Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Review & Giveaway - Dark Light of Day and Fiery Edge of Steel by Jill Archer

Series: Noon Onyx #1
Author: Jill Archer
Genre: Fantasy
Published: September, 2012
Pages: 384
Goodreads Rating: 3.53 Stars
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
My Content Rating: NA (Some sex)

Summary: Noon Onyx has been accepted into the prestigious St. Lucifer’s Law School where her mother hopes she’ll be trained as a Maegester. But Noon doesn’t want to control demons, set fires, or destroy things. She wants to become a Mederi so she can grow gardens and heal people.

Noon's best friend, Peter Aster, is an Angel spellcaster who thinks he has the answer to Noon's predicament - an ancient, mysterious, lost spell that can turn Noon into the Mederi she always wanted to be. Only one person stands in the way of Noon's dream - Ari Carmine, a fellow classmate who seems fascinated by Noon's fiery side. 

Dark Light of Day is a unique fantasy novel that takes place after Armageddon - after the demons won.  The world is now run by demons, and humans with no powers (or Hyrkes, as they're called in this book) are meant to adore them.

Of course, someone has to keep those demons in line, and that's the job of the Maegesters, humans with a drop of demon blood who posses waning powers - which gives them the ability to destroy demons. Typically, men are born with waning powers and women are born with waxing powers (which give the ability to heal). But Noon and her twin brother are anomalies - their powers were somehow switched at birth. Or at least that's the way Noon sees it. She wants nothing to do with her powers at all, and hopes desperately that her best friend (who also happens to be an Angel - a human who uses spells to do magic) will find the spell that can reverse her magic and turn her into the healer she's always wanted to be. But, in the meantime, she has to survive Maegester training.

The negatives:
  • Some slow spots.  While this book was definitely interesting, I wasn't compelled to keep reading like I am with some books. Because there was so much complicated worldbuilding (which is a good thing!), it made the beginning of the story feel a bit slow at times.
  • A few inconsistencies.  I did notice a few inconsistencies that stuck out to me, but they were all relatively minor.  For instance, Noon says that she was raised as a Hyrke and went to Hyrke schools, etc. but then she says it's been a long time since she's talked to a Hyrke when she first meets Ari and she doesn't seem to know how to act. Also, I couldn't figure out how Noon would have been able to get through her whole life up till that point pretending to be a Hyrke since Maegesters could sense waning magic and she had lived around Maegesters and Mederi her whole life. There were a few other things too, but nothing that ruined the book for me.
What I loved:
  • The worldbuilding.  Like I said, LOTS of worldbuilding in this book.  Archer created a universe that is very unique, with a complex society made up of demons, Hyrkes, Angels, Maegesters and Mederi (along with a few other types of people!).  I thought it was a very clever imagining of what the world might be like if Lucifer and his demons won out in the final battle.  (This version is much tamer than what you might think!)  
  • The reluctant heroine.  Noon doesn't see her powers as a gift. Maegesters are pretty much universally respected, but they're also feared. Noon fears herself - she fears what she might become. And she has no desire to kill, which is what she will be expected to do once she becomes a Maegester. It isn't until she meets Ari, who insists that the fact that she was born with waning powers wasn't a mistake, that she starts to see any possible good in her powers.
  • Ari.  Ari is powerful, dangerous (at least to demons) and sexy, but he can also sometimes be sweet and sensitive. He appreciates Noon for who she is and doesn't want her to change - he loves her fiery side, but he also adores that she has a tender heart. I was definitely rooting for Ari and Noon throughout this book!  Oh, and I also loved Noon's Hyrke friends, Ivy and Fitz too!!
  • The suspense.  I was never quite sure what was going to happen with the reversal spell.  Throughout the entire book, I was never sure if Noon was going to go through with it if they found it or if it would work if they found it. Right down to the very end of the book, I still wasn't sure what was going to happen!
I recommend Dark Light of Day to fantasy (or urban fantasy) lovers who enjoy stories involving demons. I give it 4/5 stars.

***Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own***

Series: Noon Onyx #2
Author: Jill Archer
Genre: Fantasy
Published: May, 2013
Pages: 336
Goodreads Rating: 3.69Stars
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
My Content Rating: NA (One brief sex scene)

Summary: Noon Onyx is the first woman in memory to wield waning magic. Her unique abilities, paired with a lack of control and reluctance to kill, have branded her as an outsider from her peers. Only her powerful lover, Ari Carmine, and a roguish and mysterious Angel, Rafe Sinclair, support her unconventional ways.

When Noon is shipped off to a remote outpost to investigate several unusual disappearances, it seems Luck is not on her side. But when the outpost settlers claim that an ancient and evil foe has stepped out of legend to commit the crimes, Noon realizes that she could be facing something much worse than she ever imagined…

***NOTE: This review may contain spoilers for the first book in this series, Dark Light of Day (review above).***

In Fiery Edge of Steel, Noon is starting to become more comfortable with her powers, but she's still reluctant to use them to kill.  But, when she's sent off to the middle of nowhere on a field assignment, she finds that she has to learn to focus her powers - or die. 

The negatives:
  • Slow start.  The first half of this book was a bit uneventful.  Besides the part where Noon tries to choose her Guardian Angel (which I really enjoyed), not much really happens until the group is well on its way to The Shallows.  However, the ending picks up A LOT and definitely gets exciting, which makes up somewhat for the slower start.
What I loved:
  • The characters.  Pretty much everything I loved about the characters in the first book still applied in book #2.  But in this book, we had the added characters of Rafe and Fara.  Noon assumed the worst about both of these characters at the beginning, but they proved themselves as the book went on - I loved getting to know both of them and hope that they are both still part of future books!
  • The Shallows mystery.  I was incredibly intrigued by the mystery of what was happening in The Shallows. Archer did a great job of pulling us into the mystery and making us wonder what might happen next!
  • The ending.  Like I said, the ending to this book was definitely action-packed. And something happens at the end that completely rocks Noon's world in a way that she did not see coming!  I can't wait to read the next book to find out what will happen next!
So, Fiery Edge of Steel was a great follow-up to Dark Light of Day. I will definitely be following this series! 4/5 stars.

***Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own***


About the Author

Jill Archer writes dark, genre-bending fantasy from rural Maryland. Her novels include Dark Light of Day, Fiery Edge of Steel, and White Heart of Justice. She loves cats, coffee, books, movies, day tripping, and outdoor adventuring.

Author Links:

$25 Amazon eGift Certificate (or bookseller egift card of winner’s choice)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Anyone who tweets one of these will be entered to win ANY fantasy book of their choice from Book Depository (so long as Book Depository ships to your address) (up to $10.00). Contest ends on June 3, 2014. One tweet/entry per person.

Lucem in tenebras ferimus. Into the darkness, we bring light.” @archer_jill #DARKLIGHTOFDAY

“When traveling into the unknown, sometimes the biggest danger is the one you bring with you…” @archer_jill #FIERYEDGEOFSTEEL

“One out of every two hunters who follow the Old Trail will not return.” @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE

Finally! I’m looking forward to seeing Noon embrace her fiery magic. @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE

Ari Carmine is smokin’ hot. I wanna see if Noon can forgive him for that nasty surprise at the end of B2. @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE

I heard a rumor that Rafe Sinclair makes a wish and I wanna know if it’s granted. @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE

Nocturo. Tall dark handsome. Heard his scalpel’s put to good use. Is he gonna threaten Brunus w it again? @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE

I love the characters, but I’m really just in it for the monsters and magic. Bring on the ice demons! @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE

Armageddon is over. The demons won. But it’s not as dark as all that. Parts of it are romantic and sweet. @archer_jill #NOONONYXSERIES