The streets of Philadelphia are filled with terror once night falls.
Becket and her father live together in Center City, Philadelphia, her mother having left a few months ago. They are making do as best they can, but her father's job as police commissioner keeps him away from home an awful lot, especially with what’s going on now. People are disappearing, but there are also tales of strange sights and creepy creatures. Soon a citywide curfew keeps people locked inside at night while the nightmarish beings known as the Nightstruck wander the streets and wreak havoc. Becket is cooped up with her dreamy next-door neighbor while she worries about her father and best friend, who went off into the night and returned distressingly changed. Black neatly establishes a creepy sense of dread, but at times the scope is too claustrophobic. Becket and her father keep hearing about absurd, crazy things, but readers don’t get to see them as much as they might like. Becket is a typical teen-lit gal (presumptively white, pretty without knowing it, smart, introverted), but the circumstances and her headstrong reactions to them bring readers in. Black pulls off some horrific set pieces, and there's a great hook for a larger mystery, but, as this is a series opener, the story's narrative and emotional arcs just plain stop.
A solidly creepy start to a promising series, with a wildly frustrating cliffhanger. (Thriller. 14-17)