When Dark Falls by Pippa Jay

Source: Own collection
Format: Kindle ebook
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

In a city where Dark Technologies Inc. now runs the show, Kadie Williams has more immediate concerns than the fall of Blaze, their guardian superhero. Almost every morning for the last few months she’s woken up with cuts and bruises on her body, and no idea how she got them. There are no nightmares. No evidence that she sleepwalks, or any sign of a break in. And nothing to tell her who’s been cleaning up after her. As just one of thousands of civilians conscripted to slave away in the labs of Professor Dark, she knew there’d be trouble ahead. But she never expected it to be so bad, or so personal.

Desperate for answers, Kadie looks to the new defender of the night, the only person who can hinder the total domination of Professor Dark—Nocturnelle. The mysterious vigilante superhero came from nowhere with her cybernetic sidekick Shadow, set on putting an end to the brutality of Dark’s regime. But as his laboratories work on a new secret super-weapon, Nocturnelle and Shadow may not be enough to save Nephopolis…or to save Kadie either.

This story is another star turn from the pen (mind, fingertips, take your pick) of Pippa Jay, and gets an unreserved five stars from me. Jay’s story-telling skill continues to shine bright, drawing readers into the worlds she creates with ease and simplicity.

This book has the reader asking questions from almost the first paragraph, probably because Kadie, the main character, is also asking questions. As the blurb says, she wakes up with a bruise on her arm and no knowledge of how it got there. She soon meets up with another character, Jev, who appears to be protective of her, yet distant. He is her manager in the lab where she works, putting components together for Dark. It isn’t long before we meet Nocturnelle, a superhero, and her sidekick Shadow, who are working to defeat Dark.

The pace of this story is unrelenting, emphasised by the fact that the main characters essentially never sleep. The hopelessness of life under the regime created by Dark comes through clearly, and the resolution is unclear until the last minute, something I appreciate.

An excellently woven tale, with tight imagery. In particular, I commend Jay on her title selection, as it really is a brilliant play on words and concepts.

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