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Beware The Night

Review

Beware The Night

Jessika Fleck, the author of THE CASTAWAYS, returns with BEWARE THE NIGHT. The first of its series, BEWARE THE NIGHT immediately captures your attention, filling your mind with wonder. It is a dance brought to life with action and destiny, unfolding with each step.

Secluded on an island, surrounded by the Great Sea, the people of Bellona worship the Sun. Their god and savior, the Sun protects Bellona from the evil Night, who kidnaps people from their homes and destroy the villages of Bellona after sunset. However, in order to look after the people of Bellona, the Sun requires in return is a sacrificial Offering.

The Dogio class, or the nobility, rules over Bellona with their soldiers, the Imperi. Veda is of the Basso, the peasant class of the island, and works hard to support her grandfather and herself. Despite the perils of the island, Veda doesn’t worry: so long as the Sun is served, peace echoes throughout Bellona. So long as she follows the rules in place to protect her, like abiding by the curfew or avoiding the shadows, she will be safe.

"You’ll be captivated with this ethereal story. This book is great for a rainy day, snuggling up in a warm space and reading on and on. I loved BEWARE THE NIGHT, and I recommend it to people looking for an action story, or a story coupled with a romantic subplot."

But the safety Vera finds herself wrapped up in slowly unravels. Her best friend, Nico, is of the Dogio class and their friendship is seen as unusual and strange; strained by social norms and expectations, separation seems imminent. Dorian is another Basso, mysterious and with ulterior motives, and knows more than he lets on about the dangers that surround them. With her grandfather, Poppy, taken as the next Offering, the world Veda knows crumbles. Not about to stay in the dark any longer, Veda hunts for knowledge and it becomes harder to figure out if she really knows anything to be true. It’s apparent that Bellona and the Night aren’t what she was brought up to believe. On the brink of war between the Night and Bellona, Veda has to make choices she never considered and find where her loyalties really lie.

When I began this story, I was star-struck at the enthralling scene that the book opened with. The first chapter really grips you --- starting from a different point in the story before backtracking to the very beginning, you cannot help but continue reading to figure out what exactly is going on. It sort of gives you a preemptive cliffhanger.

Personally, I love the mythical background written into the story. The stories of the Sun and Moon built an epic rendition that really drove the story. Each person is driven by the beliefs that they were brought up on, beliefs centered on the Sun and the Night --- each character’s beliefs are used as a tool to define them. When different aspects and details of the myths fell through, evidently based on lies or filled with misinformation, the myths reflect show who the characters are at their cores.

Veda was by far my favorite character. Fleck writes her realistically: she isn’t born a hero, but rather written as a young woman thrust into a war she never wanted to fight in. Veda is a teenage girl (16 at the start of the book) and is still figuring herself out. She’s dependent and responsible (having taken care of herself and her grandfather for years) but not ready for war, wishing to hold a fishing rod rather than a spear. Her reluctance to take up arms in the face of danger made her relatable and more understanding from my point of view while reading --- Fleck took a character that could have been anyone and developed her into a revolutionary figure.

You’ll be captivated with this ethereal story. This book is great for a rainy day, snuggling up in a warm space and reading on and on. I loved BEWARE THE NIGHT, and I recommend it to people looking for an action story, or a story coupled with a romantic subplot. This book will take your breath away.

Reviewed by Claire O., Teen Board Member on March 19, 2019

Beware The Night
by Jessika Fleck