I’m really excited that more and more Fae type creatures are moving beyond the traditional fantasy genre and more and more shifters are branching out from just the typical werewolf-like monsters. It’s a new era of Urban Fantasy that I am totally here for! And if that sounds like something you’d be down for, then I totally recommend “Dawn till Dusk”! It’s the story of Tarik and Reagan, two characters who are on opposite sides of the conflict between shifters and Fae. In this world, the Fae are not the ruling species, they aren’t the regal, almost snobbish, and all powerful spellcasters you usually see. In Nathra City, the shifters are in control, trapping the Fae in the city and forcing them to live in squalor. The shifters live in luxury, can have all the good jobs, and do mostly what they want, while the Fae struggle to keep their children alive. Tarik is a Fae, and Reagan is a shifter with a really awesome winged white lion form. Tarik hates all shifters with a passion, and Reagan feels for their plight, but is also the Night Enforcer, not just working for the dictator of the city—he’s also her “father”. You can see the tension, the conflict that will come from having two such characters in a world like this, and let me tell you, it’s DELICIOUS!
So let’s chat real quick about the world building and the differences between the species in this story vs. the ones you may be used to seeing. While the Fae still revere nature and what not, this isn’t a world without modern amenities. It’s more like Earth 2.0. Outside of the Fae and shifters, everything else feels like a normal city with its high rises and slums—characters smoke, have tattoos and piercings, drive motorcycles, work factory jobs, etc. Because that part of the world feels so familiar, the authors can spend more time on the uniqueness of their Fae and shifters, the restrictions the Fae face with being banned from releasing their wings, while shifters have no such issues, and there are shifters ranging from Reagan’s winged white lion, to dragons, multicolored rats, but also “normal” animals like coyotes or wolves. The diversity in the shifters was amazing, especially as you couldn’t always guess who would shift into what when the characters are first introduced. It was refreshing and made something that could otherwise have felt cliché, feel new and exciting.
I don’t often read co-authored books, usually the differences in voice and blending when one character is written by one author and the other by another can sometimes feel choppy to me, and brings me out of the flow of the story. No such issue here! Moynihan and Hackett’s writing voices and styles complement each other very well to where transitions between characters felt seamless and natural, and was a real treat to lose myself in! Tarik did take me awhile to warm up to though, his grumpiness and anger, while 10,000% justified, just rubbed me the wrong way, probably because his anger does not discriminate and you don’t immediately know why it’s present to begin with. But as he develops as a character, it was easier to like him and feel better about his growing attraction for Reagan. Reagan is a doll! A babe with tattoos and fun hair, piercings and a broken heart of gold. I loved her story and struggle so much! Usually when you have main characters with such robust and troubled backgrounds, other characters in the story suffer for it. Not the case here! Even the supporting cast felt well-rounded. No character is included without a purpose, which made everyone easy to remember and they are all teased just enough to where you can’t wait to see more of them in the next books—speaking from experience here.
I had the honor of beta reading for these talented authors in the early days of DtD and I loved revisiting their world and seeing what changed, what was beefed up, and the things I loved that made it past the final revisions. Even knowing where the story was going, I never was once bored with the reread. Sometimes the attraction the characters shared felt a bit forced, more based in the physical and fueled by guilt, but that may be part of the enemies-to-lovers cannon that I’m just not familiar with because I don’t read many books with that trope. Which is why I am giving this book 4.5 stars.
Also, be warned, the book gets heavy at times, especially around the characters personal trauma. It wasn’t so dark that I was ever really put off by it, and the swearing is very minimal, which makes it great for that line between YA and New Adult, which fits these authors incredibly well. The book ends on a gut punch of a cliffhanger too, so you’ll want the next book ASAP, thank goodness the sequel has already been announced and is hot on the heels of DtD! These authors tell beautiful stories, and I am so glad they were generous enough to give me an eARC for an honest review.
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