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Down Comes the Night

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He saw the darkness in her magic. She saw the magic in his darkness. Wren Southerland’s reckless use of magic has cost her everything: she’s been dismissed from the Queen’s Guard and separated from her best friend—the girl she loves. So when a letter arrives from a reclusive lord, asking Wren to come to his estate, Colwick Hall, to cure his servant from a mysterious illness He saw the darkness in her magic. She saw the magic in his darkness. Wren Southerland’s reckless use of magic has cost her everything: she’s been dismissed from the Queen’s Guard and separated from her best friend—the girl she loves. So when a letter arrives from a reclusive lord, asking Wren to come to his estate, Colwick Hall, to cure his servant from a mysterious illness, she seizes her chance to redeem herself. The mansion is crumbling, icy winds haunt the caved-in halls, and her eccentric host forbids her from leaving her room after dark. Worse, Wren’s patient isn’t a servant at all but Hal Cavendish, the infamous Reaper of Vesria and her kingdom’s sworn enemy. Hal also came to Colwick Hall for redemption, but the secrets in the estate may lead to both of their deaths. With sinister forces at work, Wren and Hal realize they’ll have to join together if they have any hope of saving their kingdoms. But as Wren circles closer to the nefarious truth behind Hal’s illness, they realize they have no escape from the monsters within the mansion. All they have is each other, and a startling desire that could be their downfall. Allison Saft’s Down Comes the Night is a snow-drenched romantic fantasy that keeps you racing through the pages long into the night. Love makes monsters of us all.


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He saw the darkness in her magic. She saw the magic in his darkness. Wren Southerland’s reckless use of magic has cost her everything: she’s been dismissed from the Queen’s Guard and separated from her best friend—the girl she loves. So when a letter arrives from a reclusive lord, asking Wren to come to his estate, Colwick Hall, to cure his servant from a mysterious illness He saw the darkness in her magic. She saw the magic in his darkness. Wren Southerland’s reckless use of magic has cost her everything: she’s been dismissed from the Queen’s Guard and separated from her best friend—the girl she loves. So when a letter arrives from a reclusive lord, asking Wren to come to his estate, Colwick Hall, to cure his servant from a mysterious illness, she seizes her chance to redeem herself. The mansion is crumbling, icy winds haunt the caved-in halls, and her eccentric host forbids her from leaving her room after dark. Worse, Wren’s patient isn’t a servant at all but Hal Cavendish, the infamous Reaper of Vesria and her kingdom’s sworn enemy. Hal also came to Colwick Hall for redemption, but the secrets in the estate may lead to both of their deaths. With sinister forces at work, Wren and Hal realize they’ll have to join together if they have any hope of saving their kingdoms. But as Wren circles closer to the nefarious truth behind Hal’s illness, they realize they have no escape from the monsters within the mansion. All they have is each other, and a startling desire that could be their downfall. Allison Saft’s Down Comes the Night is a snow-drenched romantic fantasy that keeps you racing through the pages long into the night. Love makes monsters of us all.

30 review for Down Comes the Night

  1. 5 out of 5

    chai ♡

    The premise of Down Comes the Night struck me with a deep allure: two enemies, standing on opposite sides of an endless war, find themselves miserably trapped, like a pair of pinned moths, with unknowable terrors inside an estate lurking deep in the dark fog-wreathed mountains, and like any trapped thing, they must scrape up answers and fight to the bitter end, together. Before I discuss the novel’s merits, I want to get a few personal quibbles out of the way first: Saft writes superbly, though The premise of Down Comes the Night struck me with a deep allure: two enemies, standing on opposite sides of an endless war, find themselves miserably trapped, like a pair of pinned moths, with unknowable terrors inside an estate lurking deep in the dark fog-wreathed mountains, and like any trapped thing, they must scrape up answers and fight to the bitter end, together. Before I discuss the novel’s merits, I want to get a few personal quibbles out of the way first: Saft writes superbly, though her long, over-stretched descriptions occasionally bloat the prose, and there are moments when one might crave a little more restraint. The story also gropes unsuccessfully for the Gothic note, and I found myself longing for the kind of extravagantly evocative atmosphere that Moreno-Garcia crafts so effectively in her gothic charmer, Mexican Gothic, for example—the kind that tingles on your skin and floods your senses and presses around you like it has physical weight. This latter note I blame partly on my own expectations which were exacerbated by the marketing around the book. That said, the novel luckily thrives in its themes of heritage and war and power (which are sinuous and protean and affecting) and the changing relationship between Wren and Hal (which walks a knife-edge between animus and amity, and builds in maliciously slow increments of bruised and insulted longing), and the two far outshine the sparsely decorated setup and the anemic predictability of the storyline. Down Comes the Night probes, ceaselessly and affectingly, at the nature of what it means to inherit a story that was etched in blood and choked with corpses, and to splinter yourself on the umbrageous legacies of growing up weaned on that fierce poison and bottomless hatred. “War makes monsters out of children,” writes Saft, they live shoulder to shoulder with it and thus grow immune to its atrocities. Wren and Hal, both barely having finished being a child, were taught to dream in the language of monstrousness. Wren, who was so uncomfortably aware of her softness in an almost abject way, felt the absence of that monstrousness within her like a hunger, like a deficiency, a mistake in need of correcting. Her heart had no dimension for violence, and she never stopped knowing it; not while words like “weak” and “emotional” were constantly thrown like sharp rocks at her, and she carried them in her arms, a reminder that she was not—and will never be—enough. Hal, on the other hand, had a history drenched in boiling gouts of blood, and it had earned him a horrible renown: he was “the Reaper of Vesria”, and death had enfolded him like a cloak for so very long he barely felt it anymore. Monstrousness was a shape Hal had been poured into—his loneliness and desperation and trauma conspiring to make him as good as clay in its hands—and he resigned himself to being subsumed. In this, Hal offers an interesting counterpart to Wren: while Wren sought to flay any softness from her like fascia from muscle, convinced she would always be incomplete in its presence, an unfinished jigsaw of a person, Hal believed himself both incapable and unworthy of softness even as he sought its respite, the same way one dreams of fire’s warmth in the teeth of winter. Hal’s hope for salvation had died quietly, without a whimper, and Wren’s grasping for a belonging that doesn’t size and measure before it finds you worthy is still gasping for oxygen, but both strike to life like flint when Hal and Wren meet each other, and it is this collision which constitutes the novel’s most rewarding experience. Hal and Wren spend most of the novel slowly and delicately lining up the sharp edges of their differences in the fragile hope of finding a match. They look at each other and see something infinitely human, something which slowly hacks at the long-growing tree of their prejudices, and carves a space where mutual understanding—and eventually, love—might grow, opening up like a flower blooming. Therein lies the true joy of this novel: the author sees her characters in all their complicated glory and holds them so gently, but she also holds them accountable—for their wishes and choices and promises—and her beautifully thoughtful and clear-eyed exploration ultimately spindles into what Emily Dickinson had called “the thing with feathers”: hope. CWs: gore, murder, implied torture, descriptions of surgical procedures. If you liked this review or found it useful please consider supporting me on Ko-fi ! ☆ ko-fi ★ blog ☆ twitter ★ tumblr ☆

  2. 4 out of 5

    Miranda Reads

    Niece of the Queen, Wren Southerland has always felt herself a burden. Her parents are gone, her family is gone (except the Queen) so she realized pretty early on that she needed to make herself useful to gain any sort of recognition. And so she did. Wren is the most talented healer but despite her power, she's constantly being driven away from the Queen and from her career. She's too emotional - more likely to heal a prisoner than continue his capture. Her most recent incident (where she ki Niece of the Queen, Wren Southerland has always felt herself a burden. Her parents are gone, her family is gone (except the Queen) so she realized pretty early on that she needed to make herself useful to gain any sort of recognition. And so she did. Wren is the most talented healer but despite her power, she's constantly being driven away from the Queen and from her career. She's too emotional - more likely to heal a prisoner than continue his capture. Her most recent incident (where she kinda-sorta is the reason that an important prisoner escaped) sends her back to the abbey, where she would likely be shut away forever. But then, a letter arrives Colwick Hall. Lowry, a lord, is requesting her assistance with a diseased manservant. She (against her Queen's wishes) (and against her best-friend-almost-girlfriend's wishes) packs up her bags to go help. But when she arrives, she realizes that Hal Cavendish is the servant. The same man whose murdered thousands of her people. She's trapped in the snowy mountains with a murderer...but soon realizes something even more sinister is just around the corner. Overall thoughts: this was a deeply atmospheric book. It was gorgeously rich in details and imagery. I liked Wren from the start and while she did get a little woe-is-me, she was overall a good main character. I enjoyed the blossoming romance between Wren and her best-friend-almost-girlfirend but the author did cut the relationship short (but it made sense in the long run). The relationship between Wren and Hal was really well done - I loved how Hal was so human despite the atrocities. The plot felt unexpected and exciting. The last 25% - oooo! I was hooked. As each reveal was given, and more dimension provided to the evil....it was good. VERY good! With thanks to Netgalley for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads

