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I Belong


Review: City of Eternal Night by Kristen Painter

City of Eternal NightTitle: City of Eternal Night

Author: Kristen Painter

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Series: Crescent City (Book #2)

Publication Date: December 2, 2014

Format: Paperback, 436 Pages

ISBN-10: 0316278335 (Hachette/Orbit)

ISBN-13: 978-0316278331 (Hachette/Orbit)

Reviewed by: Steph

Synopsis:

Magic and mystery collide in this second installment of the new urban fantasy series by House of Comarre author Kristen Painter.

Still coming to terms with their unexpected partnership, Augustine and Harlow have a tentative truce. With Harlow slowly working to accept being fae, Augustine still learning how to be Guardian, and feelings growing on both sides though, they do not have an easy road ahead.

But when a young girl is stolen from the Mardi Gras Exemplar Ball — the biggest far event of the year — Harlow and Augustine must put all their issues aside to bring her home alive. Harlow’s father, Braziano, is of course their number one suspect, but evil lurks in every corner of the city and time is running out. Their only choices: Either find a way to rescue the girl, or Augustine must die.

Quick & Dirty: A 16-year-old girl has been abducted, and it’s up to Augustine and Harlow to find her before it’s too late. This second installment in the Crescent City series is well-written and fast-paced, but it ultimately felt like something was missing, making it less addictive than the first book.

Opening Sentence: Harlow woke with a gasp.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Harlow Goodwin is still coming to terms with her fae side, but she really wants to learn to embrace it. She’s agreed to self-defense lessons with Augustine, and he’s also promised to help her find a good tutor in all things fae. While she knows her father is out there, she hasn’t heard from him lately, which is definitely a good thing. Augustine is adjusting well to being the city’s Guardian and has acquired a small group of people he trusts completely. So all in all, life is looking good. Then, the annual ball happens. Traditionally, the girl who has been elected Faerie Queen is “abducted” and brought safely to a hotel, where she has a fun night with her friends. On this night, however, the abduction is real. The ransom note is simple, Augustine must no longer be the city’s Guardian. Once that occurs, the girl will be delivered safely to her parents. The only problem is, the only way for Augustine to abdicate is to die. That’s obviously not going to happen, so Augustine, Harlow, and their friends must figure out where the girl is before the kidnapper follows through on his threat to kill her. Will they be able to find her in time?

While I gave this book the same rating as the first, I wasn’t nearly as swept away this time around. It’s still good, fast paced,and interesting, but there just seemed to be something missing. There were a couple things that really annoyed me with this one. First, there’s a twist towards the end that is ultimately super predictable. I basically spent most of the last portion of the book just waiting for it to happen, which took a lot of enjoyment out of the book.

Secondly, I had a hard time with Giselle’s sections of the book. While I understand it’s necessary to have her narration so that we know what she’s up to, whenever I would see her name pop up, I’d inwardly sigh and just try to get through the section as quickly as I could. Part of this is ironically due to the fact that Painter has portrayed her so well that I just can’t stand her and am anxious for her to receive her comeuppance. Watching her plot and scheme and seemingly get away with everything for now just frustrates me and makes me want to reach into the book and slap her.

On the bright side, I liked Harlow a lot better this time around. She does some very stupid things here and is entirely too trusting, but she doesn’t come off nearly as self-centered as she did in the first book. She’s really trying to embrace her fae side, and given everything that’s happened recently, that makes me really respect her as a character.

In the end, I did still enjoy this second book despite the items that frustrated me; I just didn’t love it as much as I did the first one. I’m interested to see what happens in the next book!

Notable Scene:

“Dates are easy,” Augustine answered. “But I’m not interested in anyone but you.”

“Me either,” Nekai quickly added.

Her brows lifted with shock and the kind of appraising look that caused Augustine to wonder if he’d done the right thing. Or maybe she just thought she was watching two overgrown teenagers fighting over her. If she chose Nekai…

“I don’t know.” She tapped a finger on her chin. “The ball is tomorrow night?”

“Yes.” Nekai shot Augustine a vicious look.

She sighed. “That’s short notice. Really short notice. From both of you.”

Nekai straightened a little. “I’m a well-respected member of fae society. We’d be sitting close to the head table.”

Augustine snorted. “I’m the Guardian. We’ll be sitting at the head table.” He shook his head.

Amateur.

“My point exactly,” Nekai shot back. “Harlow may not want that kind of scrutiny.”

“Scrutiny?” Harlow’s brow furrowed.

Damn it, Nekai had figured out one of Harlow’s weaknesses.

Nekai nodded with sudden concern. “Harlow, you should know there will be a lot of people there. Almost exclusively fae. If you don’t feel comfortable going at all, I understand.”

She paled a bit, then squared her shoulders. “It’s a masquerade, right?”

“Yes.”

She swallowed and nodded gently. “I can handle that.”

“I would never let anything happen to you.” Nekai put his hand on his chest. “I swear it.”

“Neither would I. Obviously.” Augustine barely controlled the urge to growl at the fool next to him.

An amused sparkle lit her eyes. “That’s very noble of you, Nekai. Can I assume you have some dangerous spells at your disposal then?”

He nodded. “I can be as lethal as Augustine when necessary.”

Augustine snorted. “I doubt that.” Then he remembered she’d seen him kill a vampire by slipping inside it shadeux style and was now acting a little afraid of him. “But then what do I know about weavers?”

Nekai growled softly before returning his attention to Harlow. “So which one of us would you like to accompany you?”

She picked her LMD up off the table, tucked it into the pocket of her sweater and shrugged, her eyes alight with pleasure. “I don’t know. I guess you’ll both have to show up tomorrow night and find out.”

Crescent City Series:

1. House of the Rising Sun

2. City of Eternal Night

3. Garden of Dreams and Desires

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FTC Advisory: Hachette/Orbit provided me with a copy of City of Eternal Night. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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