These Violent Nights by Rebecca Crunden
Genre: Romantic Dystopian, Fantasy
Length: 620 Pages
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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.
I didn’t know what to expect to from These Violent Nights since I’d forgotten most of the blurb when I started reading the book. I remembered something about it being dystopian and that’s exactly what I got.
The world the author created feels like a near-future dystopia with much of the same technologies and some further advanced tech. The biggest difference are the non-human Suriias who settled on Earth. The dynamics between the sisters Thistle and Thorn and the two Suriia that ‘adopt’ them is interesting. Thorn’s hatred for the invaders is so much worse than Thistle who feel in love with one. Both have their own goals to stay with the two friends.
The story is slow and shows a lot of the world as it is, was, and could be. Especially the second and third parts of the book have much more action and faster pacing than the first part, which feels slow. I think if the first part was shorter, the pacing of the overall book would’ve been better, but it’s still worth reading through it. There’s so much you learn about the world, the politics, and the characters.
Thorn’s hostility for the Suriias becomes tiresome after awhile. Even the two friends she stays with are treating her well, give her everything she wants and needs, and she refuses to trust them, despite them proofing multiple times over that they’re worth her trust. That hostility makes it hard to believe some of the character growth later in the book. The other characters don’t have that problem.
Overall, I really enjoyed Those Violent Nights. I’d definitely recommend them to people who enjoyed the Hunger Games and Divergent. They’re less YA and more New Adult but there are a lot of shared elements between the books.
About the Author
Rebecca Crunden is an indie author of fantasy and science fiction who lives in Ireland.
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