  3. 4 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    I’ve had a hard time trying to rate this book. I did not like the beginning of the book. In my opinion, this is just a murder mystery. There is a castle and it had the opportunity to be a gothic story but it just wasn’t. I love the name Wren and was so excited for this book. Wren was an idiot during the beginning of the book. I guess it was the 30% mark it started to get relatively interesting. And I love the cover! I enjoyed Wren more when she was at the castle taking care of Hal. I enjoyed the I’ve had a hard time trying to rate this book. I did not like the beginning of the book. In my opinion, this is just a murder mystery. There is a castle and it had the opportunity to be a gothic story but it just wasn’t. I love the name Wren and was so excited for this book. Wren was an idiot during the beginning of the book. I guess it was the 30% mark it started to get relatively interesting. And I love the cover! I enjoyed Wren more when she was at the castle taking care of Hal. I enjoyed the slow burn little romance but it was mostly a let down for me. I will say the ending was good and that made me happy. I’m in the minority as most people love this book so you need to read it and make up your own mind. *Thank you to Netgalley and Wednesday Books for a digital copy of this book. Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾 BLOG: https://melissa413readsalot.blogspot....

  4. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    ↠ 4 stars There's something about being trapped inside a crumbling mansion with your sworn enemy that can actually be so personal. After Wren Southerland is suspended from the queen's guard for her reckless actions, she travels to the estate of an enigmatic lord who's sought out her healing services for one of his servants. Upon her arrival, she discovers that the very person she's been tasked with healing is none other than Hal Cavendish, an enemy of the kingdom and of Wren herself. As the two g ↠ 4 stars There's something about being trapped inside a crumbling mansion with your sworn enemy that can actually be so personal. After Wren Southerland is suspended from the queen's guard for her reckless actions, she travels to the estate of an enigmatic lord who's sought out her healing services for one of his servants. Upon her arrival, she discovers that the very person she's been tasked with healing is none other than Hal Cavendish, an enemy of the kingdom and of Wren herself. As the two grow closer, they uncover a sinister plot at work within the dilapidated estate connected to the very fate of their respective kingdoms. This truly is a rich, gothic fantasy, that seemingly pulls you into its gravity from Wrens arrival at Colwick Hall. The setting is eerie and atmospheric, and an air of mystery is present that is palpable from the very start. To say this book felt like a dream would be putting it lightly. Maybe it's because I read this all in one sitting, but there is truly no way to describe the feeling of reading this from start to finish. The characters were witty and utterly hilarious, and the slow burn enemies-to-lovers romance kept me going during moments where things needed a spark. I think the magic system that the author presents is really fascinating, but there needed to be more explored within the world since it played such an integral part to the plot. The same could be said for the character background of Wren. You don't get the whole picture of who she is as a person or what drives her to do what she does beyond the events in the book. There are some key moments mentioned, but not thoroughly examined for my liking. A blanket statement for this book: it just needed more. I loved what was given, but if you look beyond the surface, it's clear that it's lacking something. The plot is altogether imaginative and I thoroughly enjoyed where everything ended up though. If you came here for enemies trapped in a mansion together and solving a mystery, look no further. This one doesn't disappoint. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this arc in exchange for an honest review. Trigger warnings: gore, murder, implied torture, description of surgery and procedure

  5. 4 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    Wren Southerland is a magical healer and also the niece of the Queen of Danu, but that hasn't won her any favors. In fact, after her mother's untimely death, her Aunt has consistently treated her very poorly. After Wren's empathy leads to an error in judgement while at work, she gets ejected from the Queen's Guard and banished to live in a remote abbey. The most upsetting aspect of this whole affair is that Wren is then separated from her best friend, Una, a Captain in the Queen's Guard and the wo Wren Southerland is a magical healer and also the niece of the Queen of Danu, but that hasn't won her any favors. In fact, after her mother's untimely death, her Aunt has consistently treated her very poorly. After Wren's empathy leads to an error in judgement while at work, she gets ejected from the Queen's Guard and banished to live in a remote abbey. The most upsetting aspect of this whole affair is that Wren is then separated from her best friend, Una, a Captain in the Queen's Guard and the woman she loves. Wren is kicking herself for her mistake and just trying to figure out a way back to Una. Certainly her Aunt will find it in her heart to forgive her need to care for others. While at the abbey, stewing in her misery, Wren receives a letter from Lord Alistair Lowry, inviting her to his home, in order to help him with a little problem. His servants are sick and dying from a mysterious illness. One man is still alive, suffering and he wants Wren to try to heal him before it is to late. She considers it a great opportunity and decides to take him up on his offer, traveling to the neighboring kingdom of Cernos, to Lowry's remote estate of Colwick Hall. ((cue the gothic ambiance)) Her movements weren't exactly approved by the Queen, so Wren finds herself a bit of an Outlaw. In her eyes, she didn't have any other options. Shockingly, her new patient turns out to be someone she knows. Hal Cavendish, the infamous Reaper of Vesria, her kingdom's sworn enemy. There's political gains to be made here. Perhaps Wren can can still work her way into the Queen's good graces and be reunited with Una. As she begins to get to know Hal, however, she starts to question a lot of her previous beliefs. Soon, Wren and Hal are working together to solve a murder mystery chilling enough for even the sturdiest of characters. Down Comes the Night was such a pleasant surprise. A great debut for Saft! There were so many aspects to this that I enjoyed, but first and foremost would be the atmosphere. Colwick Hall felt like the creepy, gothic mansion of my dreams. Reading this, I felt like I was there. I could smell it, feel the cold and dread what was hiding in every shadow. Hal and Wren working together, watching their relationship evolve, was fantastic. They were complete opposites, but grew to understand and appreciate each other because of that. I was genuinely afraid for them. The dangers they faced as the explored the secrets of Colwick Hall were palpable. I also thought the magic was well done. Wren's work as a magic-based healer was quite detailed and I liked that it was a bit on the gruesome side. Saft definitely didn't shy away from blood and gore, so if you enjoy that, as I do, you should definitely check this one out. You know who you are. Overall, I think this is a very fun standalone YA Fantasy. There were a few little things that didn't work as well for my tastes, but they were definitely overshadowed by the aspects I enjoyed. Thank you so much to the publisher, Wednesday Books, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. I had a great time with it and look forward to reading more from Allison Saft!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Okay! There are gothic, disturbing vibes, a blooming true romance, hateful kingdoms, references to Darwin’s theory of natural selection and Frankenstein and pure magic dances with fantasy genre. This combination seems like an intriguingly fresh, riveting, enjoyable debut novel! A dark mansion reminds you of Guillermo Del Toro’s dark, claustrophobic world building, a rich, mysterious man keeps very dangerous secret beyond the closed doors, two rivalries dig out mysteries by roaming around the eer Okay! There are gothic, disturbing vibes, a blooming true romance, hateful kingdoms, references to Darwin’s theory of natural selection and Frankenstein and pure magic dances with fantasy genre. This combination seems like an intriguingly fresh, riveting, enjoyable debut novel! A dark mansion reminds you of Guillermo Del Toro’s dark, claustrophobic world building, a rich, mysterious man keeps very dangerous secret beyond the closed doors, two rivalries dig out mysteries by roaming around the eerie, ominous corridors, looking for secret passages to find clues to stop the probable war between the kingdoms as they helplessly fall for each other. As the epic rivalry brings both kingdoms of the Danubian and Vesria at the edge of war, Wren Southerland is the most skilled healer of the Danubian, at the service of Queen’s Guard, is punished by her own aunt Queen Isabel who is merciless, ice queen, never shows any sign of compassion. She sentenced to spend her days at abbey as like the days she’s been abandoned as a child when her mother has died. Even though she is talented healer she is insecure because of cruel attitudes of Queen and now her best friend, lover Una puts her rising career in the kingdom first, criticizing her emotional choices as weakness. As Danubian and Vesria’s guards who have powerful magic start to get missing suspiciously, both parties start to accuse each other which increase the war threat. Now Wren accepts an offer via getting a letter from Lord Alistair Lowry, a rich, powerful man, came from scandals needs her help to cure one of his men at his service. This kind of powerful man could be a great alias to stop the war and make her position restore, earn her respect she is looking for. But of course Queen is not pleased about the existence of this letter and bans her to leave the place. So she get to deceive Una to run away from abbey to ride on the carriage which is sent for her by Lowry. But as soon as she arrives at the mansion, the suspicious attitudes and mood swings of Lowry makes her question about her decision and as soon as she finds out the identity of the patient, she wants to run away without looking back because the patient is their kingdom’s arch enemy Hal Cavendish: ruthless warrior, killer, using his destructive magic by using his enchanting eyes. If Wren heals him, that will be treachery crime but does she needs to make sacrifices for greater good or she has to kill the enemy by herself which will be against the ethics of being a healer. And the worst thing is not her dilemma to finish her mission properly. As she start to know more about Hal, she starts to understand both of the kingdoms were deceived and the things she believed were the distorted facts. The mansion they reside is full of deadly secrets and she has to be accomplice of Hal to find out the truth to bring justice and peace. But as you imagine, the chemistry between them and forbidden love drag them into a dangerous line they shouldn’t pass. Overall: Likable MCs, riveting story telling, action packed, exciting development were the strengths of the story. Only one thing bothered me: At some parts romance overshadowed the fantasy genre which brought out unnecessary drama in the story. But I mostly enjoyed the promising premise. Special thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press/ Wednesday Books for sharing this exciting ARC with me in exchange my honest opinions.

