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Down Comes the Night: A Novel de Allison…
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Down Comes the Night: A Novel (edició 2021)

de Allison Saft (Autor)

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856249,752 (3.63)No n'hi ha cap
Títol:Down Comes the Night: A Novel
Autors:Allison Saft (Autor)
Informació:Wednesday Books (2021), 400 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
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Down Comes the Night de Allison Saft

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Es mostren 1-5 de 6 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Down Comes the Night is Allison Saft’s debut novel. As a debut, it is a perfectly adequate story involving two war-torn countries on the brink of another disastrous war and two enemies who learn to look beyond the surface to see the truths lying underneath. As an enemies-to-lovers fantasy, there too is it acceptable. While the story fails to wow you, it does enough to entertain as it drives home its lesson that emotions are not a form of weakness.

To me, Down Comes the Night is really more of a coming-to-age story. Wren must find her path as she waffles between her love for her best friend, wanting acceptance from her aunt, and following her heart. The story is Wren’s journey as she uncovers secrets, learns some hard truths, and discovers love where least expected.

The romance within Down Comes the Night is sweet but lacks any chemistry between the two characters. Even one very intimate scene is missing the heat one expects with such tropes. While I still enjoyed the trope, I missed the butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling a steamy, chemistry-laden relationship creates.

All of this reiterates that Down Comes the Night is a decent debut novel. After all, it follows a predictable path with one or two minor surprises to jolt you out of any sense of complacency. Ms. Saft’s writing is basic and simplistic, but I do think she shows promise. With a little maturity and more experience, I believe Ms. Saft has the makings of a good writer of young adult fiction. ( )
  jmchshannon | Mar 16, 2021 |
Down Comes the Night is the debut novel from Allison Saft, and it was the perfect book for the gothic, YA fantasy, enemies-to-lovers vibe I was feeling.

The plot was interesting, overall. Even though I was able to predict the main important plot point waaaay before Wren or Hal, and as a result, the middle seemed to drag for me (though some of it is quite possibly a result of personal stress that equated into lack of focus for reading...). The one thing I didn't like, however, was that I was hoping for more of a gothic vibe -- Wren's initial time at Colwick Hall was creepy, but over time, it started to feel a little superficial.

Generally, I liked the characters. I liked Wren well enough, even if her character came off a little flat sometimes. It was also cool to have a bisexual MC as well as a lesbian side character (representation is so important). I liked Wren's friendship with Una; it was complex and raw and frought with tension (spoiler: but they were able to resolve their issues...eventually). Hal was also a complex character who I adored. He had this tough outer layer, but once Wren pulled back his thorny exterior, he ended up being sweet and kind and so much more. Queen Isabel and Lord Alistair Lowry were a little harder to swallow, but that was the point of their characters -- and they were well written as well.

I thought the author's writing style was good, if a bit flowery. There were some instances where I felt like the author either repeated herself (to point out emphasis for a particular plot point) or just described something too much.

I will say that, even though there seem to be a few things that I didn't like, there was much more that I really enjoyed in this book, and it was exactly what I needed to get me out of my slight reading slump. I will definitely be looking forward to the next books by Allison Saft!

3.5 stars, rounded up.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for a copy of this eARC in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. ( )
  Allison_Krajewski | Mar 15, 2021 |
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

War had made orphans of them all.

Down Comes the Night is a standalone story marketed as young adult, fantasy, romance, and Gothic. I don't often venture into young adult but I was surprised when there was a sex scene in the last ten percent of the story, but maybe this isn't unheard of. The characters are around nineteen which, with the overall tone, made me think this fit more in New Adult, just less sex than I'm used to seeing in that sub-genre. With our characters having magic abilities, Wren, who is our main protagonist, can heal and Hal, the enemy-to-lover, can kill with his eyes, the fantasy element was there. The world building gives us three countries, Danu, Vesria, and Cenos, with Danu and Vesria currently in a truce after warring for centuries. This is why the military ranks are full of young adults, as there has been mass casualties on both sides. The war seems to be about religious differences and power struggle between the magic empires. Cenos has remained neutral as their citizens don't have magic abilities.

“It’s uncomfortable, yes, to be so aware of you.” Good, she wanted to say.
Suffer with me.

The story is told from Wren's point of view and she is the illegitimate daughter of the queen of Danu's sister. With her mother and father both dead, Wren is sent to a holy cloister until she is twelve years old and then sent to the military academy to train in the medical corps as her magic heals. There she meets Una, and with a little hero worship in their relationship from Wren, they become friends and eventually have one night together before Una declares it can never happen again because she is Wren's superordinate in the military. When three soldiers of Danu who were patrolling the border between Danu and Vesria go missing, one who happens to be Wren's friend, the queen sends Una and Wren to investigate. Wren's sense of mercy allows a lead to escape and she ends up getting punished by the queen and sent back to the holy cloisters, feeling let down by Una. There she receives a letter from Lord Alistair Lowry III, a noble in Cenos, asking her to come help cure a servant and use her status as an almost royal to work as a liaison between their countries as he wants Cenos to side with Danu and defeat Versia. Wren, wanting to finally prove her worth, goes against the queen and Una and leaves to help the servant.

