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ARCS,  BOOK REVIEWS,  DYSTOPIAN,  FANTASY,  FICTION,  SCIENCE FICTION,  YA

THESE VIOLENT NIGHTS BY REBECCA CRUNDEN | BOOK REVIEW

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TITLE : These Violent Nights

AUTHOR : Rebecca Crunden

GENRE : Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic

FR RATING : ⭐⭐⭐⭐(4 – 4.5 Stars)

DATE OF PUBLISHING :   November 10th 2020

FR REVIEW

DISCLAIMER : Thank you, Rebecca Crunden for providing me with an ARC of this book. I am leaving this review voluntarily.

These Violent Nights by Rebecca Crunden is a YA Sci-Fi/dystopian/fantasy standalone novel. The story is set on Earth 300 years after the war between the Suriias and humans. Suriias are the alien species that came from Salfar. They came to Earth after passing through a rift that happened in the universe. Humans lost the war and are on the brink of being extinct. Turmoil and destruction are rampant on the earth, with the Surriias dominating the remaining humans. Orphans Thorn and Thistle are living under the brutal regime of Suriias while looking for a way to find their parent’s killers. Thistle gets a surprising offer from a human-sympathizing Suriia that will change their life forever. Will Thorn and Thistle be able to trust the Suriias and move on from the hurt their species have caused??

Source : Giphy

I am a huge fan of Rebecca Crunden’s writing and just like her other stories, this one is a wonderful amalgamation of plot and character with amazing imaginative worldbuilding. I have always loved how effortlessly she creates these believable characters and unique settings that are very much relatable to us humans today. Take out the supernatural, alienesque factors and we can draw parallels to our own world and the situations that we face on a day-to-day basis. It’s really impressive how unique and plausible all of the settings for the story are. Rebecca is a master storyteller who will captivate you from the get-go.

Source : Giphy

Let’s talk about how amazing the characters were. I loved all of the individual storylines and the different POVs we got to experience. The different POVs give us an overall view of the world and how things happened. It was really amazing to explore these characters and their experiences and knowing the background they came from, really helped me understand them better. All of the main characters were fully fleshed out and three-dimensional. I know that I am being vague about this, but trust me, the best way to read this is to go in with zero knowledge of what’s happening. I assure you will have a great time going in blind with all of the further reveals and twists.

Source : Giphy

The story has a lot of emphasis on the treatment of people and sheds light on people being trodden on by higher classed individuals of dominion and authority. It also gives us a look at the extreme consequences of power dynamics. The imbalance and prejudice in society against the lower classes are depicted accurately and it gives us a distinct impression of the inequality and injustice the lesser fortunate have to endure. Also, the world is very much reflective of today’s world where destruction and devastation are rampant and often endured by the subjugated group. The morals and ethics of these groups are weak and constantly changing. The idea of good vs evil is also examined in the book. Fear is often the driving factor in the wrong treatment of the other group. The other-ism factor also plays a big role in carrying the story forward and how it shapes each of these characters’ individual experiences. The power structures and the character dynamics together brought a lot of depth and nuance to an already engaging story. The social commentary is definitely a thought-provoking element of this book.

Source : Giphy

The different worlds we get to explore in this story were fascinating and I loved how they varied in their societal structure and settings. The cultural differences and their practices were also quite intriguing to me. The magic, different kinds of Suriiaas, the different powers each of them possesses and the history and lore of the world were so interesting to learn about. The world is very accessible and easy to understand. There was no overload of technical information regarding the world and was pretty easy to follow and understand the working of the universe Rebecca has created. There is enough information to keep the readers interested in the story without it being info-dumpy.

Source : Giphy

The pacing is quite good. I loved the progression of the plot and character arcs. It felt natural and believable. Although the jump from one part to another with a completely new set of characters took me completely by surprise. As I wasn’t expecting to follow the new group, I found myself wanting to learn more about Thorn and her fate. I believe it would have been even better as a series to bring about a smoother transition of the story. The reason I say that mainly is because I would love to see more of the world and also get more page time on Salfar. I also felt that the ending was a bit rushed and this could be because I was not ready to say goodbye to all of these characters, which has been my experience when it comes to Rebecca’s works.

Source : Giphy

The romantic relationships, familial relationships, and friendships felt very natural. All of these were engaging and they hooked me real fast. I was very much invested in each of these characters and did not want to let go of them. The reveals and twists were so surprising that I did not see them coming at all. Thorn and Thistle’s sisterhood was full of pain and trauma. The romantic relationships were all very sweet and full of angst. If you love a slow burn, then you will enjoy this immensely. Although the book is not a romantic fantasy, romance in this story is just a part of regular life, and I love how it was portrayed in the series, with it being believable and realistic. Rebecca does an excellent job of creating a story with characters that are flawed and very much human.

Source : Giphy

Overall, this was an excellent YA fantasy set in a dystopian world that was amazing. I loved the social structures, the different universes, and the new world we get to explore. My only issue is that I wish this was a series rather than a standalone mainly because I wanted more from the characters and also from the new alien world. We did not have sufficient time to explore it to my liking. Other than that, I was completely invested in the story from beginning to end. Rebecca is definitely an auto-buy author and I hope we get to read more from her. I gave the book 4 – 4.5 stars and highly recommend the book if you love Rebecca Crunden’s works. The stories are always unique and have so much to offer in terms of themes and concepts. If you love a good character-driven SFF story that is set in a post-apocalyptic world with compelling characters, do pick this book up.

Source : Giphy

Book Reviews –

A TOUCH OF DEATH | A HISTORY OF MADNESS | A PROMISE OF RETURN | A DANCE OF LIES | A TIME OF PROPHECY

SYNOPSIS

Once upon a time, inhabitants of another world tore a hole through the universe and came to Earth. They called themselves Suriias, and rivalled humans in knowledge and skill with one great exception: they had magic.

War followed. Humanity lost. And three hundred years later, humans are on the brink of extinction.

Orphans Thorn and Thistle live in hiding. They are the last of their families, the last of their friends. They scrape by, stealing to survive and living on the streets or hiding in sheds. But even under the brutal regime of the Suriias, there are places where humans can mingle in secret with magical sympathisers, and one night Thistle gets an unexpected offer of marriage from a Suriia with high standing and friends in all the right places. For Thistle, it’s a chance at safety and comfort; for Thorn, it’s a chance to find the ones who killed her parents.

And so the pair move into the capital city of Courtenz. An urban monstrosity of magic and might, false friends and flying cars, drones and death tolls, the new city promises a fresh start – and new love – for both.

But if there’s one thing Thorn knows for certain, it’s that dreams can swiftly turn into nightmares.

Source : Goodreads

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