I read JP Wilder’s Schade of Night this past weekend and I wanted to share my review of that. Here’s the book description below:
Schade Lee, ex-FBI agent turned PI, is on a mission to prove her dreams wrong. While on a case to find runaway Kylie Berson, Schade follows a gruesome path where she learns Kylie is in love with a serial killer with animalistic instincts. But what she does not know is that the killer is of supernatural origins, that she will inherit a demonic bloodline on her thirty-third birthday, and that she has had a guardian since birth.
After the killer lures her to a frozen town, Schade meets her guardian, Kenan Quicke, who tells her they are allies with the same goal. But Schade, who has never made a habit of trusting strangers, decides to continue on her mission—just as she learns the killer has set his sights on her. His plan is to recover an ancient artifact and use it to steal her budding power at the height of her soul’s transition. Now, with help from Kenan, she must not only defeat the killer and destroy the artifact, but also face the Sentinels, a shadowy organization that intends to enslave her for their own purposes.
I’ll start this off by saying Schade of Night is very dark contemporary fantasy. The characters live in a twisted, shadowy world where people’s souls are stripped from them, characters lives are taken, and where being a seemingly main character is no guarantee for survival. JP Wilder does a great job of showing that, as every page gives the reader a level of concern about not just how the book might end, but whether this or that character is even going to make it to the next paragraph.
Wilder ratchets up the tension with each encounter and his attention to detail is such that the universe is encompassing and solid, even if, as blood spatters everywhere, you might not wish to be so immersed just then. The violence comes quick and often, and the characters are in the unenviable positions of knowing exactly what they need to do… and knowing they haven’t a hope in hell of doing it on their own.
Schade of Night is a book that embraces the darkness of its own story and comes out the other side giving the reader a sense that, while the world may be a dark place, there are still those who will face that darkness and fight it until the end. It is not a story of happy endings but of calamities averted at great cost. You don’t need to read Schade of Night, but you should.