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The Nightjar

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  88 ratings  ·  50 reviews
The Nightjar by Deborah Hewitt is a stunning contemporary fantasy debut about another London, a magical world hidden behind the bustling modern city we know.

Alice Wyndham has been plagued by visions of birds her whole life...until the mysterious Crowley reveals that Alice is an 'aviarist' capable of seeing nightjars, magical birds that guard human souls. When her best fri
Paperback, 480 pages
Published September 3rd 2019 by Tor Books
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3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  88 ratings  ·  50 reviews

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Katie Steele
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Check out the original review and more on NovelKnight!
This book was provided by the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Every once in a while, a book seemingly comes out of nowhere, wrapping it pages around your heart, stamping its words there. The story of The Nightjar found its place in my heart, and I think it’s going to be settled there for a long while.

The Nightjar is simultaneously original and familiar. Its story builds upon tropes fami
Sheena ☆ Oh, the Sheenanigans!

I was pretty much a crackhead addicted to this read at first. It was hard to put down, don't you dare do it type of read with endless sleepless nights spent living with no regrets book until I was half way through the read and the momentum started to plummet downwards. Fast. And the plummet started happening due to my utter dislike for the heroine Alice. Talk about a dumb broad. She was careless with her actions despite being warned time and time again everyone and their mother the pain sh
Lori Tatar
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Nightjar is a compelling story about a young woman who discovers she has some unusual gifts, and becomes a target for those who want to take advantage of her abilities. At times horrific and with no lack of violence, this is not for the faint of heart. It is beautiful and ugly and even divine, read this and see how Alice returns from Death’s own kingdom, and the price that must be paid. This tale elicits an incredible range of emotions, from hatred and pain to love and compassion, and everyt ...more
Tara (Spinatale Reviews)
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Rating: 3.5

If I hear alternate London and magic in the same sentence, there is 100% chance that I will want to read that book. Throw in a unique magic system and I’m beyond happy. The Nightjar sounded amazing but ultimately tried to do a little bit too much.

I was absolutely engrossed for the entire first half of the book. The magic system absolutely fascinated me, the characters were engaging and multi-dimensional, and the plot was fantastic. I was ready to give this book five stars. And then I
Erin Newman
Aug 16, 2019 rated it liked it
I won an arc of this book in a goodreads giveaway. All opinions are my own.

I thought the concept of this book was very interesting! The idea that there are guardians for our souls and only certain people can see them is really cool. Throughout the book, we follow Alice as she navigates the Rookery, escapes the Beaks, and tries to find her way to the land of death to retrieve her best friend's (Jen) nightjar. Something that I really appreciated in this book we how well the Rookery was thought out
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an advance reading copy through a goodreads giveaway.

The Nightjar has an interesting mix of mythology, magic, and story, taking place mostly in a modern London and its hidden twin where those with magic in their blood live. I don’t have any idea if the mythos (I think it was Finnish) mentioned in the book are real or created for the book, but I enjoyed them either way. They worked well, and were woven into the story in a convincing manner. I love the way the book began. I was immediat
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Having had no idea what to expect from a cursory glance at the cover, this book surprised me in the best possible way. The protagonist, Alice, appears at first to be a normal woman having a very bad day. I felt sympathetic to her right from the start and the writing style effortlessly drew me into her life as she discovered a hidden world called the Rookery. The secondary characters were all well fleshed-out - I particularly liked Jude, and an eye for detail made the fantasy elements unique. I w ...more
Christina Reid
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Loved this! Set in an alternate London populated by people with special powers linked to water, fire, earth and air, it follows Alice Wyndham. Adopted as a young child Alice cannot remember her birth family, but has learned to stop telling people about the birds she can see darting around and perching invisibly on people's shoulders. When two strange men appear, telling her conflicting stories about her power and her best friend, Jen, is involved in a near-fatal car accident, it seems like the o ...more
Aug 04, 2019 marked it as on-hold
I won this via goodreads giveaways in exchange for an honest review. All my opinions are my own.
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Tanya C.
Aug 20, 2019 rated it liked it
I won an ARC of this book in a Twitter giveaway, and now that I've read it, I haven't been able to stop thinking about it.
This book had a lot of potential, but sadly it didn't fulfill my expectations.
The story starts with a very intriguing prologue and then moves on to the present day in London, where the protagonist, Alice, has received a mysterious package that says "don't open." That really got me interested.

