Dark Light of Day is the first novel in the Noon Onyx series by Jill Archer. Before I begin the review, I must point out that Jill Archer was born and raised in Pittsburgh (objectively the greatest place to be born). Therefore, the quality of her work is undoubtedly beyond reproach!
Archer’s world-building is one of the most compelling elements of the story. The essential background to Dark Light of Day is that angels (lead by the Savior) and demons (lead by Lucifer) fought Armageddon many centuries in the past and that the demons were victorious. New Babylon, the major city in this post-apocalyptic world, is inhabited by angels, demons, and their descendants, as well as Hyrkes (regular people who cannot use magic).
Noon Onyx is born with a drop of demon blood in her lineage, which makes her a part of the Host. Although it is common for girls to be born with waxing (healing) magic, Noon is ashamed of the fact that she is blessed/cursed with waning (destructive) magic. Her neighbor, and potential love interest, Peter spends most of his time trying to find a reversal spell to give Noon the healing magic that she desires. However, Noon soon attends St. Lucifer’s School of Law where she meets a second potential love interest and struggles against the mandate that all who posses waning magic must declare their ability or face a harsh (read deadly) penalty.
Archer does an excellent job of constructing and explaining the magical system in her world. The addition of the “law school” angle is intriguing and provides an excellent place for the reader to learn about the post apocalyptic world alongside of our heroine in a way that feels organic due to the academic setting. The fantasy elements in the story, especially magic and the demons, work extremely well and keep the reader engaged in the world that Archer created. Archer also is gifted when it comes to character creation, as essentially all of the secondary characters in the tale are intriguing and convincingly written. I particularly enjoy Noon’s brother, Night, who was born with (normally feminine) healing magic in reverse of Noon’s own situation with her waning (normally masculine) destructive magic.
My only small critique of the book has to do with personal tastes rather than the author’s skill. I generally do not read romances, and there is certainly a great deal of romance in Dark Light of Day. I am tired of the love triangle concept that seems to be very popular these days, although, thankfully, Noon Onyx does manage to choose between the two men by the end of the book. However, if a reader enjoys these elements, then Dark Light of Day might prove to be the perfect book.
I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series, so keep an eye open for my review of the second book! Anyone who reads fantasy, romance, or especially a combination of the two should thoroughly enjoy Noon’s adventures. From what I can tell this series seems to be a bit under the radar, so I encourage new readers to pick up a copy and explore post-apocalyptic New Babylon.