As usual, Michelle West pulls no punches. Picking up from where The Hidden City left off, West tosses the reader into a world that is epic in its length and breadth. She shows us the depths of human depravity on one page and on the next reveals human emotion at its best. It is hard not to like Jay, difficult not to cry for her sorrows and cheer her on when finally it seems like she's getting somewhere better. Her ragtag collection of friends really tugged at my heartstrings and it was beautiful to see their relationships change, deepen, and shift during the course of the book.
Unfortunately, this is a pretty dark book. Unlike The Hidden City, where evil and tragedy lurked around the corner, City of Night rubs it in your face. Definitely realistic, and in fact, if things had turned out differently, then I might even think that West was going soft on the story. Brilliant storyteller that she is, although I cried for every loss, every setback, I don't think I would have wished it different. Life must go on, and to do so, certain things must give. Not every story can have a pretty ending -- the most we can hope for in this world is to believe that there is still hope.
I can't wait for the next book, even as I'm tensed in preparation for it. Keep your tissue box at hand and curl up with this book -- I doubt you'll be disappointed.
Demonic activity has escalated in both the Undercity and the mortal surface level city as the worshipers and servants of the Lord of the Hells strive to complete the rituals that will return their god to the mortal realm. As Rath joins with mages and the Twin Kings' agents to wage a secret battle against this nearly unstoppable foe, he gives Jewel Markess and her den of orphans the opportunity to escape the chaos by providing them with a note of introduction to the head of House Terafin, where Jewel will discover her destiny.