Cicely Waters, 26 year-old black-clad, green-eyed, tight-abbed, tattooed, street-fighting witch, has been summoned back to her Cascadian hometown so she can use her powers to help solve the mystery of a witch’s murder and some strange disappearances. Soon Cicely finds that things are worse than she could have imagined when she learns that the Indigo Court, an old race of vampiric fae, are planning to take control of both their vampire and fae ancestors. Cicely and her pals will have to make an uncomfortable alliance with the Crimson Court vampires to beat this even nastier foe.
I don’t normally read contemporary urban fantasy, but I wanted to try Night Myst because it’s been released on audio by Tantor Audio and I love their books. As usual, their production was beautiful and perfectly cast. Cassandra Campbell narrated Night Myst and she is completely convincing with all of her roles and has a wonderful range of voices that suit both the female and male characters. Her voice for Cicely isn’t whiny and her male voices are strong and masculine-sounding (two places where I’ve heard plenty of female readers go wrong). I definitely recommend Tantor’s audio version for anyone who wants to read Night Myst.
So, how did I, who am admittedly not a fan of this subgenre, like Night Myst? The bottom line is this: Night Myst kept me entertained for 11 hours, but I probably will not read the rest of the series. I’m now realizing more and more that it’s me: I just don’t much like this type of novel. However, I think Night Myst will be appealing to those who do enjoy this subgenre.
The plot of this first book in the INDIGO COURT series is quick and interesting and, while it wraps up satisfactorily here (the characters accomplish much of what they set out to do), the real battle is just beginning and it promises to be intense. Cicely is a strong, likable heroine with a realistic voice and it’s from her POV that we hear her story.
I hope her English teacher doesn’t hear it, though, because s/he would almost certainly be dismayed at Cicely’s overuse of words such as cerulean and sparkle (and all of its derivatives), tired expressions and clichés (“like a deer in the headlights”) and some out-of-style slang and ugly vulgarity. I’m going to charitably forgive one ancient vampire for this bad simile and assume its construction was caused by extreme stress:
Listen to me. If the Indigo Court rises up, then you’ll sympathize with us so fast and so hard that you’ll beg me to turn you! They would eat you alive, like piranha going after a deer that’s stumbled in the forest.
…or perhaps he’s been alive so long that he’s witnessed some sort of transitional missing link that the rest of us aren’t aware of…
Okay, so the language in Night Myst is uninspiring — it’s charmless and mundane. Even the parts that are supposed to be beautiful — descriptions of sparkly elementals, sparkly vampires, and sparkly snow — all feel gaudy, as if infused with purple neon and sequins like the pony toys my daughters play with. I also had some issues with all the heritage, powers, and magical gifts that Cicely suddenly and easily acquires.
Another big issue for me (and I recognize this as my problem) is that I just don’t like vampires. Vampires “freak me out” (as Cicely would say) and sex scenes with them are more horrifying than arousing to me. I’ve tried to get over this little phobia, but I can’t seem to.
Overall, Night Myst is likely to be a good read for those who like vampires, sparkles, and a strong kick-ass heroine. The audio version is a terrific production, so I recommend this format if you plan to read Night Myst.