Something was undeniably rotten in Colwick Hall.

Wren arrives in Cenos, around the twenty percent mark, is where the Gothic tone creeps in more as Lowry lives in a dark and forbidding castle that is rumored to be haunted. It started off with Gothic promise but I'm not sure it was fully sustained but if this is written for young adult minds, then the howling and mystery of the closed off East wing could hit the mark for them. When Wren goes to heal the servant, she discovers that the servant is in fact Hal Cavendish, The Reaper of Vesria, a soldier that has killed thousands of her country brethren and supposedly in line to become the ruler of Vesria. While at Colwick Hall, Wren discovers that Hal's sickness and Lowry are not all they seem and she finds herself growing to care for Hal as she battles the desire to deliver Hal to the queen and become a hero in the queen and her country's eyes.

But it would never be simple. He was Vesrian, and she was Danubian.

I thought around the fifty percent mark, when Wren finally begins to trust Hal as he says that he is also investigating disappearances but of Vesria soldiers, that the pace started to slow down. The newness of the world ebbed and I started to look for more depth behind certain elements, the queen's obsession of clocks, the queen herself, the war, Severance (taking away someone's magic), and world itself. Wren trying to figure out what exactly is going with Lowry had her going in circles for too long and then Wren and Hal running from the castle felt needless and pointless to the overall plot. At first, the story felt set in some kind of fantasy medieval time but when it moves to Cenos, it switches to Victorian, which with Cenos supposed to be more technologically advanced, I guess could make sense but really it just made the fantasy and Gothic elements not mesh right and neither ended up feeling developed fully.

I believe you, he’d said, with more trust and affection than she thought she’d ever deserve. Now she had to believe in herself.

The author's messaging was clear, endless wars cause horrible suffering, the lies from leaders at the top usually have self-serving purposes, and mercy and caring are not weaknesses. Wren and Hal getting to know one another and dispelling rumors and lies about each other, clearly built up their friendship. Their attraction had sweet moments that I thought fit into young adult but their physicality sometimes leaned into New Adult for me. The messaging was good but I thought it got lost in some slow pacing that could have been trimmed up. As fantasy novels usually come in trilogies though, Down Comes the Night does deliver a good story in a one-stop. ( )
  WhiskeyintheJar | Mar 14, 2021 |
“You’re even more delusional than I thought if you think you can save the world by conquering it,” as Wren goes on to prove just that in this sci-fi thriller. When dark and treasonous forces are at work, cruelty is often the rule of the day, but when a kind healer comes on the scene, she may be able to put things to rights.
Saft’s characters are unique, the plot macabre yet hopeful, and I thoroughly enjoyed the journey she took me on.
*I received an arc from the publisher through NetGalley for an honest review ( )
  KimMcReads | Mar 11, 2021 |
Disclaimer: I received this book for free from NetGalley and Wednesday Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Down Comes the Night is a really interesting, unique book within its genre. It’s a fantasy, but it’s also a mystery. It’s got vibes of things like Shadow and Bone – something cold with swirls of dark magic and forbidden romances. Our story follows Wren, a healer, as she tries to salvage her place among the Queen’s Guard and broker a peace between two kingdoms. When a mysterious call promising great reward summons her to Colwick Hall… the situation intended to be her saving grace is not quite what it appears.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Down Comes the Night when I started reading it. The book seemed to have a spooky feel to it, and I do love a good ghost story so I started out expecting something more akin to that. It’s not a ghost story – Down Comes the Night is a story about war. It’s one of those unique books about war that does not take us into the fight, but rather, to a place where peace stands upon the edge of a knife. There are diplomatic relations and monsters and there is blood. In fact, parts of Down Comes the Night are surprisingly gory. It’s a good thing to be aware of before diving into the story – there’s violence and blood and surgical procedures, all told in stark, straightforward detail.

For me, the first half the book dragged. I wasn’t truly invested in the story until about 60%. The action is slow to rise and there’s not a lot about Wren I actually liked. She’s a stiff, stubborn character, and the world building felt… distant. Descriptions and settings provide enough information to place the characters and plot, but there are few passages that truly build atmosphere. Mix all of these things together, and I struggled to get invested.

By the end, though, the story picked up and there were enough sudden twists to keep me turning pages. I still believe that the characters as a rule were too changeable and many scenes and conversations were a bit too convenient to be satisfying. Still, the idea of this book was unique and in that way, it was refreshing. We rarely see mysteries or a mash up of technology and magic in fantasy books, especially if they are not steampunk (which this certainly is not). Down Comes the Night is a book I feel has a lot of potential, and it will find its readership, but there were too many missing elements for me to love it. I would still recommend it, particularly for those readers who like a little spookiness, a highly inadvisable romance, and plots and machinations.

For more reviews and bookish content, head on over to The Literary Phoenix. ( )
  Morteana | Nov 10, 2020 |
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