I need to stress first and foremost that I AM NOT A BOOK BLOGGER/REVIEWER. It’s rare that I will ever post reviews on my site – only when I really love a book and think it needs more exposure. So please, do not email me asking to review your book. I am a writer and that’s really all that I have time to do.
Where to start? This book is a rarity, especially for someone like me. I do tend to give a lot of 4 and 5 star reviews when I publicly rate books because I think I rate differently than most people: If a book holds my interest past page 100, then it’s at least a 3 star book. To the end, 4-5 stars. Usually.
With that out of the way, I need to stress that if I could give THE WEIGHT OF NIGHT (PROGENY #1) 6 stars, I would easily and it would be only my second 6 star rating (after David Moody’s AUTUMN series) NOT for a book by a well-established author like Gaiman, McCormac, Rowling or Rice.
I know it’s sort of cliché to say this, but this book instantly sucked me in (I have a soft spot for mental intuitions – please don’t ask me why, LOL) and I read the first night until my eyes burned and I needed clothespins to hold them open. And I know it’s also cliché to use the phrase ‘diamond in the rough’, but that’s exactly what this book is. It needs more exposure, more publicity, more get-me-the-hell-out-of-this-box. I’ll get to that more in a moment.
Now, setting all the clichés aside, I have to stress how absolutely great this book was. Written by an independent author, I felt like I was reading something I just bought right off the best-seller shelves at Barnes & Noble. The writing style is amazing: clean, quick, crisp, believable and polished. I hate those moments when I cringe reading something that is obviously out of place, or dialogue that totally misses the mark. That did not happen once in THE WEIGHT OF NIGHT. Like I said, right off the best-seller shelves at Barnes & Noble. The descriptions were spot on – not too long, or too short – and I had no problem seeing absolutely everything the way Stegall described it.
Did Stegall use an editor? If not…wow. Doesn’t really need one.
Now onto the story itself.
THE WEIGHT OF NIGHT tells the story of eighteen-year-old Alexis, who finds out something extraordinary about herself, which leads her on a dangerous journey to find a killer amidst the sudden death of her mother and of someone else very close to her.
Enter gods, demigods and deities!
As if it couldn’t get any better! But this book doesn’t simply touch on Ancient Greek Mythology, no; it involves an entire cast of characters. The way Stegall played these characters out was not only mandatorily familiar so that those of us already acquainted with Greek Gods can relate, but also entirely unique at the same time. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I was thoroughly impressed with the whole idea of The Progeny. It was very well thought out and Stegall so easily pulled it off as if he does this sort of difficult thing every day.
And I absolutely loved Alexis’ ‘best friend’, Keats, and found myself through most of the book crossing my fingers and hoping they would finally ‘lurv’ each other! I won’t give that away either. I’m only bringing it up to describe how well Stegall wrote the relationship between Alexis and Keats. It’s just one of those stories when you can’t help but root for them in the sidelines, biting your lip out of prolonged unrest.
The only thing that bugged me about the story was how easily Alexis accepted and ‘took on’ her new role as one of The Progeny. I feel like her acceptance of it could have been made more believable if Stegall dragged it out just a tad bit longer, added more conflict and struggle inside her. But despite that, I can say that I was still satisfied with the way things unfolded. Go figure.
The last couple chapters had me on the edge of my seat! At one key point near the end I was so surprised that I caught myself smiling hugely.
Now, to explain my feelings on getting this book out of that dark little box on the Amazon shelves of somewhere around 460,000! Seriously?! I’m completely aghast at where this book is in the rankings. It’s a GREAT read, so I know it isn’t the book’s fault. This leads me to believe that maybe the author needs to try harder with promoting. Re-add the books details on Goodreads (it probably disappeared during Goodreads recent wipe-out of Amazon-related information). Join Amazon’s KDP program (if he hasn’t already) and put the book up for free for a couple of days to generate interest. Tweet about it more. But more importantly, I think this book is EASILY a YOUNG ADULT book. Yes, I said it. I believe it is right on the level for seventeen-year-olds and can even be a good read for teens as young as sixteen who prefer more complex, sophisticated stories (think THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH – nothing modern-day teenagish about that and that book frickin’ ROCKED among teens!) as opposed to flat-out teen novels that focus on teen life and behavior. THE WEIGHT OF NIGHT is a YA/Crossover novel, great for older teens and adults of all ages.
This leads me to the cover. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the cover design, but what I think may also be stopping this book from getting in the hands of the right readers is that the cover art, to me, seems more like something you see for an adult thriller novel, or some other genre that teens and young adults tend not to read. I think if the cover was redone to target the young adult crowd, it might do better. Of course, this is strictly my opinion! I could be completely ignorant! But I’m even having a new cover made for my book for the same reason, so it’s not an attack. I do know, however, that teens and young adults LOVE puuurdy covers!
Anyway, I LOVED this book and I will DEFINITELY be reading future installments.