  7. 4 out of 5

    may ➹

    well... say hello to my first disappointing book of the year! 2.5 stars, rtc // buddy read with cath! well... say hello to my first disappointing book of the year! 2.5 stars, rtc // buddy read with cath!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    Happy Pub Day! Now available to purchase. "Whatever is done unto you, let it be repaid thrice over." Gothic fantasy, romance, a murder mystery, what else could you possibly want from a book? The enemies-to-lovers and forbidden romance tropes are my absolute favorites in the romance world, and this book has both. *chef's kiss* What starts as a misfit trying to avoid being sent to an abby for the remainder of her life quickly turns into Wren realizing that she might have bitten off more than she can Happy Pub Day! Now available to purchase. "Whatever is done unto you, let it be repaid thrice over." Gothic fantasy, romance, a murder mystery, what else could you possibly want from a book? The enemies-to-lovers and forbidden romance tropes are my absolute favorites in the romance world, and this book has both. *chef's kiss* What starts as a misfit trying to avoid being sent to an abby for the remainder of her life quickly turns into Wren realizing that she might have bitten off more than she can chew in caring for Hal. As is usually the case, not all is as it originally appeared, and both of our main characters have to come to terms with the fact that everything they thought they knew isn't exactly the truth. I loved journeying alongside of Hal and Wren, as the mystery was engaging, the romance was an added reprieve from some of the heavier moments, and the atmosphere was dark and oppressive in the best way. My only concern is that I wish we had seen a little more into the magic system and Wren's life before the first page of the book, as both of these play an integral role in the plot's progression. If you enjoy romantic, gothic YA fantasy, you need to read this book. I'll be eagerly awaiting Allison Saft's next release! *Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ellie (faerieontheshelf)

    A DARK GOTHIC FANTASY REMINISCENT OF GUILLERMO DEL TORO (WITH A BISEXUAL MC AND LOTS OF PINING)?? YES I SAY, VERY MUCH YES (this book is my literal brand) edit: look at that cover, gothic vibes aboundddd

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mara YA Mood Reader

    Even the synopsis is atmospheric! Gives me eerie and wintry chills! Oh 2021-Young Adult, please don’t let me down!!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cait (Caitsbooks)

    Check out this review (and more) over on my blog! Thank you so much to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me an ARC in exchange for an honest review! Quick Stats: Overall: 5/5 Stars Characters: 5/5 Setting: 5/5 Writing: 5/5 Plot and Themes: 5/5 Awesomeness Factor: 5/5 Review in a Nutshell: Have you ever felt like a book was made for you? That is how I feel about Down Comes the Night. // Content Warning: Violence, Death, Torture, Gore, Drugging Someone, War Themes, Murder, Kidnapping/Abduction, Me Check out this review (and more) over on my blog! Thank you so much to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me an ARC in exchange for an honest review! Quick Stats: Overall: 5/5 Stars Characters: 5/5 Setting: 5/5 Writing: 5/5 Plot and Themes: 5/5 Awesomeness Factor: 5/5 Review in a Nutshell: Have you ever felt like a book was made for you? That is how I feel about Down Comes the Night. // Content Warning: Violence, Death, Torture, Gore, Drugging Someone, War Themes, Murder, Kidnapping/Abduction, Medical Procedures // Release Date: 3/2/2021 Publisher: Wednesday Books Page Count: 400 Premise: Down Comes the Night is a gothic YA fantasy following Wren, a powerful healer in the Queen’s Guard who is dismissed after she makes a decision the Queen deems “reckless”. But when she receives a letter from a Lord of a neighboring kingdom, she travels to his estate to heal his servant from a mysterious illness. But when she gets there, she discovers the servant is actually her kingdom’s most renowned enemy. - Writing & Setting - While this book is technically a fantasy standalone, it reads like a historical novel. Down Comes the Night has an atmospheric feel to it, ominous and foreboding. However, there’s still humor and levity within the darker tone. The world itself is beautifully crafted, with each kingdom complex and unique. I was absolutely fascinated with the magic system and would love more books in this world exploring it even further. - Plot - Even though I would love more books (or even just one more chapter… please?), Down Comes the Night works well as a standalone. All major plot points are perfectly wrapped up (without feeling too perfect, of course). The plot itself is gripping and addictive, with the pacing perfectly fitting for the tone of the book. It starts slightly slower-paced but picks up towards the end as the stakes get higher and higher. The romance and character development come first and foremost, but there’s also a great mystery unfolding as well. It’s not the most shocking, but there are still small twists thrown here and there that add to it. - Characters - The characters are what make this book special. Wren is our central protagonist, and I loved her journey. In a world of YA fantasy books with unapologetically ruthless and fierce female protagonists, Wren’s empathy and kindness stands out. There’s a lot of discussion over whether her emotions make her weak, and if her empathy is a detriment, and I was so happy to see that. This book is dedicated to the “girls who feel too much” and I feel like it has such an important message. But Wren isn’t the only one with a great journey. Hal is her enemy, a ruthless killer, or so Wren thinks. I absolutely adored him. I don’t want to say too much, because it’s best if you read it and find out for yourself, but I really enjoyed his character. We also have some great side characters, all of them complex and with their own development. Also, our main character is bi!! And the main romance in this book? Absolutely amazing. I loved their dynamic, and how they grew together. The angst, the fluff, the banter? Iconic. - Conclusion - Pros- great themes, amazing world, fantastic characters Cons- can we please just get like, one more chapter? Please? I just love these characters Overall- 5/5 stars. Down Comes the Night is an unforgettable debut that I know I will be going back to reread again and again. Follow Me Here: Blog ||Tumblr || Bookstagram || Twitter|| Reviews