I was invested in the story during the first act, it was fast paced, I really liked
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Nightjar is a fantasy novel set largely in an alternate London. Alice Windham, aka wrecking ball, is a young woman who crashes out of her everyday life one morning when a package, addressed to her but labeled "do not open" is left upon her doorstep. From the moment the package is delivered, her life careens out of her control. First the woman who apparently sent her the package dies in her arms, making her late to work, her job becomes a disaster, her dearest friend is hit by a car, and then ...more
Fraser's Fun House
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Alice spent her childhood trying to convince herself the birds she regularly saw were nothing but hallucinations and thankfully with some help she ‘grew out’ of it. That is until the day she receives a mysterious package which kick starts a series of strange events culminating in her best friend laying in hospital seriously injured.

Absolutely distraught Alice is persuaded by dark, mysterious stranger, Crowley to leave London behind for her own safety and finds herself whisked away to The Rookery
Sep 07, 2019 rated it liked it
I love love adult fantasies. I love stories that are unbelievable, with a touch of magic, and darkness, and characters that are in the grey areas. I was really hoping for all that here. And it did have all these things, but only in little doses.

The book is about a woman, who learns forcibly that she is an Aviarist - which means she can see the soul keepers of every person. She can tell by the Nightjar who that person is, but most importantly she can see who has magic in them. Not that's a premi
Oh. My. God. That ending was so sad. I kind of wish it had ended differently, but toward the end of the story, I didn’t think it could.

This is a book full of magic, deception, betrayal, friendship, love and loss. And it was so good. The story had me gripped, and the characters were brilliant. I had some difficulty not wanting to scream at Alice at times and I wish there had been more details of Crowley’s physical appearance, but that’s by the by. I loved Sasha and co, and I adored Jen. The frie
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Just ... holy hells, people. I thought I knew what I was getting when I started this book ... and when I was two hundred pages into this book ... and while I certainly liked what I was getting, I was completely, UTTERLY unprepared for the ending. I could say it goes from 0 to 60 in the blink of an eye, but that's not true; Hewitt's sense of an idling speed is still pretty damn well sculpted and structured. It's just that the ending ... well ... no spoilers, of course, but as my dad often says (I ...more
Emmie (Oncemorewithreading)
Sep 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you to NetGalley and Pan Macmillan for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

I absolutely loved this book. I was hooked after reading the synopsis and was so happy that I got to read this before it is published! Deborah Hewitt has created a magical and unique world that captivates you and has you wanting more.

The characters in this book are relatable and most of all have flaws. While I really liked Alice and was rooting for her throughout, I felt that she
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A magical journey into a hidden world

My thanks to Pan Macmillan for an eARC via NetGalley of Deborah Hewitt’s ‘The Nightjar’ in exchange for an honest review.

I quickly fell in love with this novel and as it had just been published I elected to purchase its Kindle/Audible combination for an immersive experience. The audiobook was brought vividly to life by its narrator, Tamaryn Payne.

Alice Wyndham has had a fear of birds her entire life and at times has frightening visions of them. Her best frien
Laura Newsholme
Sep 09, 2019 rated it liked it
There was a lot of good stuff here, but there was also a lot that was really frustrating and quite generic at times. It tells the story of Alice, a pretty average woman was has been haunted by visions of birds all her life. When she meets Sylvie, she discovers a whole world of magic and danger and a frantic race against time begins. Firstly the good - the world created was interesting and quite original in terms of the Finnish influence. The Nightjar motif was innovative, although it felt a litt ...more
Sep 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
3.5, maybe? Interesting, but lacking something that would push it up to a 4.

