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Dark Light of Day
Jill Archer
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Buy *Dark Light of Day (A Noon Onyx Novel)* by Jill Archer

Dark Light of Day (A Noon Onyx Novel)
Jill Archer
Ace
Paperback
384 pages
September 2012
rated 3 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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Nouiomo Onyx--Noon--has been born with the wrong kind of magic. Among humans who have a drop of demon blood (called the Host) in them, women are born with waxing magic, which heals and nurturesl; men are born with waning magic, which destroys and sets things on fire. Noon and her twin brother's magic polarities are reversed: Noon was born with waning magic, her brother with waxing magic. Their parents raised them apart from other people, and Noon has always pretended to be a Hyrke--a human without magic.

Now Noon's 21st birthday has passed, and in this world, humans who have magic must declare it publicly before the Bryde's Day on the year they turn 21. If they don't declare and are later found to have magic, they will be executed. Noon's best friend, Peter Aster, who's an Angel, is working to find the legendary Reversal Spell, and he is convinced that he can find it before Bryde's Day. With the spell, he could change Noon's magic to what it is supposed to be. Unfortunately, Noon's mother has enrolled Noon in a law school where all humans with waning magic must go. The men must train to be Maegiesters, humans who uphold demonic law and force demons to follow it, too.

All Noon wants is to have the waxing magic--to be able to grow things and heal people and someday get pregnant and have children. Instead she goes to St. Lucifer's Law School, though she still has not declared her magic and is continues pretending to be an ordinary human student. On the way to school, she meets a handsome, mysterious man who saves her life. It turns out that Ari Carmine is also a law student but a Maegister student, with waning magic. Noon's emotions and magic act up when he is around, and she fears that he will find out about her magic. Meanwhile, young magic-using women are being kidnapped by a rogue demon. Nobody seems to be able to figure out which demon is doing it and stop it.

Dark Light of Day features complex and fascinating world-building. In this world, Armageddon was fought two thousand years ago, and the Angels lost. Lucifer led his demons to victory but died in the final battle. Demons, angels, and humans try to live together in the city on Halja, built on the site of the last battle. Humans who don't have magic must choose a patron demon they must adore and offer sacrifices. They can also appeal to their patron demons when in need. In order to keep the demons in line, men with waning magic study to become Maegisters: experts in demon law who can command demons with their destructive magic and enforce them to follow the law. In the complex legal system, criminal cases are matched with sins. The characters study it along with the reader, so a lot of time is spent in classrooms.

Even though the major characters are in a law school, they act more like teenagers. Noon is insecure and fearful, agonizing over her feelings for Ari. She is attracted to him but afraid of her feelings and of letting Ari into her life. She also fears her magic and wants nothing more than to be rid of it and get the healing magic which as a woman she should have. She knows surprisingly little about her own culture, apparently explained by the way her parents raised her away from other people. Most of the book is devoted to her finding her own path in life; the mystery of the kidnapping demon is a side plot.

Ari Carmell is instantly attracted to Noon when they meet and is persistent in his attentions. He is a Maegister student but also a demon executioner. Despite Noon's attempts to push him away, he constantly gives her advice and help in her studies. Before he met Noon, he dated beautiful healer women, which makes Noon jealous.

Noon once had a huge crush on Peter Asher, but because of the difference in their heritage, she knew that they could never be together. Now she thinks of him as her best friend, and she hopes that he will find the ancient spell that should be able reverse Noon's magic.

In the university, Noon becomes fast friends with Fitz and Ivy, Hyrke cousins who are as close as siblings. They team up to study together, and the cousins sometimes drag Noon out to have fun and also act as a voice of reason for her. She feels guilty about not telling them about her magic.

Noon's parents are cool and distant, both toward each other and toward Noon and her twin brother. Noon's father is a powerful politician who seems to care more about his career than his family. Noon's mother, putatively a healer, seems not to have healed anyone for a long time, instead focusing on keeping her children's magic secret and their childhood apart from the world.

Even though Dark Light of Day is clearly a first in a series, it does not end in a cliffhanger and can be read as a stand-alone. Its unique world-building is unfortunately only peopled with pretty standard characters.



Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. Mervi Hamalainen, 2013

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