Hi everyone. I hope you are having a wonderful day. It is Spring and it is time for sunshine and flowers, but then again, considering it is April we are just as likely to have rain, especially here in Oregon. So if it is raining where you are, I have a book that you can curl up with and start reading, and I must warn you, once you pick this up, you won't put it down. It is so creepy and strange! This is my first book by Jenna Black and author I have long wanted to try. Now that I have finally read one for her books, I am eager for more. I a thrilled that Jenna is here today to answer a few questions. So let's get to know her:
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. You can find Jenna on her website, Facebook, Goodreads and Twitter.
Jenna was kind enough to take time out to answer a few questions. Here is my interview:
Hi Jenna, I am pleased to have you here today on Rainy Day Ramblings to share your latest book: Nightstruck. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer a few questions. So let's get started.
Can you describe Nightstruck in a tweet?
Ordinary teenage girl tricked into opening gate to a malevolent world that takes over Philadelphia every night.
The folks who turned Nighstruck were creepy and fascinating at the same time. Can you tell us a bit about the Nighstruck, such as their habits, their motivations and behavior patterns?
The night magic that starts taking over Philadelphia is seductive to people who are vulnerable to its influence. It lures in the selfish, irresponsible, and weak-minded people, and when they get swept up by it, they lose all semblance of conscience, always doing whatever they want, whenever they want, no matter who gets hurt.
I loved how the city of Philadelphia morphed a bit more each night, and how normal things turned sinister. Can you tell everyone about some of the changes that occurred at night?
The changes start small, almost unnoticeable. Becket starts to see oddities, like a door knocker that is suddenly shaped like a tongue and an iron railing whose fleur-de-lis design turns into something unmistakably phallic—although she eventually realizes those changes only happen at night. Then things start getting more serious. Statues come to life and attack people, street lamps turn into gallows, potholes come alive and start eating people … The city is eventually turned into a wholly different place at night—but the changes are only visible in person. Photographs and video show everything staying the same, so the outside world thinks there’s some kind of disease or chemical weapon at work and the city is quarantined.
Is there anything that inspired your vision of Philadelphia after dark?
I worked from a combination of my own memories of living there and lots and lots of photos. I looked at photos and kind of let my eyes glaze over, trying to imagine what horrible thing the inanimate objects of the city might remind me of. That’s where the street lights as gallows image came from—I was staring at a photo of one of the city streets and saw nooses hanging from the ends.
The book ends with a jarring cliffhanger. Can you give us any hints as to what is going to happen in the second book?
Wow, that’s a hard question to answer without getting spoilery! Let’s just say you’ll see a whole other side of Becket and that things in Philadelphia are going to get worse instead of better.
Speaking of second books, when is the next book going to release?
The anticipated release date is May 2017, but that’s nothing official or certain.
How many books are planned for the series?
I have two books under contract. My hope is that it will be a trilogy.
What is next for you?
That’s a good question, and I don’t really have the answer yet. I’m getting ready to start revising the second book in the NIGHTSTRUCK series and am proofreading all 1088 pages of my upcoming DESCENDANT omnibus, so there isn’t really enough room in my brain to think about what’s next.
What are some of your all-time favorite horror reads?
In YA, my favorite horror novel has to be ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD by Kendara Blake. It’s fast-paced, exciting, and scary. One of my favorite adult horror-ish novels is SKULL SESSION, by Daniel Hecht. It’s billed as a thriller, but I found it terrifying. It was also fascinating being inside the head of the protagonist, who struggles with Tourette’s Syndrome.
Finally, what books are you looking forward to for Spring 2016?
This is somewhat embarrassing to admit, but I’ve been so underwater with my schedule that I have not been keeping track of what is coming up. My plan is to poke my head up above the water for a while at the RT Booklovers Convention, and that’s when I’ll get a feel for what’s out there right now. (Sometimes, keeping an eye on what’s coming up when you know you don’t have time to read for pleasure feels a bit like masochism, if you know what I mean.)
Thank you again, Jenna for visiting today. I can't wait to see what you have in store for us next.
Thanks again to Jenna and the good folks over at Tor Books for allowing me to host this interview and giveaway for you all today. That's right I said giveaway. Up for grabs is a copy of Nightstruck by Jenna Black.
To enter read the Contest Policies and fill out the Rafflecopter. This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents only. Good Luck!
Here is my review:
Nightstruck by Jenna Black
The night is the enemy, and the city of Philadelphia is its deadliest weapon.
Becket is an ordinary teenage girl, wrestling with the upheaval of her parents' divorce. Her biggest problems to date have been choosing which colleges to apply to, living up to her parents' ambitious expectations of her, and fighting her secret crush on her best friend's boyfriend. That all changes the night she tries to save an innocent life and everything goes horribly wrong.
Becket has been tricked into opening a door between worlds. As dark magic trickles into Philadelphia, strange creatures roam the streets and inanimate objects come to life, all of them bloodthirsty and terrifying. The city returns to normal when the sun rises each morning. The moment the sun sets, most citizens shut themselves in their houses and stay there no matter what they hear.
The magic is openly hostile to most mortals, but there are some it seems to covet, trying to lure them out into the night. While Becket struggles to protect her friends and family from predatory creatures of the night, she is constantly tempted to shrug off her responsibilities and join them.
Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published: April 5th 2016 by Tor Teen
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.