I loved a lot of the worldbuilding and the hints of mythology - this book shows a lot of promise in that regard! But it takes such a myopic view of our main character and her special abilities that we don't get to see as much of the cool "normal" magic that I might have liked.

The story also focuses so heavily on Alice's character development, and I feel like the side characters were a little flat in comparison. Minor spo
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
(I won an advance copy of this book from a Goodreads giveaway.)

First of all, I love fantasy stories and I love birds of all kinds. So a modern fantasy story about magical spirit birds is right up my alley.

I really enjoyed the world presented in The Nightjar. The magic system wasn't delved into very deeply but I like what we saw of it. The method of travelling through a void between doorways was neat. I especially like how the parallel London (The Rookery) was created by (view spoiler)
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The concept of the nightjar is just so beautiful, and incredibly well executed. I felt Alice’s frustration at everything Crowley wasn’t telling her! The set up is so lovely too. And then the Rookery, the alternate London, is so stunningly visual. I loved the crew of friends Alice makes there.

I also love the Beaks and the history of the magic vs non magic peoples. So much intrigue and deception going on, and chasing around
Sep 07, 2019 rated it liked it
There are a lot of characters in this book! I will only mention the main two. 
Alice Wyndham - The Main Character. She finds out she has a certain type of rare magic that lets her see the Nightjars which are guardians of people souls which look like birds. I found that as the book went on I began to dislike Alice. She didn't listen, was careless and seemed to always make the worst choice.  
Crowley - He is the man who tries to help Alice. I was always a little suspicious of him as he kept withhold
Sharon Gallup
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my lucky wins on the giveaway section on Good This was quite a different novel then I was used to. If I was to file this book into a catalogue i would list it in to YOUTH AGES OF 14-18.
i know that at that age the younger generation would find it spell binding.
A woman who was adopted often wondered who her real family was. Especially when she started having hallucinations with crowd of birds. but as she got older she was able to push these thoughts back of her mind. one
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Alice is plain and boring. She knows this much so when her life is turned upside down by a man claiming the birds she hallucinated as a child were actually the mysterious nightjars that anchor someone’s soul, she knew he must be mad. But then her best friend’s nightjar is taken and she must find a way to get it back, even if it means trusting this man and going to a different world to learn her powers.

I enjoyed this book immensely. I wasn’t completely satisfied by the ending, but it was still g
Sep 08, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
OMG this was the most lush, romantic fantasy! PLEASE, PLEASE let there be a sequel! I found Deborah Hewitt’s magical tale of two London’s one everyday and one extraordinary a journey I could not put down! Alice is like the best friend you could ever have and Crowley is the most romantic tortured, dreamy blend of Mr. Darcy & Mr. Rochester. It has love, family, redemption, trust and friendship at its heart with a side of what makes us all human, our souls. Mine was so touched by this book and ...more
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Nightjar is a very entertaining, well-written novel, especially impressive because I believe it's the first book by this author. The characters are sharply and deeply drawn, and the world Ms. Hewitt creates is believable and feels very authentic. I'm tempted to be facile and describe this novel as a combination of J. K. Rowling and Neil Gaiman (I'm a huge Neil Gaiman fan), but this author definitely has her own unique voice, as does this novel. Thankfully, it feels as though the author has l ...more
Sep 14, 2019 rated it liked it
I received a copy of this to read and review. I love the cover and the first 200 pages really kept me intrigued and I liked where the story was going. I assumed this was a young adult book, it’s not. I expected after finding that out that there would be a bigger romance role being played out in this story. There isn’t. Once I got to page 200 it just seemed like nothing significant was happening and I really just wanted it to end. I gave it three stars instead of two because the first 200 pages w ...more
Gillian Whitfield
Sep 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
A strong fantasy debut with interesting characters and an original concept. I enjoyed the relationships between the characters and found that their motives were complex and organically developed.

While there were a few moments that were a tad bit run-of-the-mill fantasy moments, this book makes up for it with good character moments and interesting and a well-structured narrative. Twists and turns were well-timed.

I can't wait to see what happens next with these characters if there is a followup
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