  12. 5 out of 5

    Hillary

    DNF 10% | 5/10/2020 I can’t believe I’m doing this after all the anticipation and excitement...but I am. I can’t believe I even got an arc to begin with and I feel way more guilty than I should, but what can I do. It’s the second time this year that a YA fantasy with these gothic vibes ends up on my most anticipated reads because of an intriguing dark synopsis, and then I end up really disliking it and being unable to read the entire thing. I can’t say with certainty if the Guillermo del Toro vibes DNF 10% | 5/10/2020 I can’t believe I’m doing this after all the anticipation and excitement...but I am. I can’t believe I even got an arc to begin with and I feel way more guilty than I should, but what can I do. It’s the second time this year that a YA fantasy with these gothic vibes ends up on my most anticipated reads because of an intriguing dark synopsis, and then I end up really disliking it and being unable to read the entire thing. I can’t say with certainty if the Guillermo del Toro vibes are there since I couldn’t get past the first few chapters, and I’m disappointed big time. Who knows, maybe the inspiration was there but it’s the rest of the writing that ruined everything for me. Let’s go into what I really disliked: - The main character isn’t even introduced that she immediately does a dumb eye roll-worthy thing. I started with her and then I kept rolling my eyes every few sentences. - The style is too juvenile for my tastes, I don’t think I would have liked it even when I was a teenager myself. It’s not only the actual writing of the dialogues, it’s also the way the drama is constructed. - The magic-science wasn’t as great as it sounded, it was pretty basic for a YA of this caliber. To me it was nothing to get excited about. So here it is. I hope people love this book when it comes out and that it simply wasn’t for me. I received an advanced reader copy through Netgalley. All opinions are my own. ****** Book description: a dark gothic fantasy with Guillermo del Toro vibes, enemies-to-lovers and a bi main character Me: ummm... YES PLEASE? *cover is revealed* Me: such bEAUTY Author: this book has lots of pining, enemies-to-lovers romance, magic that feels like science, sickly Victorian lads, a bi heroine, an only-one-bed debacle, and a sinister, snowy setting Me: THIS BOOK IS GONNA KILL ME ON THE SPOT

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jasmine from How Useful It Is

    This debut was a great read! The start was good with the bit of torture love. Hurt to love someone at a distant where that person doesn't return the love. The magic was good, though only two were present; one to kill and one to heal. The main character could be relatable to many readers, myself included, especially when it came to tears spilling out without control. I like Wren's curious minds and despite some sounds made at night that anyone might get scared as ghosts, she would hurry to invest This debut was a great read! The start was good with the bit of torture love. Hurt to love someone at a distant where that person doesn't return the love. The magic was good, though only two were present; one to kill and one to heal. The main character could be relatable to many readers, myself included, especially when it came to tears spilling out without control. I like Wren's curious minds and despite some sounds made at night that anyone might get scared as ghosts, she would hurry to investigate. The slow burning romance is torture! I wish I can read Hal's and Una's thoughts. This story is modern in a way that Wren is bisexual, where she's attracted to girls and guys. 
This book followed Wren, healer and Queen's Guard, told in the third person point of view, as she and her best friend Una, 18 and Wren's superior, out for three weeks in the bitter cold looking for the missing guards who disappeared while out on patrols. They caught a guy with a notebook that noted the names of the missing guards but he got injured. Being a healer, Wren couldn't help but healed him and once he got his strength back he got away. Now Wren and Una has to answer Queen Isabel about why they let their only lead to the missing guards escaped. The Queen suspended Wren to the mines to heal the miners, but to go there is to have no chance at becoming a guard again. Instead, Wren chose a different path, one that her friend Una might called reckless and the Queen wouldn't approve. This new path, at least Wren has a bit of freedom to decide for herself, even though she might came face to face with the enemy named Hal, 19, a reaper and so-called monster. 
Down Comes the Night was an actions and adventurous read! I couldn't put down a few times and read late into the night. There was an intense bit of reading where Wren went looking after the sounds that people might mistaken for ghosts and the medical bits to healing wounds. It's interesting how young adults are portrayed as being responsible enough to put their country before their own indulgence. Because of LGBT genre, I was hoping for the happy ending to be with a girl, but, well.. The read was still good. I do recommend everyone to read this book! xoxo, Jasmine at www.howusefulitis.wordpress.com for more details Many thanks to Wednesday Books for the opportunity to read and review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    sarah

    dnf at 140 pages I have been putting off this review for so long, simply because I don't know what to say about this book. The second I decided to give up on it, all memories regarding the characters, plot and even what I didn't like about it disappeared from my brain. What a great reviewer, right? But in the hopes of a) retaining my Netgalley 80% reviewed books score and; b) having the satisfaction of reviewing every book I read in 2021 I decided to suck it up and write this, with the help of some dnf at 140 pages I have been putting off this review for so long, simply because I don't know what to say about this book. The second I decided to give up on it, all memories regarding the characters, plot and even what I didn't like about it disappeared from my brain. What a great reviewer, right? But in the hopes of a) retaining my Netgalley 80% reviewed books score and; b) having the satisfaction of reviewing every book I read in 2021 I decided to suck it up and write this, with the help of some plot summaries and discussions from other goodreads users (thanks guys!). Down Comes the Night chronicles the life of Wren Southerland who lives in a gothic fantasy world in the midst of an endless war. After being cast out from the Queen's guard, she is sent to a mansion with the purpose of using her special healing magic on one of the servants. However, she soon realises that this servant is Hal Cavendish- her enemy. From there, romance, mystery and magic ensues (allegedly- I didn't get that far to confirm) I have been trying to look for some justifiable and legitimate reason for my abandonment of the book, but the honest truth is that I have none other than the fact that I was bored. I didn't necessarily have overly high expectations, but those I did have were a bit misleading. I personally didn't feel that eerie, gothic atmosphere or the angsty enemies-to-lovers promised. Instead, I was left wading through pages upon pages of confusing info-dumps of characters, places and history with nothing to anchor me to the story itself. It is very well possible that if I continued on I would enjoy it more, but I just could not bring myself to push through it. Perhaps a few years from now I will get the urge to try it again and will end up appreciating the slow burn more. But for now, I am happy in placing this solidly in the Did Not Finish (and Probably Never Will) category. That all being said, if you are interested in this book I wouldn't let this review necessarily put you off. I would recommend trying the first chapter or too before buying/borrowing it and seeing if you care for the writing and characters. Thank you to St Martin's Press for this ARC Release Date: 2 March 2021

