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Reviews of ‘Nightbane’ by Alex Aster

Reviewer: @book.barbarian (Instagram)

This epic second book from the author of Lightlark was INSANE.

This series is my wicked indulgence.

The real question is: Are you #teamoro or #teamgrim ?

  • Book 2
  • Little bit of steam
  • Curse/magic
  • Trying to control magic
  • Threats/war
  • Angst overload
  • SHOCK reveal/Cliffhanger

I can describe this read as great to start, a slow middle and an ending that left my JAW on the floor.

As we alternate between Isla present and Isla past memories, it definitely had a slower, deeper vibe than Lightlark, more mature? Sometimes, the storyline and pacing were clunky, but the writing was sharper and less lyrical than Lightlark.

Oro had me mad with denying Isla. Why are we being tortured??? I wanted to smack him upside the head.

The saving grace: we have an INCREDIBLE CLIFFHANGER /REVELATION. MY SOUL LEFT MY BODY. I am placing bets on how this will end , I’m just that invested.

If you love ACOTAR, love triangles and beautifully imaginative fantasy, you’ll adore this!

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Reviewer: @wickedly.bookish (Instagram)

Rating: 4.5/5

“𝘐’𝘷𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘣𝘣𝘦𝘥 1000 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦𝘴 𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘯𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘩𝘶𝘳𝘵𝘴 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘯 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘴𝘢𝘺𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘨𝘰𝘰𝘥𝘣𝘺𝘦.”

Nightbane is book 2 in the Lightlark series and starts off soon after the first book ends. I was immediately sucked back into this world and held on tight for the ride! We follow Isla our FMC and her adjustment to leadership but my oh my do we also have such a fantastic love triangle!! I’ve got to say I’m still team Grim all the way. The author did a good job with her pacing but the last 50-70 pages were just chefs kiss* ~ where I literally sat gasping like a fish out of water with that ending! Honestly, did not see it coming but I am here for it and cannot wait for book 3!!!

Read if you enjoy:

  • Love Triangle
  • Enemies to Lovers
  • Forced proximity
  • He falls first
  • Who did this to you?
  • Morally grey villain

Favourite Quote:

“𝘠𝘰𝘶 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘣𝘰𝘵𝘩 𝘤𝘶𝘳𝘴𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘤𝘶𝘳𝘦”

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Reviewer: @galaxy_o_honey (Instagram)

I loved Lightlark (I couldn’t put it down), so I was surprised when reading Nightbane. Don’t get me wrong this book was AMAZING but I think it lost a star for me with the constant shift to Isla’s memories which dragged out the present day plot. While I love that we’re getting to know about Isla’s past – as we didn’t really get into it in Lightlark – I think there could’ve been a better approach that didn’t constantly interrupt the main plot.

My favourite part of the book was the ending. I WAS SCREAMING!!! And I knew the memories were leading us somewhere!!! I hope we’re getting another book after that ending.

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Reviewer: @thebookshelf._ (Instagram)

Rating: 3.5/5

Did I like this book more than Lightlark? No.

Was I entertained? Occasionally.

Did it have plot twists I did not see coming? THAT ENDING WHAT!!!

Overall I think I preferred Lightlark over Nightbane because the storyline of Nightbane focused mainly on Isla, whereas Lightlark was more nostalgic -it gave og ya fantasy which I loved, this book gave more recent fantasy which I still love but after the first book it doesn’t compare.

After the first book i really thought I was about to get tamlined but THAT ENDING THAT ONE LINE GAH. I’ve never ever been a fan of love triangles and I kind of felt like Isla and Oro’s relationship was really rushed and one sided. I genuinely did not understand it until I got to the middle of the book #justiceforgrimshaw

Overall I think this series was a fun YA read and I can’t wait to read what happens next.

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Reviewer: @thiane_reads_sa (Instagram)

#qotd: What was the last love triangle book you read and enjoyed?

Is it okay to love them both? Cause ya girl is stuck in the middle.

First of all, I loved Lightlark. I loved the concept, loved the characters and loved the uniqueness, so safe to assume I was crazy excited for this book to come out.

