Review: Nightstruck by Jenna Black

Posted April 4, 2016 in Review / 10 Comments

Review: Nightstruck by Jenna Black


by Jenna Black
Published by Macmillan, Tor Teen on April 5th 2016
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: eARC

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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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.

Cover Love Fantasy Young Adult


Nightstruck is one of those perfect urban fantasy stories that will find an audience with teens.  With a straight forward, easy to follow storyline and world building, it’s a quick read.  I read this almost in one night!  I tore through this story so fast that when I got to the ending…



First, let me tell you what I liked about Nightstruck:

  • I loved how Nightstruck started with a Prologue about the barrier between our mortal world and another darker world where dark magic could leak into our world and bait a “hook” for the unaware.   Already I’m interested in what this magic is going to do once it gets into our world!
  • The story is told from the point of view of Becket, the teenage daughter of the police commissioner dad in Philadelphia and a corporate lawyer mom in Boston.   She is a typical teenager dealing with her bickering, divorced parents while keeping her grades up so she can go to any college she wants to.  She doesn’t have a lot of friends but oddly, the one she does have is pretty superficial.  I thought this was a pleasant change from the typical dynamics you see in most teen books.
  • I liked Ms. Black’s imagery of inanimate objects coming to life and terrorizing people at night.  If you need an example, just look at the cover!
  • Ms. Black took the violence THERE.  Yep, no holding back for this lady!  LOVED IT!!!  Blood, gore, and “Oh no, she did not just do that!”

And what I didn’t like so much:

  • For a pretty good chunk of the story, I’d say about 5 solid pages, there is a straight up teenage angst story.  Not one mention of the paranormal.  For a second, I thought I opened the wrong book.  Where did my horror story go?  Oh, that’s right… angst.
  • No clear reason why Becket’s best friend, Piper, wants her to turn to the “darkside” other than “It’s fun.”  I mean, Piper’s life is pretty good, from all accounts.  Why she hatin’ on life and draggin’ everyone with her?
  • Finally, the ending…  freakin’ cliffhanger.  I think I hit the canyon floor, too.


I’d love to hear what you think of this one!  I think it will be a great young adult book, especially around Halloween when everyone is out past dark imagining shadows coming to life.  However for me, I think I just got too picky for my own good.

About Jenna Black

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. Among her other experiences...

Ballroom dancing.
Traveling all seven continents. Yes, even Antarctica.
Becoming a Life Master in Bridge.
Singing in a barbershop chorus.

Read the true story of Jenna's first trip out of the country by herself at the age of 16: Jenna's Zaire Adventure. And remember, insanity is a good thing for a writer.

She's also a proud member of the Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, and would love for her readers to support her fellow authors!


About Kristin

Kristin has to ensure she gets her minimal requirement of "happily ever after" books in between those books that contain cliffhangers and never-ending story arcs. It's for her family's sake. When not reading, she's homeshooling her 10-year old son, watching cartoons on TV, or taking a nap.

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10 responses to “Review: Nightstruck by Jenna Black

  1. I really enjoyed this story. I’m not normally a big fan of YA, but I liked it. It is dark. I do agree that the beginning is a bit teenagery (is that even a word??), but once things started to get creepy, that all went away. I felt that Piper wanting her to come over was kinda like all kids who want you to join the group of kinds who don’t follow rules because it is more fun. Or maybe like joining the Dark Side, just because. I guess I didn’t see it as much of a cliffhanger, because I kinda saw it coming. Sorry this one didn’t work well for you. Better luck next time.
    Melanie Simmons recently posted…Dragos Goes to Washington Audiobook by Thea Harrison (REVIEW)

  2. This is a series?????? And a cliffhanger??? NOOOO 🙁
    I’m excited to read this one especially because of how dark it sounds and I like that the author doesn’t hold back with the violence, but whyyy a cliffie? *grumpy*
    Oh well! I’ll wait for the next book to be out!
    Nick recently posted…Review: My Perfect Mistake by Kelly Siskind