DiscoverYoung Adult Fantasy

Children of the Night


Loved it! 😍

A team of young Unnaturals must risk it all to save the world from a great evil in this dark and engaging gothic steampunk fantasy.

In an alternative nineteenth-century Venice, monsters exist, living in the shadows hidden away from humans. The Unnaturals, alchemical experiments escaped from laboratories, are feared and hunted by the Naturals. When a vicious Dead vampire killer starts terrorising the citizens of Venice, a team of Unnatural teenagers might be the city's only hope.

Children of the Night is an original and captivating reimagining of famous gothic monsters as teenagers in a dark steampunk universe reminiscent of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. The story is narrated in the first person through multiple POVs, giving the reader a chance to slowly get to know all the main characters and their painful, dark pasts.

I really enjoyed how the author employed familiar elements from classic gothic tales and weaved them into a new, original storyline and setting. This Venice is highly atmospheric and its complex social dynamics are explored without being too obvious in its underlying themes of diversity, discrimination and inclusion.

I struggled a bit to get into this book at first, as the first few chapters seem to move quite slowly, and the multiple POVs were initially quite disorientating for me. While the plot is intriguing and gripping enough, it didn't always flow smoothly and I was left feeling confused more than once.

The characters were fascinating but, despite the first-person narration, I felt like they could have benefited from being fleshed out a bit more. Several past elements affecting their behaviour at the time of the book are alluded to or briefly introduced but never fully explored, and I was left slightly unsatisfied by this. Their personal development also seems extremely limited, even though there were a few good examples of that.

The secondary characters get very little air time and are almost instantly forgettable, which is a shame as some of them (particularly Madrina and the rest of Ayanda's community) seemed very interesting, and I would have loved to get to know them more. The ending does seem to leave this open to further developments and future books though, so I hope we'll get to see much more of all these characters in the rest of the series.

Despite a few minor issues, the author delivers a great novel that beautifully showcases her rich imagination and her ability to create complex, three-dimensional worlds and characters, and I look forward to seeing how this will be developed in future books.

Overall, Children of the Night is a gripping and engaging read which will appeal to lovers of fantasy and gothic novels and is a perfect addition to spooky season reading lists.

Reviewed by

I'm a book lover at heart and love to talk about what makes my latest read so special on my blog, Book For Thought, which I started in early October 2014 and update regularly. I enjoy reading almost all types of fiction books and occasionally read non-fiction books on themes that interest me.

Chapter One

About the author

I’m a graduate of the University of Houston with a double major in World Literature and Vocal Performance. I'm very active in the opera and theater communities in Houston and San Antonio, Texas, teach voice, violin, conversational Hebrew, and compose scores for indie video games. view profile

Published on October 01, 2021

Published by Quirky Crow Books

90000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Reviewed by