ARC REVIEW: Down Comes the Night

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Down Comes the Night
by Allison Saft
Published by Wednesday Books
Released on March 2nd, 2021
Young Adult Fiction—Fantasy > Gothic, Romance

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Trigger/Content Warning(s): Gore, Murder, Implied Torture, Descriptions of Surgery, Descriptions of Medical Procedures, Death, Poisoning, Brief Discussion of Animal Murder

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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*I WAS PROVIDED A PHYSICAL GALLEY BY THE PUBLISHER IN RETURN FOR MY HONEST REVIEW. THIS DOES NOT AFFECT MY OPINION*

Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft is a magnetic, addictive fantasy romance that really emphasizes and expands the enemies to lovers trope to a different level. There were so many things in this book that I really liked and adored, but I did also have a few resignations.

Down Comes the Night is written with beautiful imagery and very alluring prose. It easily enraptures readers to pull them in, and it does a wonderful job of hooking and securing interest. However, at times, it could be a bit too much. Where I felt like there could’ve been better world-building, that imagery and prose were in its place. One can’t really substitute for the other, so I wish we were given a bit more than what we got. Along with that, the pacing tested my levels of patience. There were times I wanted to DNF the book just based on the pacing alone, and while I’m happy I pushed through, I wish someone would’ve worked on that more during the editing process.

I have a lot of love for Saft’s characters. Wren, our main character, was fleshed out so well that it was almost as though I were witnessing a coming-of-age but fantasy edition. What started out as a character who only wanted to earn others’ affections became a character that fought to make everyone yearn for her affection, and I truly loved seeing that development take place. Along with that, I did like the side characters quite a bit. However, Isabel—Wren’s aunt—fell flat for me. There was a decision she made at the end of the book along with a detail that came out about her that felt like it came out of the blue. I almost felt like there had been a different ending that was changed to the one we were given because it was confusing—not in the sense that I didn’t know what was happening, but in the sense that it didn’t make sense to the character or the direction of the story at that point.

I loved the suspense that this novel detailed. There were times I was on the edge of my seat, and there were more where I was just so eager to know what would happen that I wanted to skip pages but had to hold myself back. However, again, the pacing did kind of take away from this. I felt like this book could’ve been 100 pages shorter, and it would’ve been a lot better if it had been. Because while slower-paced books can be good, this one just felt a bit too much like I was anxiously clawing for it to hurry up a bit more.

Lastly, the romance was different than I had expected. I’ll admit, I didn’t like it at first. The main love scenario started off very rocky, in the way that Wren’s feelings came about very suddenly. Despite them having a bit of time together, it still felt almost insta-lovey (a trope I do not like). However, as it progressed, I enjoyed it a lot more. Though there were elements in the ending I didn’t like and that didn’t make sense to me, the romance aspect was the singularity that did stick and was liked.

Overall, this was a fairly good read for me. I hoped for a lot more from it than what I got, but in the end, it was a bit memorable and I liked the different and more original story. For that, I rate it 3.75 stars. I do have the opportunity to read Allison Saft’s next book, so you can anticipate seeing my thoughts on it soon.

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DELETEAllison Saft is the author of eerie and critically acclaimed romantic fantasies, Down Comes the Night and A Far Wilder Magic. After receiving her MA in English Literature from Tulane University, she moved from the Gulf Coast to the West Coast, where she spends her time hiking the redwoods and practicing aerial silks. Allison is represented by Claire Friedman and Jessica Mileo at InkWell Management.


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