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    “She wasn’t weak for feeling. Hardened hearts were breakable. But hers had endured again and again” 2.5 stars. I think the biggest issue with this book was the marketing (but hey, there's still time to fix that!). Or really, it's just how it was presented to me and the rest of those readers I see anticipating the release of this book. This book isn't bad, but it's not great either. Goodreads says two stars means it's okay and really, this was okay. Down Comes the Night felt more young “She wasn’t weak for feeling. Hardened hearts were breakable. But hers had endured again and again” 2.5 stars. I think the biggest issue with this book was the marketing (but hey, there's still time to fix that!). Or really, it's just how it was presented to me and the rest of those readers I see anticipating the release of this book. This book isn't bad, but it's not great either. Goodreads says two stars means it's okay and really, this was okay. Down Comes the Night felt more young adult-y (in all its trope-y young adult-y ways) than what I was expecting: a slow-burn, gothic, enemies to lovers. This book was none of those things. For someone who enjoys young adult novels, especially the fantasy kind, you'll probably really enjoy this. However, if you're looking for a delicious gothic tale that leaves you claustrophobic and scared with some romance mixed in ... this isn't it. My other gripe with this book was how long it was. I would have shaved off at least a hundred pages, easily. So little happened in so many pages that I considered skimming the book instead, but stopped myself and kept waiting for the book to pick up. It sort of did but nearly towards the end which, for me, was too little too late. We start the story with Wren Southerland, a healer in the queen's army. Her and her commander, Una, are on a mission trying to find any information regarding fellow soldiers who have gone missing while on patrol on a border shared with a neighboring country they're on rocky relations with (and have previously gone to war with). Wren has always tried to prove herself to the queen but her compassion has often led her to choices that have left her on thin ice. While I admire compassion and a kind heart (something the book really wants you to know is so important), I have to say that the book didn't really start off too great for me. Wren's empathy or whatever we want to call it is important, but as a member of the army, should be balanced with rationale, which we see none of. I get it, the message is to be kind no matter what, that kindness is a strength, not a weakness but it's a little too in your face and kind of impractical. Or just a little bit far-fetched. Not to mention how this soft-heartedness is contrasted in a way to make another character's (Una, my favorite and the true gem in this book) less "emotional" demeanor look really bad. Now, after making yet another bad decision, Wren is taken off the guard. An opportunity arises where Wren believes she can prove her worth to the queen and get reinstated, yet when she gets there, nothing is as it seems. When she gets to the house that has requested her services as a healer, she finds the place eerie, cold, full of odd noises at night, and worst of all, harboring her country's most notorious enemy, war criminal Hal Cavndish. To make matters worse, he's who she's been asked to heal. It is important to note that when this book mentions heal, it doesn't mean healing in the traditional sense but in a magical sense. There's magic in this universe, some are able to heal with it, other to kill and ... some other stuff I'm assuming that isn't really delved into. That's the other thing, I wasn't expecting there to be any magic and that definitely changed the tone of the novel for me. When I saw healer in the synopsis, I thought it meant healer like a medic. This might have been my bad, but with this added element of magic, this book felt more fantasy than gothic novel. I would have liked to have known more about the universe and how the magic works exactly, but this isn't really expounded upon. Actual meaningful interactions between Hal and Wren are scarce, yet we're supposed to buy that how they start to grow, understand, even care for each other. I just didn't feel it. Wren's behavior towards Hal is downright confusing and frustrating. He even calls her out on it. “I can’t figure out what you want from me.” He sounded almost anguished, but his eyes still held accusation. “If I keep my distance, you needle me. If I’m vulnerable, you burn me.” She's mostly awful to Hal, with the occasional "kindness" when she ... you know, doesn't kill him when she could. That's really it. It's frustrating because every time you think a step or two towards trust or some sort of progress is being made, Wren says or does something that takes us three steps back. This is especially confusing to read because we've been constantly told how compassionate and loving and soft-hearted Wren is. I felt nothing for the two of them, although I was slightly intrigued by Hal as a character. (Once again, Una is the unsung hero of this novel.) The only gothic part of this book is the setting sort of but it's only a fraction of the story. This feels more like a mystery than a gothic novel. I was under the impression I'd be reading a slow burn with forced situations where two enemies had to work together, only having each other to rely on and begrudgingly trust. Instead, we get I think one instance where that happens and it's very brief. (view spoiler)[Side note that I just don't know where else to mention but I also really hated how ... anticlimactic Wren's finding the antidote was. This is supposed to be a poison no one has ever been able to find the cure for and we're supposed to believe she just does it in a few days? We're not even shown much of the process either, just ... oh yeah it worked. (hide spoiler)] At the end of the day, the idea was interesting but I think the execution just didn't work out for me. Please note that I received an advance reader's copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mara

    3.5 stars - I would say that "objectively," this is probably closer to a 3 star, because I do think there are some pacing and plotting issues with how the book unfolded, particularly in the first ~25%. That said, I had so much fun reading this one, because it was just very much my jam. It's a fantasy romance with a isolated murder mystery plot which... hello. SO me. 3.5 stars - I would say that "objectively," this is probably closer to a 3 star, because I do think there are some pacing and plotting issues with how the book unfolded, particularly in the first ~25%. That said, I had so much fun reading this one, because it was just very much my jam. It's a fantasy romance with a isolated murder mystery plot which... hello. SO me.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘

    Sigh. This book sure lacked an atmosphere. Yet reviews are so useful, because if I hadn't started Down Comes the Night knowing that I shouldn't expect any kind of Gothic undertone, I might have been even more disappointed, as reviewers before me were. Our mind is a complex thing, and ripped of undue expectations, it allows pleasure to blossom, sometimes. As it is, however, the door opened by my low anticipation wasn't enough to revolutionize my reading experience and make a suc Sigh. This book sure lacked an atmosphere. Yet reviews are so useful, because if I hadn't started Down Comes the Night knowing that I shouldn't expect any kind of Gothic undertone, I might have been even more disappointed, as reviewers before me were. Our mind is a complex thing, and ripped of undue expectations, it allows pleasure to blossom, sometimes. As it is, however, the door opened by my low anticipation wasn't enough to revolutionize my reading experience and make a success out of it. I'll get to why in a minute. ✨ We love to see the story of a healer, don't we? Down Comes the Night follows Wren, illegitimate niece of the Queen and military healer , and at first, I was enchanted by her. I loved that we got the story of a healer, which is - or seems, in my limited knowledge - rarer that stories of fierce warriors and clever politicians. Healers are often the kind, gentle secondary characters, and I appreciated that for once, one stole the lights, you know? Wren isn't our perfect character, either, but you should know by now that those annoy me : she was reckless at times, yes, but who can judge her? It's not like she's swimming in choices, really. Okay, there were one or two times during which I reaaaaally struggled to get on board with her decisions but I was willing to be lenient. Because above everything, I loved how empathetic she was and I thought that the discussions around what it means to be strong and how listening to our emotions isn't the antithesis some think it is were well done. Having been raised around people who believe that being emotional is a weakness, Wren struggles with self-acceptance, and her unrequited love for her best-friend, Una, whose whole personality relies on her need to follow orders, doesn't help. I don't know if we're supposed to root for them as a couple at first, but let me tell you, it was painful to watch. Upset on Wren's behalf, I could never warm to Una, which was a good thing in the long run but which still let a bad taste in my mouth. I just - couldn't stand how Una dismissed Wren's feelings every time, and so I couldn't feel any kind of connection between them, unfortunately, which is a shame, really, because I loved that Wren was bisexual. ✨ Great potential, failed execution But the downfall of Down Comes the Night lies in the way it tries to do so much and ends making a mess of everything. I mean, we have: ▪ a war between to countries we barely know anything about, because the world-building was thin at best ; ▪ a disappearance/murder investigation that had potential but ended up in a fishtail ; ▪ an enemies-to-lovers romance that was... nice? Maybe? - but that didn't fully work, in my opinion ; ▪ an old house that never conveyed the Gothic atmosphere it was chasing. First let's talk about the world-building and let me tell you : it's painfully lacking. ▪ We know that Danu , Wren's country, has been at war forever with its neighbor, Vesria. Some people have magic and others don't, because *genetics*. People there worship a goddess in an abbey, and if you're a healer you're actually faced with two choices : working in the military or be a nun or something. The country's kinda smelly, and its soldiers wear a black uniform Wren likes very much, especially the black boots. Its Queen, Isabel, is Wren's aunt and wants to go to war again because that's what's expected from her, I guess. ▪ As for Vesria , Hal - the second half of our romantic pair-'s country, it also has magic and it's led by very corrupt and war mongering politicians, which is truly ground-breaking. They also have a god, but theirs is a god of death, which is fitting, if I might say. Hal says it's "white", whatever that means (he was talking about the buildings? I think?). ▪ Finally, in Cernos , there are mountains, snow, not magic but electricity (oh yeah, there isn't electricity in the other countries because they only care about magic, not science) and the creepy house of a creepy man Wren keeps asking herself why she's creeped out by (you guessed right: because he's creepy). Ta-da! It's quite an endeavor to be all over the place and insufficient at the same time , and I wasn't convinced. As for the mystery, it grappled me alright, and for a time there I thought that it'd be the book's saving grace. Too bad it all fizzled out when I realized that the obvious choice was the only choice at all. Now, the romance. Sigh. It wasn't a total failure, and my treasonous heart did quicken a bit at some point, but it was still disappointing. I'm gonna be plain, but if you want me to believe in a relationship, especially when half of the pair is an alleged mass murderer, you're gonna have to help me a little and give me something. The whole thing - starting with their meeting - was anticlimactic , to be honest, and Hal's portrayal reeked a bit too much of "mass murderers can be soft, cute boys too". The thing is, Hal was never Wren's enemy. Her country's, absolutely, but he never disliked her at all, and as far as I'm concerned, the tension this particular trope usually creates just wasn't there. It felt lazy, to be honest. It doesn't mean that I disliked Hal's character, though. I could understand his descent into self-hate and the way he evolves, after having been groomed as a killer since his childhood (he's only 19, after all). As a character it's an arc I can go behind and even appreciate, but as a love interest? I need more. It's just - sigh. I thought we were past "war is bad and make monsters out of men" , but that's probably my inner optimist talking. I do appreciate the shift young adult fiction has undertaken these past few years, because I sure remember a time when main characters were revered for being soldiers without any kind of reflection put upon it. This is good. This is great. This is something so self evident for this reader that it's boring, but who am I to say that it's not needed anymore? It's just - I really don't need pages and pages of pseudo-philosophical rhetoric to come to the conclusion that war in particular and the military in general are the worst but again, I'm not the target audience. If that's what it takes, then it's alright, I guess. All the same, it feels too tenuous a thread to withstand the whole book's weight, if you ask me. ✨Bottom Line Still I liked Allison Saft's writing, and will check out her books in the future, because there's potential in Down Comes the Night . It wasn't enough, but it was there. 2,5 stars tentatively rounded up. CW : (view spoiler)[Violence, Death, Torture, Gore, Drugging Someone, War Themes, Murder, Kidnapping/Abduction, Medical Procedures (hide spoiler)] For more of my reviews, please visit :

