Nightstruck by Jenna Black is a young to new adult novel. 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.
Nightstruck is a solid opening to a new urban fantasy series from Black. Becket is an independent girl. Her parents are divorced, and her father is more than a little overprotective, but Becket still has a good deal of anonymity and a good head on her shoulders. When a strange night's adventure leads to much bigger problems in the town she needs to face up to her crush on her best friend's boyfriend, her friend's flaws, and her role in the destruction of her city. Her parent's divorce is nothing compare to the living nightmare she is now facing. There is a good deal of character and world building, but it is paced well and left me caring about Becket and more than her physical well being. My only complaint is how much was left unanswered at the end of the book. I hate waiting for such important details, and it was a little frustrating. Thankfully, most of the character crises were tied up, and left me satisfied enough that I did not throw my Kindle across the room.
Nightstruck is a reasonable fast paced novel that left me wanting more. There was a fairly satisfying conclusion, but also a huge cliffhanger that left me a little frustrated at the same time. Urban fantasy fans will enjoy the read, but I might wait until the second book in the series comes out so that you can find out what happens next right away. Although, who's to say book two will not end in a similar fashion?