Blog Tour, Excerpt, and Review: Beware the Night

Beware the Night
by Jessika Fleck
Swoon Reads Publishing
320 Pages
YA / Fantasy / Romance
Publication Date: March 12th, 2019
Get a copy here!

BLURB

“The first in a series, this fantasy adventure is quickly paced with surprises at every turn and an ending that will leave teens breathless and awaiting more. Fleck has crafted a fully realized world complete with its own history and mythology to immerse her readers. Finely tuned and masterfully written, this is a must-purchase for all fantasy shelves.” —School Library Journal, STARRED review

When her world divides, pitting light against dark, Veda must join a dangerous revolution to save her grandfather and fight against injustice…even if it costs her the boy she loves.

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.

Jessika Fleck is an author, unapologetic coffee drinker, and knitter — she sincerely hopes to one day discover a way to do all three at once. Until then, she continues collecting vintage typewriters and hourglasses, dreaming of an Ireland getaway, and convincing her husband they NEED more kittens. Her YA debut, THE CASTAWAYS (Entangled TEEN), is now available. Her next YA novel, BEWARE THE NIGHT (Swoon Reads/Macmillan) releases March 12, 2019. More at www.jessikafleck.com.

EXCERPT:

He jumps. Despite knowing what he knows and despite his hands are tied, Vance jumps. He flails and sputters at the water’s surface.

The door, our window down the Offering Canal that leads to the Great Sea, is cranked closed. The ear-piercing scraping of metal on metal, overtakes the silent dome, accenting the small boy’s last moments.

Vance barely makes it past the edge of the island, his lifeless body carried by the current out to open water.

As the door closes and the canal drains, the crowd stands, applauding, praising the day’s Offering.

Forcing my eyes to swallow back tears, I stand out of respect, expectation, but can’t begin to bring my hands together. I scan the blurred faces across the dome from me, straining to find Nico. But it’s no use, there are too many to sift through.

This is the first Offering I’ve attended without him by my side in longer than I care to remember. I realize having Nico near had kept me calm.

An empty hopelessness consumes me, the weight of the world, or maybe just that of a five-year-old boy,folds my chest in on itself.

I glance up toward the High Regent’s balcony to gauge his reaction. He’s vanished.

Quick Reasons: gorgeous, atmospheric writing; intriguing characters and backstory; I was hoping for a bit…MORE…from this; mildly disappointed overall; there’s a love triangle, y’all–a bad one; this might have been a bit too predictable for me

HUGE thanks to Jessika Fleck, Swoon Reads Publishing, Netgalley, and Fantastic Flying Book Club for sending a free egalley of this title my way! This in no way altered my review of or opinions on this book.

This read is gorgeously atmospheric, I’ll be honest, though I had some trouble actually connecting to the world that Jessika Fleck was trying to create. While I adored the writing and LOVED the way she describes things, I had a hard time putting myself INTO this world in my mind’s eye–I had a hard time envisioning, imagining, seeing things as they were described. I think a big part of this was just that…I felt as if I’d read this story before.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some new and different things throughout this that made me catch my breath, that made me WANT more of this world. But overall, I felt as if I’d walked these same miles in these same shoes a time or two too many. And I don’t think that falls on the story itself, or the author, or anyone really… I just felt that overall, this story was a bit too predictable for me to fully immerse myself in it. And while I appreciate a great love triangle, I felt this one was overplayed. Veda was very wishy-washy on what she wanted–and while I TOTALLY understand why, I also felt like she flip-flopped enough to give me whiplash in the end. There’s a very fine line between “struggling to decide” and “changing your mind TOO much”…and I feel like Veda came very very close to crossing that line. Of course, this could just be my own personal opinion. And like I said, I do get it…I have been in similar situations, myself, and therefore know that it is possible to change your mind as rapidly about things as Veda does throughout this novel. I just felt as if, even at the end, she wasn’t fully committed to her decision. (Of course, there’s meant to be at the very least a sequel, so…it makes sense she might not be.)

Overall, I went into this read SUPER excited…and wound up mildly disappointed. While I really enjoyed some of the darker, more gritty atmospheric details of the world and these characters, I felt like it was really hard for me to connect to the story–and I had an even harder time not feeling as if I’d walked these trails already, in a myriad of other novels. I’d recommend this to lovers of dark world-building, fascinating characters, and motivations/worlds that are left a bit mysterious even at the end. Heed the title’s warning, Penguins…and Beware the Night!

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