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)

    A gothic story rich in detail, deliciously dark and a little bit of something for everyone. Truly a book for those looking for something different, something extraordinarily and something that will keep them turning the pages coming back for more. *ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

  19. 4 out of 5

    ʙᴇʟᴀ.: ☾**:.☆*.:。.

    Real rating: 3,5 stars Wren is a member of the Queen’s Guard who uses her medical knowledge to assist her best friend, Lieutenant Una. From the very beginning, Wren gets into trouble because of her kindness. They're a very distinct contrast between Una and Wren, as Una is willing to do anything to fulfill her duty but Wren is easily swayed by her emotions and feelings. On the other side of the war, there's a powerful enemy of Wren's Kingdom, and he is Hal Cavendish, a boy who is able to kill merci Real rating: 3,5 stars Wren is a member of the Queen’s Guard who uses her medical knowledge to assist her best friend, Lieutenant Una. From the very beginning, Wren gets into trouble because of her kindness. They're a very distinct contrast between Una and Wren, as Una is willing to do anything to fulfill her duty but Wren is easily swayed by her emotions and feelings. On the other side of the war, there's a powerful enemy of Wren's Kingdom, and he is Hal Cavendish, a boy who is able to kill mercilessly with only his eyes. However, Hal has disappeared and no one knows what becomes of him. After a certain event, Wren receives a letter from Lord Lowry to come to his manor and hence her journey begins. This is a unique YA, as it blends gothic fantasy but it feels like a historical romance. A creepy mansion and creepier lord, mysterious deaths, and a blooming romance of enemies turn into lovers, even though this is fantasy, this novel feels like a gothic romance all time. I liked Wren and Hal and their forbidden romance. As characters, I felt that Wren was better developed than Hal, and Hal needed to have more depth. Una was also an excellent character, and I dare say the most complex. The prose flows well. However, the worldbuilding could have been a little more detailed. What really bothered me was the villains were so predictable that you guess who is the main villain soon as he appears on-page, and the other villain did not have consistent behavior, being used more for plot device than anything else. There were no twists for me because I saw everything coming. Nevertheless, I feel so happy that YA is finally acknowledging the gothic genre, the Jane Eyre-Esque romantic plots that are slow and actionless but never boring. The author did a really good job weaving all those elements into the plot and presenting us with a YA gothic romance. If you like girls lost in mysterious mansions, murders and snowy dark nights, and especially romance, then give it a try! ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review (Thank you!) I'm rating this cover with a huge NO. A Guillermo del Toro-esque World Gothic Romance A healer and a soldier fall in love And must fight against the darkness Bonus: a Bisexual MC Seems AMAZING!*3*

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dark River

    I don't quite know what to say. There's these kinds of books out there that you take one glance at and you know you'll love them. I don't even mean just because of a pretty cover - I'm pretty sure DCTN didn't even have one when I first heard of it - but rather because of something not fully palpable about the book itself. This is one of them. I knew I would love Down Comes The Night and I do, I do, I do. I haven't read a book that managed to give me exactly what I wanted in such precise, perfect I don't quite know what to say. There's these kinds of books out there that you take one glance at and you know you'll love them. I don't even mean just because of a pretty cover - I'm pretty sure DCTN didn't even have one when I first heard of it - but rather because of something not fully palpable about the book itself. This is one of them. I knew I would love Down Comes The Night and I do, I do, I do. I haven't read a book that managed to give me exactly what I wanted in such precise, perfect measurements in ages and to say that I wholeheartedly recommend it is the understatement of the year. If the title, the synopsis, the cover - whatever it may be - speaks to you, please trust that voice and pick it up. It's a beautiful story about kindness and forgiveness that comes wrapped in wintery, gothic goodness. What's not to love? I should also mention that the writing is stellar. Very beautiful, almost lyrical at times, but never too much and always fitting to carry the right atmosphere for the scene. I will probably add some plot and character specific snippets to this review closer to release date because it's still so many months away, but I'll let the star rating speak for itself until then. PS.: I am extremely grateful, I got to read this story at the time that I did, because reading it throughout a typical, gloomy, rainy October truly only maximized the experience. Thank you so much to Wednesday Books and Netgalley for letting me read this gem early.

  21. 4 out of 5

    ☙ nemo ❧ (pagesandprozac)

    title from a fleetwood mac song?? guillermo del toro-esque world?? gothic romance??? give it to meeeeeee!!!!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    Don't you just love it when one of your most anticipated novels doesn't disappoint? It's dark and macabre, it's gothic and chilling, and it's terribly romantic. Full review at Write, Read, Repeat Wren Southerland is a military healer sidelined by her own reckless actions. She is a kind-hearted bastard girl with a lot of deeply felt emotions, and all it earns her is zero respect from her aunt, the queen of Danu. So, when the opportunity to step back into the queen's good graces arises, Wren takes Don't you just love it when one of your most anticipated novels doesn't disappoint? It's dark and macabre, it's gothic and chilling, and it's terribly romantic. Full review at Write, Read, Repeat Wren Southerland is a military healer sidelined by her own reckless actions. She is a kind-hearted bastard girl with a lot of deeply felt emotions, and all it earns her is zero respect from her aunt, the queen of Danu. So, when the opportunity to step back into the queen's good graces arises, Wren takes it without hesitation. What follows is a tale of enemies, betrayal, the threat of war, and so much magic. While the book was a bit text heavy in the beginning, I truly fell in love with this book. My friend finished reading it right as I started, so it was delightful to have someone to screech about certain scenes with. And that happened a lot. There is just so much to commend with this debut. The plot is well-rounded and paced just right to keep adding new layers of intrigue while ramping the stakes up to 11. I adored the main characters, Wren and Hal, because not only were they both complex and relatable, but their chemistry was phenomenal. The villain was terribly interesting and difficult to predict, which only heightened my reading experience. I was fascinated with Saft's world-building from the start. It feels so well developed with a fresh twist on the combination of magic, science and industry. Not everyone has magic, but those who do must wield theirs with great care. Within each healer, there is a source called the fola., and when magic is pushed too hard, too long without rest, the magic can disappear entirely. The concept added a whole new level to the conflict of the plot. Of the three countries we learn of, the two in possession of magic have been at war with each other for centuries, while the third has remained neutral. Instead it turned to technology as a replacement for magic, inventing such amenities as electricity. It is in this third country, Cernos, that we get the best Guillermo del Toro vibes. Colwick Hall had all the gothic ghost vibes and was the perfect setting to kick off the main events. The enemies-to-lovers trope is usually all I need to hear in order for a book to be added to my TBR, and this was a most excellent usage of it. Wren is summoned to Colwick Hall to heal someone of a mysterious and horrible illness, but little does she know that she is to heal the Reaper of Vesria, Hal Cavendish. Like her, he has magic, but where hers is used to heal, his has been used to murder hundreds of her people in war. And now she has him entirely at her mercy. It was just so well done, the development of their relationship. They are exactly the kind of combative but tender couple I love in my YA novels, and I'll fight who I need to to keep Hal safe. By now I'm sure you've heard that Wren is bisexual, so let me just assure you that this was truly the best bisexual rep I've ever read. It was handled so beautifully and intricately. Instead of being mentioned in passing, it was shown to us in all its glory and heartbreak. I feel a little silly about this, but I had no idea this was a standalone. I was so sure this was a duology, so the entire time I was expecting things to snowball and roll into a sequel. Then I was struck speechless by an ending that was just ... oh my word it was just so warm and good. All it means is I will just have to reread this book again to appreciate it even more.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Alaina

