The Nightjar by Deborah Hewitt is a stunning contemporary fantasy debut about another London, a magical world hidden behind the bustling modern city we know.
Alice Wyndham has been plagued by visions of birds her whole life… until the mysterious Crowley reveals that Alice is an ‘aviarist’ capable of seeing nightjars, magical birds that guard human souls. When her best friend is hit by a car, only Alice can find and save her nightjar.
With Crowley’s help, Alice travels to the Rookery, a hidden, magical alternate London to hone her newfound talents. But a faction intent on annihilating magic users will stop at nothing to destroy the new aviarist. And is Crowley really working with her, or against her? Alice must risk everything to save her best friend–and uncover the strange truth about herself.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The concept of the nightjar is just so beautiful, and incredibly well executed. I felt Alice’s frustration at everything Crowley wasn’t telling her! The set up is so lovely too. And then the Rookery, the alternate London, is so stunningly visual. I loved the crew of friends Alice makes there.
I also love the Beaks and the history of the magic vs non magic peoples. So much intrigue and deception going on, and chasing around. Excellent! 😂 and the magic system is excellent explained and set up without feeling in any way like an info dump.
As we learn more about Crowley, I realised things were not as I thought – I actually really liked this but did mean that it had to go another way and that left the ending feeling a little sudden in explanations and a little dissatisfying in wrap up. I loved everything right up until then though.
I feel there’s just so much about Alice we don’t know and then it’s a little too tidy at the end with no foreshadowing. Don’t get me wrong, what Hewitt does with the ending is as stunning as the rest of the book, it just didn’t feel quite as connected to it.
Still a book I absolutely highly recommend and enjoyed – go for the magic and intrigue alone!
Buy The Nightjar from Amazon UK.