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Now let’s get to the good stuff, starting with the blurb for daynight.
daynight by Megan Thomason
Meet The Second Chance Institute (SCI): Earth’s benevolent non-profit by day, Thera’s totalitarian regime by night. Their motto: Because Everyone Deserves a Second Chance™. Reality: the SCI subjects Second Chancers to strict controls and politically motivated science experiments like Cleaving—forced lifetime union between two people who have sex.
Meet Kira Donovan. Fiercely loyal, overly optimistic, and ensnared by the promise of a full-ride college scholarship, Kira signs the SCI Recruit contract to escape memories of a tragedy that left her boyfriend and friends dead.
Meet Blake Sundry. Bitter about being raised in Exile and his mother’s death, Blake’s been trained to infiltrate and destroy the SCI. Current barrier to success? His Recruit partner—Miss Goody Two Shoes Kira Donovan.
Meet Ethan Darcton. Born with a defective heart and resulting inferiority complex, Ethan’s forced to do his SCI elite family’s bidding. Cleave-worthy Kira Donovan catches his eye, but the presiding powers give defect-free Blake Sundry first dibs.
Full of competing agendas, romantic entanglements, humor, twists and turns, daynight is Megan Thomason’s debut young adult dystopian novel and first in the daynight series.
Daynight by Megan Thomason
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Daynight started in a very unusual manner and kept going in unexpected ways most of the book. I like books with intrigue and puzzles to solve, and daynight provided plenty. I also like books with layered meanings, and daynight had more religious symbolism than The Grapes of Wrath. In the beginning, you might think the first scene is unrelated to the next few scenes, but I had my suspicions when Kira reached Thera and began her training for a one year commitment to the Second Chance Institute to earn a scholarship. Although the recruits were not allowed to believe in or speak of God, some characters were hard to miss as symbolic of deity, good and evil. Whether viewed as a modern parable or a thrill ride, Daynight was the most compelling and intense book I’ve read since Free Souls by Susan Kaye Quinn.
After traveling to Thera under traumatic circumstances, Kira was not allowed to mention any past relationships if she met someone familiar. And it soon becomes evident that her fellow recruit Blake knows more than he’s telling her. He’s hot, but Kira longs for Ethan, who she met at a party just before leaving Earth. When she and Blake are sent to their final destination to shepherd second chance students, Kira is in for a major shock. She turns to Blake as her former boyfriend Tristan tries to gain her favor and her ideal boyfriend is hard to find.
The rotating point of view makes it hard to decide which potential boyfriend should win Kira’s affection. Ethan has a heart defect, Blake’s motives are suspect, and Tristan is a jerk. Maybe that’s why he doesn’t get to talk in first-person. And there’s Kira’s former best girlfriend, along with Blake’s vindictive former girlfriend, to really stir things up. All is not well in paradise, due to a practice called cleaving, wherein the second chancers are required to bond for life at the age of 18—or to the first person they have sex with. Talk about a dystopia, one evil after another is revealed about the Theran regime, including a genetic selection process, the real reason the SCI wanted Kira and Blake, a pure light and pure dark. Oh yeah, and mass murder.
Due to a large amount of sexual (not graphic) and violent content, I would not recommend daynight to anyone under age 15. I did find some errors, or should I say not find since most were missing words? But the complex world, twisty plot and breakneck pace more than made up for those. I’m not a fan of cliffhanger endings wherein the plot arc didn’t complete, but in this case, the first book’s arc completed and another started. Many mysteries were revealed, leaving another layer of mysteries and a whole new set of obstacles to overcome. Wow. 5 Theras.
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Author Megan Thomason
Megan Thomason lives in paradise aka San Diego, CA with her husband and five children. A former software manager, Megan vastly prefers writing twisted tales to business, product, and marketing plans. When she isn’t typing away on her laptop, she’s reading books on her phone—over 600 in the last year—or attending to the needs of her family. Megan’s fluent in sarcasm, could potentially benefit from a 12-step program for road rage, struggles with a Hot Tamales addiction, loves world travel & fast cars and hates paperwork & being an insomniac. Daynight is Megan’s first published novel, but fourth written one.
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