This book made me feel hopeless and angry, and like humanity is too awful to even contemplate. And I hate feeling that way.
Profile Image for Kayt O'Bibliophile.
732 reviews22 followers
April 3, 2022
Walking her dog in the freezing Philadelphia night air, Becket just wants him to finish his business ASAP so they can return to their warm, well-lit house. But when she hears an apparently-abandoned baby crying, she can't just ignore it. Only it's not a baby...it's something unsettling that shouldn't exist, and which disappears. And then, increasingly, Philadelphia starts changing after dark. Something sinister is happening...

This actually turned out a lot better than I expected--I got genuinely tense and invested in the story and outcome. Becket is a solid main character who felt like a decent teenager: generally good, but easy enough to be swayed by a friend. Even her crushwas decently done, not too unbelievable, and a non-infuriating character.

So once the true problem starts and the narrative really takes off, it had me hooked and I couldn't put it down. And then we get to the end, and I'm not sure how to feel, truly.

I mentioned I thought this book should be read as a single, standalone volume, regardless of Goodreads up there saying it's part of a series. A large part of the reason why is that the book is very effective as a standalone horror. There's no indication on the physical book itself that there will be a continuation of the story. So for all my comments about the ending above, it does work as the conclusion to a story.

I went and peeked at the reviews for the second book, and that's another reason I think this should be standalone: apparently the second book doesn't resolve the story, and the third book never materialized (the second book was written 5 years ago, merely a year after the first, so I feel confident in saying that whatever overarching story the author had planned, it was never allowed to come to fruition). It sounds like going through the second book would just be an exercise in frustration and unresolved-cliffhanger-rage, so save yourself the trouble and ignore it.
Profile Image for Becky B.
7,751 reviews102 followers
October 9, 2017
Ever since the evening when Becket picked up what she thought was an abandoned baby but turned out to be...well, she's not sure what but it had nasty teeth and dissolved into dust...anyway, every night since then as soon as the sun sets Philadelphia turns into a different world. Crime rates increase and increase. Becket's father is the police commissioner, so he's gone more and more. Becket hides what she thinks she saw for as long as she can, but when she starts to see other strange things at night, things that don't show up in photographs she must share with someone or believe she's going crazy. She'd like to talk things through with Piper, her best friend, but Piper's been acting strange lately. The next most available and trustworthy person is her neighbor Luke, who happens to be Piper's boyfriend, and the guy Becket has had a crush on forever. Fears of craziness of brain tumors trump awkwardness though. Can they figure out what is going on? And perhaps a bigger question, can Philadelphia survive whatever's happening at night?

I don't like ghost stories so I usually avoid horror (my imagination always takes them 2 steps more spooky in my dreams), but I can totally handle monster/disaster movies so I gave this a try. No nightmare problems at all because this does feel like a magical plague is slowly infesting and taking over the city. That or it feels like a setup for Dr Who to show up and set the city to rights. You're given an omniscient view so the reader knows a lot more than poor Becket does. Becket is juggling being a very typical, uncool, introvert high school Senior trying to make friends, trying to get into an Ivy League college, and dealing with her parents' recent divorce. Her best friend Piper is the popular daring type, but then seems to go off the deep end around the middle of the book. (And nope, I'm not telling you why.) Luke and Becket have to figure out how to manage awkward because once the nights start getting consistently dangerous, both of their parents have to work nights (Luke's mom works at the hospital) so they have to stay together in one house with Becket's police-trained dog and her dad's gun. It soon becomes clear that the people who for some reason roam at night have Becket in their sights. And once you just start to finally, maybe figure out what the problem is... wham, end of book one. Yep, no resolution whatsoever and things look possibly bleaker than ever. (You could argue that the scariest thing about the book is the cliffhanger ending.) I'm left waivering between 3 and 4 stars because I think knowing how Black wraps things up will decidedly sway how I feel about this book. And I don't have book 2. So for now, it's a 3 star book, possibly to be changed once I read the next one. If you like monster movies like Jurassic World or disaster flicks or Dr Who-type monsters and can handle the content listed below, give it a try.

Notes on content: Sporadic mild to moderate swearing throughout the book, somewhere around 1 word every 3 pages or so. No sex scenes. There's some heavy kissing. Two discussions/thoughts mention/reference sex but no details. One of the weird things that freaks Becket out is a phallic symbol showing up in a fence design, and that comes up a few times. Numerous deaths by very imaginative means like statues coming to life and drowning people or bludgeoning them to death. Most of them are off page, with only about 5-6 described. Two gruesome murders on page, one involves a beheading. Another fatal shooting somewhat described. Teens sneak into a club but it is described as a miserable, headache-inducing experience. Teenage alcohol consumption, though main character can’t stand the taste and the one who gets drunk is viewed as pitiful and needing help. Drug use also comes up, but again it is looked at as being a very stupid thing to do.
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