Book Review: The Shock of Night by Patrick W. Carr


The Shock of Night
Written by: Patrick W. Carr
Publisher: Bethany House
Month, Year: October, 2015

A brief summary from the publisher, Bethany House:

The Darkwater Claims All Who Enter It.
All But One.

When one man is brutally murdered and the priest he works for mortally wounded, Willet Dura, reeve to the king of Bunard, is called to investigate. As he begins to question the dying priest, the man pulls Willet close and screams in a foreign tongue. Then he dies without another word.

Willet returns to his task, but the clues to the crime lead to contradictions and questions without answers, and his senses are skewed. People he touches appear to have a subtle shift, as though he can divine their deepest thoughts. In a world divided between haves and have-nots, gifted and common, Willet soon learns he’s been passed the rarest gift of all–a gift that’s not supposed to exist. 

Now Willet must pursue the murderer still on the loose in Bunard even as he’s pulled into a dangerous conflict that threatens not only his city, but his entire world–a conflict  that will force him to come to terms with his inability to remember how he escaped the Darkwater Forest–and what happened to him inside it. 


I will start off by saying that I don’t normally read fantasy fiction. I have read some of the more better known stories: Lord of the RingsHitchhiker’s Guide to the GalaxyChronicles of Narnia. But for the most part, I tend to read more of the historical fiction or rom-com fiction. So please take this review with a grain of salt, coming from someone who is not well-versed in the ways of fantasy writing!

The Shock of Night is my first exposure to Patrick W. Carr’s works. While Carr is a very good writer and the world he created was extensive and vibrant, I found the story very hard to follow along. There are just so.many.characters!! I couldn’t keep up with them all and I found myself wishing, quite frequently, for a character chart to reference. Another confusing thing was that each character potentially possessed a different gift (hospitality, wisdom, etc) from other characters (if at all) and keeping track of who has a gift and who didn’t kept causing me to second-guess myself and make reference to previous chapters to re-read what I had missed. It wasn’t until I finished the novel that I realize there is a prequel, By Divine Right, that I should have read prior to reading The Shock of Night! But at least I know now and have downloaded this to my Kindle app so I can backtrack and get a better understanding of this series. The great thing about the prequel is that its free on, so go download it for yourself and then go pick up a copy of The Shock of Night. This way, I’m almost positive that you won’t be nearly as confused as I was. 😉

I did really enjoy the main character, Willet Dura, and his convictions to help others in need and meet them where they are in life. He also carries a very troubled past, which makes him a most excellent hero. The story ends on a bit of a cliff-hanger, so I’m hopeful that Carr has a second book on the way. Now that I’m invested in the plot, I want to know what happens next!

I was graciously provided a free hard-copy from Book Fun Magazine and a free e-read copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.


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