    I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Down Comes the Night was such a fun book to dive into! Even if I predicted who the villain was way before it was revealed. It was just way too obvious not to think of that one person being evil. I will also admit that this book had some interesting twists as well.. but some of it was, again, a bit predictable. Don't get me wrong, I devoured this book when I was awake and had coffee in me. There was just something about Hal a I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Down Comes the Night was such a fun book to dive into! Even if I predicted who the villain was way before it was revealed. It was just way too obvious not to think of that one person being evil. I will also admit that this book had some interesting twists as well.. but some of it was, again, a bit predictable. Don't get me wrong, I devoured this book when I was awake and had coffee in me. There was just something about Hal and Wren that just made me fall in love. At first, I was thinking Wren and Una were a thing because they had some tension going on between them. Then Hal came into the picture, and Wren and him just fit better in my opinion. That doesn't stop me from shipping Una and Isabel though. Especially after that ending.. In the end, I'm really happy with out it ended. Although I feel like it seemed that a book 2 could happen? Not sure if that's true or not.. but I wouldn't be mad. Who knows.. out of the three kingdoms.. one could have some revenge in the next book. Just saying..

  24. 5 out of 5

    ash | novelly rooted

    First I would like to thank St. Martin's Press/Wednesday Books for inviting me to read this early through Netgalley. Down Comes the Night was a solid 3 stars. There was nothing inherently wrong but it didn't bring anything new or unique to the genre either. It was a young adult fantasy using the same overused tropes in the same way as hundreds who have come before. The story goes: Wren is part of the Queen's Guard but becomes dismissed. She receives a letter from the Lord of Colwick Hall asking f First I would like to thank St. Martin's Press/Wednesday Books for inviting me to read this early through Netgalley. Down Comes the Night was a solid 3 stars. There was nothing inherently wrong but it didn't bring anything new or unique to the genre either. It was a young adult fantasy using the same overused tropes in the same way as hundreds who have come before. The story goes: Wren is part of the Queen's Guard but becomes dismissed. She receives a letter from the Lord of Colwick Hall asking for her healing services to help cure a mysterious illness that is killing his servants. In the background, there are two territories on the brink of war. This felt like three separate stories that were smashed into one. There were tone and atmospheric shifts that went back and forth between murder mystery and psuedo-gothic fantasy and romantic fantasy with an odd dip into court intrigue at one point but then quickly forgotten. When I first decided to accept the request to read early, it was due to the promise of a snow-drenched "gothic fantasy" -- I am almost certain that the original marketing had a focus on gothic fantasy vs the now "romantic fantasy." I was a little disappointed when I began and the gothic vibes were missing. When I imagine gothic fantasy, I expect a level of grit - haunted houses, creepy monsters, shadowy magic, passionate emotion, and a dreadful and foreboding atmosphere. In Down Comes the Night, we lack most of the above and any gothic vibes present were minimal. There were some gothic vibes once the story moved into the mansion plotline but it still continued to feel predominately like a murder mystery-romantic fantasy. The author used a lot of sentences to tell us that things were creepy but never exactly showed us. Here is an example: "The house seemed to stare back at her from the belvedere squatting on its scaled roof. It raised the hairs on the back of her neck. Someone was there, watching her. She could feel it." The world was made up of Cernos, where Colwick Hall was located, which was a territory superior in electricity, while two territories of Vesria and Danub continued to cling to their gods and relied on magic instead of advances in technology. Wren (a Danubian) had never seen electricity work before arriving at Colwick Hall. I would've liked to see more character depth and development with Wren, Hal, and Lowry, the eccentric owner of the hall. They lacked dimension with flat characterization - especially with Hal and Lowry's characters. I did love how Wren did not just rely on her healing magic, but sought out books and went the scientific route to help develop medications to aid in her healing. There is supposedly a slow burn romance but it felt quite instant love to me. The magic system that Vesrian and Danubian's could wield was based on a recessive trait that allowed for the manipulation of the energy that flowed through the fola - an energy bound to receptors in the body's cells. The magic varied from family to family. Some could thicken bones, others could regenerate. Cernosians' genetics equipped them with a fully functioning fola but they weer unable to make magic. I was hoping to see a little bit more of the magic - especially the shadowy/darker magic. We do see a lot of Wren's healing magic however.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Isabel Ibañez

    GET READY FOR THIS ONE PEOPLE!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Athena (OneReadingNurse)

    Thank you to Wednesday Books via NetGalley for the wish-granted early read of Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft. Overall this is a decent standalone? fantasy/romance, and seems to be pretty YA appropriate. The advertised age range is 13-18 on Amazon and I can see that.  The description gives away the first couple huge plot twists though, so there's that. Let's start with the world building. The religious and political bits are pretty well explained, even the military structure, but the humanita Thank you to Wednesday Books via NetGalley for the wish-granted early read of Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft. Overall this is a decent standalone? fantasy/romance, and seems to be pretty YA appropriate. The advertised age range is 13-18 on Amazon and I can see that.  The description gives away the first couple huge plot twists though, so there's that. Let's start with the world building. The religious and political bits are pretty well explained, even the military structure, but the humanitarian bits are totally missing. Saft mentioned pollution and a black river multiple times but hardly mentions the industry causing it at all. (A train and steamboat are mentioned). What's causing all that pollution? Factories? When asked about what Danu holds over Cernos (strong with technology), all they ever say is Magic. Is the industry stronger? Steam or iron? Why neglect this and just say "magic"? Also how do the people feel in the city? What do they eat even? The world was flat.  Vesria and Cernos were both better described than Danu. On a micro level though, the Colwick house was described excellently, ominous and dark and huge, and so was the North Tower.  I thought all those clocks were a pretty chilling touch! The plot is fairly well done with a war between two countries that seems mostly based on lies and a generations old power struggle. Why are they really fighting though? I couldn't find any real good reason except religious differences and some contested land of which the value was never mentioned. It just seemed like needless killing. The plot kept moving at a solid pace. I did skim quite a bit where the main character was just endlessly pining over another character. As far as content, the most they ever actually do is kiss and make out and I THINK there was off page intercourse, but I wasn't sure. Either way there is so. Much. Pining. The actual action and plot kept moving along pretty quickly though. The action was fairly steady, with plenty of suspense and even a murder mystery involved. Lots of close calls, narrow escapes, murders and poisoners, even a dastardly political plot. The book reminded me of Stalking Jack the Ripper.... Just a little bit. As far as the characters, I do like Wren and Hal. I think if Saft was going to leave those two together there wasn't much point in doing the whole Una thing, but it did give Wren something to keep working towards even if the relationship was horrible. I didn't like how Una kept belittling her, like right or wrong she was just being mean. I don't understand the collarbones thing either, I guess we will soon find out how many fans have collarbone fixations. Wren is wishy washy and kind of an idiot but it was interesting watching her grow as a character. Hal was just sad but seemed to have a much older view of the world than his age. I loved all the medical bits, I think the author almost has to be somewhere in the medical field. Some of the medical analogies were a stretch or just weird, but I enjoyed it all the same. This is where the SJtR comparison came from. My only real issue was ..... If a corpse has been expired, you really cant draw blood from it. That was the only thing that didn't make sense. Magical healers are one of my favorite fantasy things though. Anyway: yes I would recommend this to those who enjoy fantasy romance, enemies to lovers, and aren't bothered by some light homosexual content. I am kind of hoping this ends up being a duology or trilogy. When not picking it apart it's a solid read, although I hope a few of the plot holes get shored up in the final version. 3.5 rounded up to four stars.  The book comes out in March so there's plenty of time to preorder or request on NetGalley if anyone wants to read it sooner! Thank you again to Wednesday Books for my early copy! All opinions are my own       ******below this line is a LIGHT spoiler that is the biggest plot hole in the book! So only read if you want to discuss it******   ...   Final warning!!! Turn back now!!!         ******ok******    ...   Here it is the biggest plot hole: when Wren was talking to the queen and Una about Lowry, and the queen didn't believe he had attacked Danu troops... WTF Byers' corpse was sitting in the basement. Why not just walk them down there? Why not show Una? For all the bitching and needling and complaining and self loath she has over Byers, they totally neglected his corpse once Wren found him. Huge oversight IMO.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Andy