Its really the last few chapters that made up this book to 3 stars for me. The plot got engaging, the twists(though somewhat predictable) was really well done and the writing also flowed better towards the end. Also what I loved is that many aspects I didn’t understand in Lightlark now made sense to me.

Tropes I loved:

  • Enemies to lovers
  • Jump in time plot scenes
  • “Who did this to you?”
  • Self discovery
  • Touch her and die
  • Love Triangle

Overall in all honesty, I expected a lot more from this book. But as cringy and predictable as it was- it makes me think of like a Netflix Christmas movie- I’m cringing but I can’t stop watching. Same here, I couldn’t stop reading. That ending will absolutely have you wanting book 3 like tomorrow.

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Reviewer: @helloyeshii (Instagram)

Rating: 4/5

The story continues as it revolves around Isla Crown, now a dual ruler and the conqueror of ancient curses that plagued the six realms for centuries. However, her triumph is short-lived as she grapples with a devastating betrayal. Instead of embracing her newfound responsibilities, Isla seeks refuge in the alluring haunts of Lightlark, neglecting her duties as a leader. As external threats loom over the realms and the secrets of the past unravel, Isla faces the ultimate challenge: balancing her duty to her people against the treacherous inclinations of her own heart.

The world-building is vivid and immersive, with magical powers, fantastical creatures, and real world weapons blending seamlessly to create a rich and engaging setting.

The narrative unfolds with a combination of fantasy violence and explicit descriptions, offering a visceral experience of battles with swords, knives, arrows, and magical abilities. The vivid portrayal of blood, pain, and death adds a gritty realism to the story, keeping readers on the edge of their seats. The imminent danger to entire worlds and the significant loss of life contribute to the stakes, heightening the tension and making every page a gripping experience.

The exploration of Isla’s internal struggles adds depth to the character, making her more relatable despite her extraordinary circumstances.

PSA – Nightbane incorporates elements of sensuality, with explicit descriptions of sexual activity. The inclusion of such scenes adds a layer of complexity to the characters’ relationships, showcasing the vulnerability and humanity beneath their powerful exteriors.

Nightbane successfully builds upon the foundation laid by its predecessor, delivering a captivating blend of fantasy, romance, and intrigue. Alex Aster’s skillful storytelling and vivid world-building make this a worthy addition to the fantasy genre, offering readers an immersive experience filled with magic, danger, and the complexities of the human heart.

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Reviewer: @mysisterstolemybook (Instagram)

Rating: 5/5

Before Nightbane was released, I was constantly checking for any updates about it and seeing any and all snippets that Alex Aster would post! So receiving this book was one of the best surprises and better yet, we got the hardback with beautiful silver foiling.

Just like Lightlark, Nightbane caught my attention and held it right till the end. The book starts off soon after where Lightlark ended. I felt like Isla grew as a character. At first, she’s a bit lost and not quite sure how to rule. Yet we see her come into her power and start to become a leader. However at the same time, we see her struggle between the love for her people and the love she has for both Grim and Oro.

This may be an unpopular opinion but I’m team Grim. I’ve been a fan from book 1 and that only solidified in book 2. He’s the morally grey villain and gives off the I-hate-everyone-but-you vibes. I really loved how we got to see them before the events of Lightlark. We got to see the true start of their story.

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Reviewer: @book.sushi (Instagram)

I think I enjoyed this book much more than the first. I struggled a bit to remember what happened in the first book, but the more I read, the more I remembered.

It was nice to see Isla finally growing into who she needs to be. There was a lot of back and forth between the timelines, but instead of it making you confused, it actually helped the story flow. I love the gentleness between Isla and Oro. However, I do think I prefer the pairing of Isla with Grim. It’s so gritty and steamy and animalistic.

With Isla finally unlocking her magic and trying to master it, she is also trying to unravel her blocked memories while she faces a countdown that will affect all of Lightlark.

When i started the book, I thought it was a duology, but with that cliffhanger, I can’t wait for the next book!

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