March 8, 2019

Beware the Night by Jessika Fleck | Blog Tour + Review

Beware the Night
By Jessika Fleck
Released March 12, 2019
320 Pages
YA, Fantasy

This book was provided to me from FFBC Tours in exchange for an honest review. I swear on my bookshelf that this has not affected my opinion of the book.
When her world divides, pitting light against dark, Veda must join a dangerous revolution to save her grandfather and fight against injustice...even if it costs her the boy she loves.
On the island of Bellona, life is peaceful--as long as the citizens dutifully worship the Sun, which protects them from all harm. Seventeen-year-old Veda knows that keeping the Sun happy will protect her and her grandfather from the Night, the dangerous people who snatch innocent citizens from their beds under the cover of darkness, never to be seen again. As long as Veda follows the rules, she will be safe.
But when Veda's grandfather is offered up as the next sacrificial offering to keep the Sun's favor, she starts to see that the safety she's been promised comes at a dangerous price. Maybe there is more to fear above than there is below.
With a mysterious young man, Dorian, at her side, Veda has to figure out if the scary bedtime stories she grew up hearing are real--or dangerous lies.


When I was little (and on occasion still to this day) I was terrified of the dark. I won't even publicly admit how long I slept with a nightlight due to the crushing fear of the unknown caused by darkness.

While I was dealing with imaginary monsters in closets and the ghosts that were not really haunting my house, in Veda's world the dark is more than just imagined phantoms; the Night has a physical manifestation that is prone to kidnapping, looting, and destroying. You don't see them, but they can see you. Fleck took a fear that everyone had as a child and turned it into a compelling narrative of a world torn apart with one girl stuck in the middle of it all. In a way, I also feel like this novel validated my childhood fears, which is always nice.

Despite the eerie subject that was literally the stuff of my childhood nightmares, the book has a lighter side through Veda's sarcastic voice and the sweet romance(s). 

Instead of sounding like a seasoned, revolutionary pro, Veda sounds like a teenager. She uses sarcasm, questions herself, and isn't afraid to let her opinion be known. She isn't a rebel who happens to be a teenagers. Her younger voice adds humor in all the right places while not being overwhelmed by the political aspects of the narrative.

Her relationship with her grandfather, Poppy, is also to die for. Of course there are no parents in the picture, but Poppy's role as a father figure is not diminished. Their relationship warms the heart while also crushing it into a million pieces, truly a work of art.

The romance was swoon-worthy, which is impressive considering that it didn't detract from the political intrigue, world-building, or action. There is a love triangle, but the split romance worked in favor of the plot as it reflected a lot of other issues Veda was facing. Basically, there was a good reason for the love triangle and the suitors were different enough for there to be actual competition. (My biggest pet peeve with love triangles is when they are half-developed and you know which one she will end up with the whole time).

That being said, the political intrigue, with warring sides of an island, disparity of wealth, and prejudice, is not encumbered by the lighter side of the story. There is a perfect balance between the revolution and the relationships. I got to see both the mundane and the revolutionary in the story, as mix of intense action and Veda's everyday life that made me invest in this more personal rebellion story.

The only downside was that the plot twist was somewhat predictable. The initial shock was not as shocking as was intended (or perhaps I have just read too many YA dystopian revolution stories to be surprised at this point). But, I still enjoyed how it developed. The rebellion tropes was there, but it was written in a way that added nuances to the YA revolution story. 

For fans of: An Ember in the Ashes, Red Queen, and Mirage

About the Author

Jessika Fleck is an author, unapologetic coffee drinker, and knitter — she sincerely hopes to one day discover a way to do all three at once. Until then, she continues collecting vintage typewriters and hourglasses, dreaming of an Ireland getaway, and convincing her husband they NEED more kittens. Her YA debut, THE CASTAWAYS (Entangled TEEN), is now available. Her next YA novel, BEWARE THE NIGHT (Swoon Reads/Macmillan) releases March 12, 2019. 

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Were you scared of the dark as a kid? (And let's be honest, do you still run up the stairs in the dark for fear of something chasing you from the darkness?) If your childhood fear was written into a book, what would it be about? Are you a fan of the revolution trope in YA? 

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