The Night and the Land | Book Review
Thank you, Matt Spencer, for sending me the eBook of The Night and the Land in exchange for my honest review.
Okay, where do I start with this one? If I'm being honest I should've just DNFed it at the beginning, when I realised that this book wasn't going to be for me. The concept intrigued me enough to carry on though, but unfortunately, the book never did.
The Night and the Land is the first book in a sci-fi series called the Deschembine trilogy, by Matt Spencer. It follows Sally Wildfire and Rob Coscan, two people from enemy races that end up falling in love. Both of them are dealing with complicated pasts and the expectations of their races, and throughout the book, they're trying to come to terms with this while figuring out a way to stay together despite their destinies.
I thought this book could've been amazing but there was so much about it that kept me from enjoying this story. There were way too many characters without any clear point to them, like they were introduced just to have more side plots to the story but it never worked. The main characters also lacked any real motivation and felt completely flat, making it really hard for me to connect and care about them since I didn't know why they were doing what they were doing. There was a side-plot that I really enjoyed, following Sally's family, probably because they felt like the only real people with clear motives for the decisions they were making. Unfortunately, that plot wasn't as developed as I wanted it to be and it died down much quicker than I would've liked.
The overall plot of the book felt disconnected and there wasn't a real flow to the story. Things and people were introduced like you were supposed to know about them already, and it wasn't until much later in the book that we got told about everything, but by that point, it was almost like it made no sense to do so, as I had already pieced most of it together. That just stopped the story even more and contributed to the lack of continuity.
Now about the insta-love. I'm a skeptic about any situation like this on most occasions, but this one made even less sense. From what we know about these races, it's their life mission to kill each other, meaning that it's literally in their blood and clear instincts appear as soon as they're close to one another. And, although our main character Rob doesn't know what he is by the beginning of the book, it makes no sense why they fell in love regardless of their nature and it's never explained. Maybe this is something that's touched upon in later books but I don't know.
This just felt like a prequel to the story instead of the first book to a series. The plot fell flat, it was way longer than it needed to be, and it wasn't set up in a way that made me excited to find out more in the following books. It honestly just felt discombobulated and a bunch of tiny plot pieced together without a clear end goal. Lastly, this book had little things throughout about race that missed the mark and I was constantly aware that it was written by a white older (probably straight) man. There's also a trigger warning for sexual assault and the book is overall pretty violent, but I personally don't mind that.
I gave this book 2/5 ⭐️ simply for the effort and the idea, as it clearly wasn't for me. I'm sad that was the case and I wished it had worked but it didn't.