ARC Review and Giveaway: City of Eternal Night

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 fae event of the year -- Harlow and Augustine must put all their issues aside to bring her home alive. Harlow's father, Branzino, 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.


As I've been raving about since I read it, I adored Kristen Painter's House of the Rising Sun (I told you about it here) and couldn't wait to read the second book in the Crescent City series. When I got my greedy little hands on the book, I devoured it in two days. 

Did City of Eternal Night live up to the standard set by House of the Rising Sun? Am I as eager for next one as I was for this book? Click through to see if the story inside lived up to the gorgeous cover. And I'll try to keep the spoilers to a minimum. Oh, and we have a giveaway, too. For funsies. So be sure and read all the way down!


How am I supposed to
not give spoilers???

Can I just tell you that writing this review with no spoilers is a major challenge? The things I loved about this book were almost exclusively plot-driven, amazing twists and developments that left my jaw hanging open in surprise. In the best possible way. It's no surprise that I still adore Augustine, who is well on his way to becoming one of my favorite UF heroes, but Harlow is also growing and developing as I had no doubt she would. The side characters are still fabulous, with great new additions, and by the end of the book I was awed because the path I thought this book would take, was nothing like how it turned out, and I LOVE when an author can surprise me.

My favorite thing in City of Eternal Night was learning Lally's backstory. It was unlike anything I'd read before, and left me loving Lally even more. She was the funny, loving aunt-figure I'd come to adore in House of the Rising Sun, but learning who she really is, who she has always been and her role in Olivia's house, Olivia's life, just made me love her even more. She's a fabulous character.


Wait. What just happened?
In terms of jaw-dropping plot twists, I started City of Eternal Night with a clear idea of who the bad guys were, who was out to get Augustine, Harlow, and even New Orleans, who we needed to watch and understand throughout the series. The magic of Kristen Painter in City is that she completely upended the game board, wiping off established villains, introducing completely new ones, and leaving us with a radically different picture at the end of this book compared to the first one. I'm awed. The
Deliciously evil villains!
manner in which villains were shuffled and rearranged was absolutely brilliant. I want to talk about how unexpected the ruthlessness was, how someone is going to regret their decisions (I hope!) when they realize that their actions were unnecessary, how shocked I was with the power and callousness of a new villain. But I will leave it at that, hoping that it was vague enough. At any rate, it was brilliant. And I can't wait to see where we're heading next.



Oh, Harlow.
There was one development that I didn't love, wherein Harlow made a rash, impulsive choice that had dire consequences. Her behavior was like the Harlow that we had met in the beginning of House, and it was disappointing because she had come so far in such a short time, understanding that she wasn't the only person in the world whose wants and needs mattered. I think that the resolution of this problem will allow Harlow to grow even more, but where we stand I don't love that she did it, or her reasons, and I don't love the result of her choice. I really don't like the problem that Harlow's actions caused, but I think it's because it makes me uncomfortable, not because it's poor storytelling. It's actually pretty great, especially if it can make me feel so icky.
We're going to need fan art
of those costumes, stat!

We know from the official book description that the Fae Mardi Gras Exemplar Krewe Ball plays a significant role in the story, and I loved, loved, loved that event. From Augustine and Harlow's absolutely FAbulous costumes, to their banter, to the action, this was just a great event. But seriously, their costumes, though. Glorious.



All in all, City of Eternal Night was an excellent follow-up to my favorite book of the summer, continuing the story beautifully and keeping us on our toes. I cannot wait to read the next installment, and will continue to try and convince all of our readers to give this series a try. It's excellent.

**all GIFs from www.fuckyeahreactions.tumblr.com

Wench Rating:

Now, Saucy Readers, it's your turn to read City of Eternal Night. Kristen Painter is generously giving away a signed copy of the book to one lucky reader.  Enter here, and be sure to tell us your thoughts on either of the first two installments of the Crescent City series.

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