Dark Light of Day
Release Date: Sept. 25, 2012
Publisher: Ace Books
Noon Onyx series #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format(s): Paperback (375 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Publisher
Armageddon is over. The demons won. And yet somehow…the world has continued. Survivors worship patron demons under a draconian system of tributes and rules. These laws keep the demons from warring among themselves, and the world from slipping back into chaos.
Noon Onyx grew up on the banks of the river Lethe, the daughter of a prominent politician, and a descendant of Lucifer’s warlords. Noon has a secret: She was born with waning magic, the dark, destructive, fiery power that is used to control demons and maintain the delicate peace among them. But a woman with waning magic is unheard of, and some would consider her an abomination.
Noon is summoned to attend St. Lucifer’s, a school of demon law. She must decide whether to declare her powers there…or to attempt to continue hiding them, knowing the price for doing so may be death. And once she meets the forbiddingly powerful Ari Carmine—who suspects Noon is harboring magic as deadly as his own—Noon realizes there may be more at stake than just her life.
What G & U are talking about:
Dark Light of Day is the first book in the Noon Onyx series. It is set 2,000 years after the demons prevailed in Armageddon. Despite that, civilization has continued in New Babylon, the lone remaining city. The highly stratified post-Armageddon society of New Babylon consists of three groups: Host, Angels and Hyrke. Members of the Host are descendants of Lucifer’s warlords who possess innate magic. Angels consist of humans with faith in God and some actual angels. Human Angels do not contain innate magic, but are able to cast spells. Hyrke are humans without any magical abilities. Some work on the estates of Angels or Host families as servants, others live separately as farmers or fishermen. Hyrke are not entirely powerless, however. Hyrke families have hearth demons that they can appeal to, and such appeals are commonly granted if properly subservient and accompanied by an appropriate sacrifice. What separates Hyrke from Angels beyond faith is not clearly defined.
The main character, Noon Onyx, is a member of the Host. Among the Host, all males contain innate waning (or destructive) magic and all females contain waxing (or life-giving) magic. All Host but Noon and her twin brother Night. The shame her parents felt over this juxtaposition has caused them to raise their children as though they are Hyrke. Noon has spent the last nine years of her life trying to find a legendary spell to reverse her magic (to the expected waxing magic). She has less than one month left in which to find it before she must declare her waning magic or face death. And if that was not enough pressure, she has just started St. Lucifer’s law school.
The person who wrote the description of this novel did it a grave disservice. Upon reading the description the novel, we expected it to be set shortly after Armageddon in a society that was still recovering from its effects. It took a while for the disappointment to subside enough to appreciate this novel for what it is. The world building is extensive and exceptional. At times we wished the story would pause so we could revel in it for a little while longer.
The main arc of this story is Noon’s attendance of St. Lucifer’s law school and the subjects she is studying are used to illuminate the nuances of this society. This is very much a coming-of-age story as noon Noon’s struggles to accept her powerful waning magic and to deal her yearning for what she cannot have. Dark Light of Day is set in a fascinating world and we look forward to learning more about it in the next novel.
Liked it – recommend (B+)