I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Night Realm by Annette Marie
Published by Dark Owl Fantasy Inc. on October 20th 2017
Series: Spell Weaver #1
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
Clio is good at all sorts of things. As a nymph, she’s great at outdoorsy nature stuff. As a nymph living in exile, she’s got the “blending in with humans” thing down pat. As a nymph living in exile because she possesses the rare ability to mimic magic, she’s had to pick up some unique survival skills. But stealing from the most dangerous spell weavers in the Underworld? Not so much. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what she has to do to earn a ticket back home. Conning her way into the night realm may have gone pretty well, but now she’s got a new problem. His name is Lyre and he’s a sinfully alluring incubus, a dangerously skilled spell weaver, and the only thing standing between her and stealing some damn magic. Maneuvering around him without blowing her cover shouldn’t be that difficult, but chaos has been dogging her every step, monsters hide behind beautiful faces, and Lyre keeps saving her neck even though they’re enemies. Kind of enemies? Either way, her mission is getting complicated fast, and in the Underworld, even one mistake could prove fatal.
The Night Realm was a spellbinding YA urban fantasy novel that was full of action, deadly characters, and magic. I flew through this one and enjoyed the fast-paced action story and the writing.
This book opens with Clio, a nymph exiled to Earth, attempting to use her special gift of mimicry to steal a magical weave. Lyre, an extremely attractive incubus, manages to get in her way and prevent the heist before disappearing. Desperate for her brother’s approval after her failure, Clio agrees to a dangerous mission, a con that might save her home. She sets off into the Underworld, Hade’s realm and the opposite of her home realm, in search of their most dangerous spell weavers. While attempting to pull off the con, Clio must avoid danger, find the spell, and somehow figure out if Lyre is actually her enemy.
The pacing of this book was mostly excellent, I was engrossed from start to finish. Marie did an excellent job of balancing entertaining dialogue with more action-oriented scenes. I did feel as if the ending was a bit rushed. I thought there were parts of it that would have been better with more details. Additionally, while I liked Dulcet as the villain, I wish he had been developed a bit more, particularly in regard to his backstory.
Both Clio and Lyre were easy to relate to, I found myself cheering for them from the beginning. I liked how complex and developed both of their stories were. I wasn’t a huge fan of the insta-love, although I did like them together in general. The dialogue was cleverly written and I found myself laughing out loud at some parts.
I do wish that there had been more world-building. I loved the world but kept finding myself wanting more details. However, I didn’t find out until after I finished it but this one is the start of a prequel trilogy for Marie’s previously published series. This might explain why there wasn’t as much world-building as I had expected for the first book in a series. Nevertheless, I was intrigued enough about the world to want to pick up the original series.
The Night Realm ends the story perfectly, wrapping up this plot-line while still leaving the reader wanting more. I definitely plan on continuing with the series. I would recommend this one to YA fantasy fans looking for an entertaining adventure.