These Violent Nights by Rebecca Crunden | Book Review
Updated: Mar 10
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Length: 620 Pages
Genre: Romantic Dystopian, Fantasy
Age Category: Upper Young Adult, New Adult
Date Published: 10 November 2020
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.
Thank you to Rebecca Crunden for providing me with a copy of this book! I voluntarily leave this review!
Beings known as Surii now rule the Earth. Superior to humans with their abilities, they have taken over and set out to eradicate every last human. But within their ranks are Suriis who wish for a different world. One where humans and Suriis can coexist. Thorn and Thistle, on the run and the last of their human group to survive, stumble across one such Surii. When he offers a chance at a better life, Thorn has a hard time believing it isn’t a trap. But where Thistle goes, so does Thorn, and as Thistle accepts the offer, Thorn begrudgingly goes along.
These Violent Nights is a slow burn enemy to lovers tale. And it is made all the more entertaining by the complexity of Thorn’s character. Thorn wants to believe a better world is possible, but the traumatic events of her past refuse to let her forget the brutality of the Surii. Despite the fact she makes poor choices, I couldn't fault her for them. Thorn desperately holds onto her beliefs because they are the only reason she has survived up until this point. And as Thistle’s adjustment to their new life grows, Thorn’s view of the world is questioned. But it is so hard for a victim to break down the walls they have created to protect themselves. Watching Thorn’s evolution as a character is heartbreaking.
Thorn being such a powerful character offset the disjointed feeling of time progression in the novel. There are many scenes where characters are coming and going, some leaving for days at a time. I felt like the plot progression came to a slight halt whenever this occurred, but in a way, it also provided slice of life moments for the characters.
But Thorn’s character isn't the only one going through complex character development. When Lucien was introduced, I knew he was going to be my favorite. His overall drive to protect his family and do the best he could for them drew me in. His character shows that survivors have different ways of coping with what has been done to them. While his tale is not as brutal as Thorn’s, Lucien's coping mechanisms have a negative influence on his relationships. The tension and emotions behind Lucien’s side of the story were addicting to read.
These Violent Nights draws you into a dark fantasy world where hope and love are equally dangerous to desire. And the cast of characters Rebecca Crunden has created will pull your heartstrings as they fight for a better world. A definite read for those who enjoy romantic tension and stories involving the fight to survive oppressive odds.
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