Thursday, September 13, 2012

SUNNY: BOOK REVIEW "Nightfall" by Ellen Connor

The Characters:
Jenna Barclay

Magic takes over the world and the world is transformed.  It is now just hitting the western half of the United States.  Jenna Barclay, whose father has been prophisizing this change, is kidnapped by ex-Marine, Mason.  He is fulfilling a promise to Jenna’s deceased dad to protect her.  Add to this mix, a teenage boy, a brilliant scientist, a mother and her withdrawn daughter. This is a story about survival at the most primal level as they are pursued by the changlings - humans who are turning into rabid animals.

When I think of this book, one word comes to mind “PRIMAL.”  In this book, the world gets pared down to the most fundamental levels - finesse is out, luxury is out, technology is out.  People and animals survive on instinct.  

The premise and setting of this story are dark.  Ellen Connor does amazing job building a world in which the characters survive by a thread.  There are threats all around them - starvation, death due to freezing cold temperatures, transformation by being bitten by one of the rabid animals and turning into a monster. There is serious tension throughout this book.  There are so many moments in which, if this were a movie, you’d be peeking between your fingers as you held your hands to your face.  

Jenna and Mason’s relationship epitomizes the dual definitions of primal. First, their relationship meets their primitive needs.  There is no wooing, no finessing, just hard-driven desire to be needed and loved. Secondly, they become each others primary - the first in importance, each others one and only.   Watching this develop, especially watching Mason unfurl leaves me so satisfied. It is the best part of watching an alpha develop his “sweet.”

As readers, we should not be surprise by the level of expertise.  Ellen Connor is authors Ann Aguirre and Carrie Lofty.  You can see both their influences in the story.  There is hard driven action, highly suspenseful moments and some of the hottest bedroom scenes (although it doesn’t really happen that much in a bedroom).  

In A Nutshell:
If you a fan of Ann Aguirre or Carrie Lofty, even if you are not, and if you want to read a highly satisfying, suspenseful book set in a dark, dystopian world, you must read this book.

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