Series: Nocturne City #1
Published by Gollancz
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchased myself
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Nocturne City could be any big city in the US. Poor areas, rampant drugs and violent crime, witches, demons and were creatures. Homicide detective Luna Wilder is investigating the death of a drug addict and comes across a drug that is more a spell than a chemical. A drug that leads her to the centre of a vicious war being fought between witches, a war that threatens to unleash hell on Nocturne City. Backed by a gritty take on crime and a vivid look inside a police department leading a fight against crime out of our worst nightmares the nocturne city novels bring crime to Dark Fantasy.
And yet, there are a number of reasons why I shouldn’t have enjoyed Night Life. For starters, a lot of Luna’s erratic, stupidly fearless behaviour was blamed on her being a were. Same went for her love interest Dmitri. One minute they are getting on just fine, the next they have nearly come to blows, and then they are jumping each other’s bones. Unbelievable would be putting it lightly… or so one would think. It worked in Night Life – and so did a number of other things you’d think would have me rolling my eyes. For example, the book centres around an open-and-shut criminal case. I don’t tend to like my Urban Fantasy overlapping too heavily with a criminal procedure novel – mostly because I think it illogical to have a character chose to risk their life (and the lives of their loved ones) for a stranger. And yet Night Life, for all its criminal fantasy elements, made it work.
I was also surprised by how much I liked Luna. Although she was erratic and had no sense of self-preservation, she was an enjoyable narrator that I could completely root for. Luna’s fierce pursuit for justice, as well as her troubled past (which involves attempted rape and an evil grandmother), made her all the more admirable. And then there was love interest Dmitri… actually, I’m not sure I should call him a love interest. The guy is Bad. News. He has an extremely sordid criminal record and really should be everything I hate. And yet, he proves himself worth his weight more than once… and, well, everyone loves a proper bad boy now and again. Especially when partnered with a heroine who can more than take care of herself.
The only character I was less than fond of was Luna’s cousin – and supposedly her best friend – Sunny. God, did I ever want to show her off a cliff. How could this woman profess to care for Luna whilst defending the man that attacked her and the woman that had kicked her out of her home? *makes stabbing gestures*
Bottom line? Night Life was a welcome respite from the mundane UF I’ve been reading lately. If you want a bit of a rough-and-tumble in your next fantasy, pick this up!