    Thank you to Wednesday books for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. The MC is a disaster bi, it is confirmed. Down Comes the Night is a gothic fantasy about a magical healer who could find the answers to stopping a war between her home country and their centuries long adversary. Wren is the niece of the Queen of Danu, but their relationship has been strained. Wren only wants the Queen's approval, but her constant misconduct in the Queen's Guard has landed Thank you to Wednesday books for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. The MC is a disaster bi, it is confirmed. Down Comes the Night is a gothic fantasy about a magical healer who could find the answers to stopping a war between her home country and their centuries long adversary. Wren is the niece of the Queen of Danu, but their relationship has been strained. Wren only wants the Queen's approval, but her constant misconduct in the Queen's Guard has landed her in trouble for one of the last times. When Wren gets an invitation from Colwick Hall, Wren decides to risk everything for her country and the hope of ending the war once and for all. I both loved Wren and wanted to strangle her at times. She's so stubborn and I both love and hate it lmao. Wren also has a really cool scientific/magical healing ability. Picture healers trained as medical experts. I loved the medical aspect of her healing so much! Once or twice I squinted a bit bc the science seemed a bit sus, but overall it added to my enjoyment. I loved the main setting of Colwick Hall, the atmosphere was done so well. At first, the house and its owner seem pretty trustworthy, but as Wren stays longer seems start to get creepy and weird. It definitely gave this book a very gothic feel. Also the snow!! It totally added to the isolated feel of everything. Winter is good for creepy vibes. There's such a great slow burn romance and I really loved it. It was lots of pining and I should not look at them like that going on. It's the best kind of romance truly. Overall, I very much enjoyed this debut and I'm excited to see what Saft writes next.

  28. 4 out of 5

    charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)

    A terrible fate, indeed, to be your prisoner. On my blog. Rep: bi mc, wlw side character CWs: gore, murder, implied torture, descriptions of surgical procedures Galley provided by publisher The idea of sitting down to write this review makes me want to pick this book up all over again to reread instead. I binged it in about three hours the first time around, staying up until gone midnight just to find out what happened. And yes, the sleep deprivation the next morning was so worth it. Down Comes A terrible fate, indeed, to be your prisoner. On my blog. Rep: bi mc, wlw side character CWs: gore, murder, implied torture, descriptions of surgical procedures Galley provided by publisher The idea of sitting down to write this review makes me want to pick this book up all over again to reread instead. I binged it in about three hours the first time around, staying up until gone midnight just to find out what happened. And yes, the sleep deprivation the next morning was so worth it. Down Comes the Night follows Wren, a healer in the Queen’s Guard who, wanting to prove herself to her aunt, the Queen, travels to help a reclusive lord in healing his servant of a mysterious illness. Only the servant is in fact the Prince of the country that Wren’s is at war with. Meanwhile, soldiers from both of their armies are going missing and they are forced to work together to solve the mystery. This book contains one of my favourite tropes: enemies to lovers who are forced to work together to resolve some problem. For me, that works way better than enemies to lovers alone, because it forces the characters into proximity to one another and makes the breaking down of their animosities much more believable. Which was the case here, for sure. I loved the development between Hal and Wren, going from enemies to reluctant collaborators to lovers. It felt realistic and believable (and also was the driving force behind me wanting to read this book in the first place). And they are, predictably, the reason I loved it quite so much. The mystery is fairly simple, and none of the twists all that surprising (not in themselves real problems, I grant, but I usually care more about that than here), but I loved the book for its main characters and their relationship. I would read any number of further books about Hal and Wren (just saying, Ms. Saft). Beyond the characters, I also loved that this was a fantasy world without homophobia. I’ve read way too many that are, if not outright homophobic, then entirely heteronormative, but that was not the case here. It’s clear from the start that no one bats an eyelid and that is my favourite kind of fantasy to read. The only thing is, I think I massively erred in reading it so early. Because now all I can do is beg you all to think about reading it… in 7 months’ time.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kaya

    I’m not really sure where to start. Do I begin with the writing style? The characters? The atmosphere? The plot? There are countless elements that make up a great novel, and I’m happy to say that Down Comes The Night very nearly exceeded at each and every one of them. This is a world where two magical kingdoms have been fighting over land for years and years, while a kingdom with only technological advancements sits untouched in the mountains. The magic is called fola, and it’s unique to every per I’m not really sure where to start. Do I begin with the writing style? The characters? The atmosphere? The plot? There are countless elements that make up a great novel, and I’m happy to say that Down Comes The Night very nearly exceeded at each and every one of them. This is a world where two magical kingdoms have been fighting over land for years and years, while a kingdom with only technological advancements sits untouched in the mountains. The magic is called fola, and it’s unique to every person that has it. Despite this being a fantasy world, magic isn’t the answer to every problem and it’s certainly not the focus of the story. Truly, I loved being immersed in place brimming with a fantastic balance of politics, history, and magic. Wren as a main character was rather refreshing. Her magic is that of a healer’s, and you can see great empathy in how she treats others. It was really interesting seeing Wren grapple with a lot of confusion about herself: should she be more ruthless? Are empathy and trust weaknesses in a land rife with war and danger? I loved that the author didn’t rely on what is normally considered “strength” for a female protagonist. Wren is also bisexual I believe, but I don’t want to put a label if it’s not explicitly stated, you know? “It takes incredible strength to be kind in this world. To endue suffering instead of furthering it.” Hal gave me hardcore Zuko vibes. He’s brooding, angsty, and above all, is seeking answers and redemption. His character is both careful and reckless, caring and ruthless. I loved getting to know him, and seeing him and Wren grow closer. This has such a slow-burn romance!!! With enemies-to-lovers!!! Which actually fits the story and setting perfectly. This is a slow-burn, character focused novel that doesn’t rush things. In that regard, it might not be for everyone. Although with that being said, I have to praise the writing! Allison Saft writes atmosphere with such practiced ease, I sometimes forgot that this was a debut. It’s the sort of writing style that will only grow more polished with time and experience. I can only recommend curling up with a hot drink and a blanket to read this. The dark corners of a nearly abandoned mansion, the icy blizzards of a snowstorm, everything comes to life. “Beautiful in that stark, wasting way impermanent things were: the sunlit drip of icicles in early spring, the flush of trees in late autumn.” On that note, the second half of this book didn’t strike quite the same chords with me as the first half. The second half of the plot started feeling a bit too predictable and generic for me, as well as several of the events towards the end feeling especially a little too contrived for my tastes. Also, a few of Wren’s decisions did frustrate me. But I really loved the ending itself, and since this is a debut, I’m perfectly satisfied to let my minor grievances go. Finally, I wanted to touch on the fact that while it is a book rich with gothic atmosphere, a slow-burn romance, and a solid plot, Down Comes The Night offers a thoughtful commentary on the price of war. And not just the cost of lost lives, but of lost humanity. Not only did this flesh out the world and characters, but it left me with a somewhat deeper appreciation of the novel as a whole. “Maybe the only difference between a monster and a hero was the color of a soldier’s uniform.” That’s it! This is probably more of a 4.5 star read but I honestly enjoyed it so much it’s getting a solid 5 from me. A huge thank you to Wednesday Books for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review! Quotes come from an unfinished copy and may not appear in the finished copy. 12/21/20: This book ticked all my boxes. Enemies to lovers? Check. Gothic house with secrets? Check. Wonderful atmospheric writing? Check. I am literally so excited for the world to read this, because this really is one of my favorite books of the year. Full rtc! update: THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH WEDNESDAY BOOKS FOR GRANTING MY NETGALLEY WISH. I AM SO HYPED. GOTHIC FANTASY GOTHIC FANTASY. This has summoned me.

  30. 5 out of 5

    cossette

    what a hauntingly beautiful, captivating book. rtc.

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