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. A studious high school senior, her biggest problems to date have been choosing which colleges to apply to, living up to her parents' ambitious expectations for her, and fighting her secret crush on her best friend's boyfriend. But that all changes on the night she tries to save an innocent life and everything goes horribly wrong.
Unbeknownst to her, Becket has been tricked into opening a door between worlds, allowing a dark magic into the mortal world. As the magic trickles in, the city begins to change at night. 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 in the morning, and no one can capture the strange changes--such as potholes turning into toothy mouths and wires turning into strangling vines--on film, which prompts the government to declare that the city has been infected with some kind of madness and must be quarantined. Meanwhile, venturing out of one's house at night has become a dangerous proposition, and the moment the sun sets, most of the citizens of the city shut themselves up in their houses and stay there even in the case of dire emergencies.
The magic is openly hostile to most mortals, but there are some individuals 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 all her responsibilities and join them. Joining the night world means being free of not just responsibility, but conscience, and it means no longer caring about the fate of others.
What worked: There's a lot to love about this paranormal. Think Holly Black meets Guillermo del Toro. The night brings out the stuff of nightmares only in this case inanimate objects come to life and prey on humans. Twisted magic surfaces after Becket 'accidentally' opens a portal to another world. The images are creepy and chilling. One scene in particular where a goat statue comes to life with a wicked craving for human blood. Not only are inanimate objects twisted but humans who get caught up in the magic. These are 'nightstruck' individuals who have no empathy or compassionate and feast on the pain of others.
Becket is the daughter of the police commissioner and lives with not only his high expectations but her mother's as well. At first she comes across as not having much backbone especially whenever she's around her BFF Piper. It's only after the nightmares happen, that readers see the real Beckett. She doesn't cave in when the worse happens but pulls within for the strength to survive.
Piper is that rich BFF who pushes the boundaries of her parents and also tries to drag Becket along on her intense escapees. Later she undergoes a radical transformation. Luke is the cute boy next door that Becket crushes over. Problem though is he's Piper's boyfriend. I liked the scenes when Luke and Becket are together and how being in a terrifying situation bonds them.
The horror is depicted in chilling images like the statues that come to life and drown one innocent bystander to a pot hole that literally swallows cars and passengers whole. The only thing is I wanted more of the horror!
I'm hoping this is the first book in a series especially with that huge cliffhanger ending. **No, I won't give anything away!
Fast-paced paranormal where creatures of nightmares come to life. Horror mixed with magic after a teen opens a portal to another world hungry for humans.