Nightbirds, by Kate Armstrong (audio)

Magic is forbidden by the church, but it lives on deep inside certain women, kept hidden by rich families to do their bidding with a kiss. On the surface, this is the story of three teenage girls forced into a gilded cage that they all view differently, hunted by zealots who want to destroy them. On a deeper level, this is the tale of men willing to do anything to strip power from women and keep it for themselves.

I should probably be able to say more than that about Nightbirds, but honestly, I struggled to get my brain to engage with this one. The story started slow, and I got two of the main characters confused for a long time. When I finally figured things out, I became invested in the story, but there was a point where I thought I might abandon the book early on. I’m glad I kept going and I look forward to reading the next volume, whenever it released, but I have a feeling that I’m going to need to revisit this one first. April/May is often the time when my brain tends to disengage with books, and I often find myself in situations like this, finishing several chapters without taking in a word (in print or audio). Probably why I tend to take a break from books altogether around this time – I just haven’t wanted to do that this year. So my main takeaway from Nightbirds was that 1) it was a good book, even though I didn’t quite connect with it, and 2) hopefully upon reread, I will more fully appreciate the deeper notes of the story.

Performance: The audiobook was read by Saskia Maarleveld, and I had no problems with her reading. When I was confused between the two characters, I wondered why she was voicing them so differently, since I thought they were the same person. But that’s on me. Heh.


About Amanda

Agender empty-nester filling my time with cats, books, fitness, and photography. She/they.
This entry was posted in 2023, Prose, Young Adult and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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