Review: City of Eternal Night by Kristen Painter

Posted November 28, 2014 by Carmel in Carmel, Reviews, Urban Fantasy / 44 Comments

Review: City of Eternal Night by Kristen Painter
City of Eternal Night by Kristen Painter
Series: Crescent City #2
Published by Orbit
Published on: December 2, 2014
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 432
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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Still coming to terms with their unexpected partnership, Augustine and Harlow have a tentative truce. Although with Harlow slowly working to accept being fae, Augustine still learning how to be Guardian, and feelings growing on both sides, they do not have an easy road ahead.

But when a young girl is stolen from the Mardi Gras Exemplar Ball -- the biggest fae event of the year -- Harlow and Augustine must put all their issues aside to bring her home alive. Harlow's father, Branzino, is of course their number one suspect, but evil lurks in every corner of the city and time is running out. Their only choices: Either find a way to rescue the girl, or Augustine must die.

FED-THE-NERD coverlove magical

The second installment in Kristen Painter’s CRESCENT CITY series was more plot than character driven which was a welcomed tweak because my prevailing criticism about book 1 was the heroine. In fact, I re-read my review of HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN before writing this one, and observed that all of the elements that I’d previously gripped over were amended in CITY OF ETERNAL NIGHT which is exactly what you want to see in a sequel. I asked for more fae mythology & less brattiness, and that’s precisely what the author delivered. Harlow did however make one rash decision towards the end which resulted in a super predictable ending, but other than that, I was one happy camper.

This universe is chock-full of magic and techie excellence; the gaming references, neato gadgets, and spelled clothing fed the nerd. I got a kick out of Harlow and Cy’s Realm of Zauron exchanges, the too-cool-for-school contact lens with built-in facial recognition, and that the beautiful dress that’s featured on the cover was described in vivid detail. The author also tackled well-known fae lore such as mirror travel, and the alternate plane which made for some very robust world-building. In addition, the real reason why Branzino (the villain) wants Olivia’s house so bad was explained, and both the witch & voodoo aspects of this story were in evidence as well.

In the earlier chapters I feared that a love triangle was on the brink of developing between Augustine, Nekai & Harlow, but Painter quickly put the kibosh on that which was a relief. I enjoyed this novel’s investigative-style plot line, and how the author used the various characters’ abilities to her advantage to solve the Fairy Queen’s kidnapping case. Lally’s back story was alarming to say the least, and I liked how all of the threads came together to form an exquisitely crafted cohesive whole. I was surprised that the antagonist was subdued this early on, but there are plenty of contenders to take his place, so I’m not the least bit concerned about this trilogy’s staying power.

Harlow finally showed remorse over her mother’s death, and seemed more open to her fae ancestry which were big pluses for me. I liked that she was deeply involved in Guardian business; it kept her character looking forward instead of wallowing in self-pity. I’m content with how her relationship with Augustine is progressing, and found that their chemistry was much improved in this installment. The only thing that stopped this from being an A+ read were the closing chapters; the heroine was quick to jump the gun after acquiring new info which in turn led to an ending that prompted more than one I-told-you-so moment. I hope this lamentable mistake won’t take all of book 3 to repair.

Kristen Painter’s fae were a head above the rest in CITY OF ETERNAL NIGHT—I ❤ this world!

Crescent City Series

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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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44 responses to “Review: City of Eternal Night by Kristen Painter

    • Harlow was my #1 beef with the first book too, and if she hadn’t changed her tune in this follow-up installment I would have been strongly tempted to quit this series. Yay for 2nd chances!

    • That cover!! Even if I had decided to give up on this series, I still might have continued buying ’em just for the artwork. Fortunately, the story delivered too, so win/win!

    • This novel wasn’t perfect, but it was definitely an improvement over the last which is enough to entice me to continue reading this series. Here’s hoping that book 3 will knock my socks off!

    • There’s nothing that bugs me more than when an author makes the same mistakes in a series over and over again. So glad that Painter didn’t go that route. Her fae are terrific!

  1. The covers of this series are really beautiful! I haven’t started it because I remember being denied for book 1 but I should one day. I have book 1 of her other series but I still need to go into it as well.

  2. Thank goodness for no love triangle then. I still haven’t gotten around to the first book. Tho Maggie will probably read this.

    I read you and Jessica’s Shifting Shadows double review earlier in the car today while being driven around. By the hubs and now can’t find it to comment (for some reason it wouldn’t let me see the commenting box earlier….I’ll check again tomorrow then :p
    Tabitha (notyetread) recently posted…Review: Zombillenium Vol 2 & Betty Blues

    • If the review is older than 1 month, the comments are automatically disabled, because 99.99% of the time they are spam, so it saves me having to moderate ’em. There’s always GoodReads!

  3. Mogsy from BiblioSanctum  

    Is Harlow less annoying and bratty in this one? It sounds like she’s made some steps towards character growth, so I’m feeling optimistic. I enjoyed the first book, but she drove me completely nuts! Looking forward to this one, I already have it and I’m going to start soon hopefully.
    Mogsy recently posted…Lootz: Mogsy’s Book Haul

  4. I read the first book in her other series and it was ok, but I didn’t continue with the series. I’m seeing this book around a lot and it seems good, but… I don’t know. I like the cover and that there is not love triangle, I hate love triangles… but as I said before… I don’t know.
    BookaholicCat recently posted…Movie Trailer: Pan

    • Painter’s writing style is different from what I’m used to in Urban Fantasy which can be both a good and bad thing. It all comes down to personal preference.

  5. Nikki Evans

    I couldn’t wait to get the second installment. I read it in one setting!! I love the characters,the environment that they are in and CANNOT wait until the third comes out now!!! They’re both a must read and would make a great Christmas gift!!!….just saying lol

    • I read this novel as soon as it landed on my doorstep too. It would make an excellent gift, however I don’t have any bookworms on my shopping list. Ah well!

    • You’re not alone, I always fall for the pretty dresses on covers too. The heroine actually wears it in this book, and it’s described in vivid detail. I gobbled it up!

  6. First off, I love the cover! 🙂 I remember your review of House of the Rising Sun, Carmel. I’m very happy that Painter was able to make some adjustments to the story to get you move invested in it. The world building sounds good and I’m glad that Harlow grew some as a character, even if she did make a big blunder at the end. I think I will eventually give this series a go. 🙂
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…**Release Day Blitz & Giveaway ~ Hansel Part 4 ~ Ella James**

    • As much as I adore the artwork, I still cringed when I first picked this book up expecting the worst. I’m ecstatic that Painter gave Harlow the kick in the butt she so badly needed!

  7. I totally agree about the tech thing. That was my “why didn’t I write that in my review”moment. I also thought that was one thing that made Harlow feel more mature, seeing her in her element.

    • Haha! Those damn I should have thought of that when I wrote my review moments are fun. We’ve all been there! I’m sure I’ll have one when I read your post.

    • The cover is probably the main reason why I picked-up the first novel, so I’m right there with ya. LOL! Well, that and I wanted to give Painter’s writing a chance. Finally.