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Joint Review – Dark Light of Day by Jill Archer

Dark Light of Day cover
Publisher: Ace
Publish Date: Out now
How we got this book: ARC from the publisher via NetGalley

Armageddon is over. The demons won. And yet somehow…the world has continued. Survivors worship patron demons under a draconian system of tributes and rules. These laws keep the demons from warring among themselves, and the world from slipping back into chaos.

Noon Onyx grew up on the banks of the river Lethe, the daughter of a prominent politician, and a descendant of Lucifer’s warlords. Noon has a secret: She was born with waning magic, the dark, destructive, fiery power that is used to control demons and maintain the delicate peace among them. But a woman with waning magic is unheard of, and some would consider her an abomination.

Noon is summoned to attend St. Lucifer’s, a school of demon law. She must decide whether to declare her powers there…or to attempt to continue hiding them, knowing the price for doing so may be death. And once she meets the forbiddingly powerful Ari Carmine—who suspects Noon is harboring magic as deadly as his own—Noon realizes there may be more at stake than just her life.
This blurb came from the author’s website here.

E: We received a note that contained the October Ace and Roc titles that were available on Netgalley and I found myself fascinated by the blurb. It had demons, a women with the power to control the demons which she wasn’t supposed to have and demon law… That combination struck me as exciting so I decided that I would give it a try. Archer certainly gave me interesting and exciting with some rough spots. I enjoyed her world and as Noon matured throughout the book she certainly grew on me.

Has: I was also intrigued by the premise of a woman who held power over demons, especially since in this world, women do not usually have this ability but are born with the power to heal and create instead of destroy. I also liked the fact that it was set in a college environment and this was in many ways a coming of age tale with New Adult elements than an UF or Fantasy with an experienced protagonist. However despite these elements which I usually love – I did find the beginning a bit slow and hard to get into because there was a lot of infodumping because the world-building is complex and complicated although very well thought out. Nonetheless, despite the slow pace, the story really picked up a pace and I enjoyed Noon’s journey in facing her predicament of being the lone female Maegester in a male dominated world. I also liked how she learned to accept her path over the course of the book, although I did find her a bit immature and frustrating in the beginning of the book, but Jill Archer adds real depth and development to her character and I enjoyed the fact that here is a character who actually learns from their mistakes and fears.

E: I will admit that when I finished reading I wondered if this would fit what I have seen called the New Adult genre/sub-genre. Noon was older then a YA heroine and had to deal with some more mature issues but like Has said above she started off amazingly immature. I think that the way her parents raised her really added to her lack of maturity and her TSTL moments. I was very glad to see that she grew through the book and while she didn’t turn into some amazing ready to take on the world adult she was certainly making strides by the end. I also think that Archer put a lot of detail into her world while still leaving things to be discovered. I think my favorite bits of world-building details were the recitations of different laws depending on the particular legal scenario that was being discussed. I actually would have liked to learn more about Demon Law besides the fact that it could be dangerous and downright deadly.

Has: I quite liked those scenes especially when they were dealing with the dysfunctional demon couple, although I did find it got dense at times with the rules and magical elements of the world-building, but I’d rather have a well thought out setting and world than an underdeveloped one. I think one of the strongest elements in the story was the love interest and although it did touch on a love triangle briefly, it is very obvious on who Noon’s real affection belongs to. I also liked how this aspect tied in with the main plot and Noon’s torn desire to be a healer instead of a maegester. Peter who is her best friend and an angel, is the one who wants to help her to break out of her fate whilst Ari who is an ex-demon slayer brings out suppressed feelings that Noon has kept hidden about herself. I loved the juxtaposition this brought out and although I am not keen on love triangles, Ms Archer never drags this out to create forced angst and it actually helped to develop Noon’s characterisation and maturity.

E: Oh Peter really annoyed me. I liked him at first but then he became fixated on Noon and the spell he had been searching for his entire life. Granted the spell was for Noon and they were best friends but his continual pressure on her I didn’t like. Even when he knew that she was risking her life if she didn’t declare what type of power she possessed he still wanted her delay. Then he started using hope of the spell to try to coerce her into agreeing to marry him. I was very glad when Noon started seeing beyond her blinders of habitual friendship. Ari also grew on me. He was certainly a very determined bad boy *waggles eyebrows* but he honestly wanted the best for Noon. I found it amazing how very open he was to her and thought it was refreshing given the secrecy of Noon’s life to this point.

Has: I felt that Peter was too good to be true and dismissive on what Noon really wanted or desired. Also waiting for over a decade before acting on his feeling and to ensure she was desirable and perfect for him was off-putting but I loved that Ari was the antithesis of Peter and was so much hotter (pun intended!) than him. I also loved how Ari accepted and loved her for what she was instead of trying to change her and I liked how this helped Noon discovering on her own abilities and feelings. I have to say the scenes between Ari and Noon, really shined and sizzled for me, and I enjoyed their romance immensely!
The weakest part of the book for me other than the slow beginning, was the ending. I did find the mystery twist didn’t live up to the build-up and it ended a bit abruptly for me. I was disappointed because it ended too conveniently and was anti-climatic.

E: That is a good point. I loved the buildup to the big confrontation and while things certainly happened there I was hoping for Noon to do a bit more than she did. She had learned so many lessons and so much about herself that on what hand I felt like she was cheated however, on the other hand in times of severe stress people revert back to what they are used to doing. Noon’s growth wasn’t yet ingrained so I could see why she slid back some. I did really like how she decided to exorcise her mental demons in the final scene. I thought it spoke well of the journey she was taking and did make me hope that Archer writes more books in this world. I want to see the world through Noon’s brother Night’s eyes as well as see Noon continue her journey.
I give Dark Light of Day a B-

Has: I was quite surprised by how different Dark Light of Day was from my pre-expectations and I liked the elements, of coming of age/New Adult set in a dark world where demons have won but it is not dystopian or depressing. It was an interesting and unique take on demons and angels and it was refreshing and engaging to read. However, I have to warn readers that this book is dense with world-building which got heavy with info dumping and the immaturity of the main character but I was quickly immersed into the story once things got established and I am glad I did. This was a lively and engaging fantasy which twisted some elements in a refreshing way!

I give Dark Light of Day a C+

Links to purchase:

Amazon | Kindle | BN | Nook

By E_booklover

E is addicted to books. She discovered at an early age that not only were they her transport to far off worlds, adventures, and exotic cultures, but that she ran into far fewer objects if she walked while reading then if she wasn't reading. She reads across several genres, such as: romance, western,mystery, SF/F and its derivatives. She isn't too picky except for good characterization, settings she can imagine, and a story that flows logically... umm so ok -- she wants a good story. Have any to recommend?

5 replies on “Joint Review – Dark Light of Day by Jill Archer”

I wasn’t so enthralled with this book. I thought the worldbuilding itself was the strongest point in the novel. And the character of Noon herself reads as a YA character, imo, rather than New Adult.. or just plain adult. I actually liked the “voice” of the novel, but not the actual characters if that makes sense. Noon does come across as TSTL in a few parts and I absolutely hated the love interest of Ari. ( manipulative condescending male at your service.. ) I would love to learn more about Noon’s brother. I’m so bummed he wasn’t in more than a couple of scenes.

@E_booklover – I thought Peter was a dud. He wanted Noon to be something she’s not (even though in the beginning of the book, she’s on board with finding that spell).. and reacted pretty badly to the news when she started to have doubts. But other than a couple of side characters in the book, including Noon’s brother, Night, I found the other main characters to be annoying and immature. Hence the remark about it reading like a YA, and not a general UF or paranormal rom.

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