Cover Image: City of Vicious Night

City of Vicious Night

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2.5 I have to admit... I'm disappointed. 

I wouldn't say that the first novel in this duology was the most jaw-dropping, mind-blowing thing I'd ever come across. But I had fun reading it, and I enjoyed myself enough to be excited for the sequel. So I hate to admit this, because I so wanted to love it, but there really is no other way for me to describe this book other than "boring". 

There were some entertaining moments at the beginning and I kept hoping that it was just a slow middle. But finishing this story was slightly tedious, and the problem is that I was so uninterested in what was happening that I couldn't find the motivation to pay attention to the details of the plot. Sure it has some politics in it and a certain amount of world building that you have to wrap your head around, but it's not nearly as complicated as some other SFF novels I've read. And yet I don't know if I could accurately explain to someone the specifics of this story. It was this vicious circle of "I'm bored so I'm not paying attention to what I'm reading so I get confused so I get more bored so I pay even less attention to what I'm reading" and I really wanted it to get better, but it never did. 

It also made the emotional climaxes very underwhelming. I love sapphic content and I'm sometimes more lenient with books that feature a sapphic couple just because I generally enjoy the novels more when I can pine with the MC(s). But all the sapphic content in this sequel could not save my reading experience. I would be enjoying myself for a paragraph or two and then immediately I would be sucked back into an action scene or some exposition that I could not get myself to care about. 

I wanted so much more from it, and I feel like there were specific moments in the book that could have been very effective and poignant had I been interested in the rest of the story. Once again, I'm really sad to say this, but I'm disappointed in how it turned out...
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This review will be published on my Goodreads account on March 21 2023, and crossposted to Barnes and Noble and Amazon on the release date.

This book was the perfect sequel to it's predecessor, City of Shattered Light. Just like the first book, this was action packed and centered around the found family of the Boomslang crew. It had the same charm and humor, but with even higher stakes as the crew learned to operate with their new numbers, and had the entire city intentionally pit against them. I loved watching characters develop further, create new bonds with one another and figure out what they want for themselves - if they manage to survive.

Winn's pacing of City of Vicious Light felt smoother than her last book, and I'm really looking forward to seeing how her writing evolves in the future. My only complaint is the same one I had last time, which was that I wish this had been marketed as an adult novel. Everyone felt and acted like adults (other than <i>maybe</i> Ty, and I would've loved to have seen Requiem and the crew developed more in depth the way an adult word count would've allowed. 

If you loved City of Shattered Light definitely pick this up! And if you're a fan of Ashley Poston's Heart of Iron, Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner's Starbound trilogy or Firefly, definitely pick this series up!
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I absolutely loved reading this book! It is an amazing sequel to City of Shattered Light. I loved seeing all the characters grow and develop. I also loved seeing the crew grow closer toward each other.
There were a lot of plot twists that I did not see coming I love the book for that and so much more.
The ending of this book is really great, a perfect ending for a perfect book. This ending has my heart and therefore the plot gets a 5/5 it was amazing
The writing of this book was incredible I don't think anyone can write better than that. The writing was definitely a 5/5
Overall i really liked the book and would definitely recommend it to everyone that likes to read sci-fi
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In an astounding sequel to City of Shattered Light, we follow up with Asa and Riven who are still fighting for survival in Requiem. After the cliffhanger ending with Ty in the first novel it's hard to not tear through this book to see what happens.
Claire does an amazing job of picking up months after the first book and how the crew has been faring in that time, recovering from the heist and loss of Ty. Asa and the crew being blamed for a new AI ravaging Requiem, while battling to climb in power in order to keep themselves safe from rival factions. 
To those who were hoping for a good outcome for Ty-you'll be excited (or heartbroken) to know that he has his own POV in the sequel and - be warned - it'll break your heart and keep you on your toes.
Without spoilers-I love the ending. It wraps up the story and feels very "finished" and in character, while still leaving room for more if Claire decides to add on to the duology someday.
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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC of this book. All opinions are my own. 

I am convinced Claire puts something in her books because I am addicted! They’re just so good! I flew through this and I can’t even get over how good it was! Another phenomenal book from Claire!  It gave me everything I wanted in the follow up and I am so satisfied with how it all turned out!
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Absolutely loved reading this book, I basically devoured it as quick as possible. It’s been a while since I stayed up to finish reading a book but this one was definitely worth it. It’s a sequel and it’s even better than the first because we already know the characters and the love for their storylines was something which kept me swiping through my kindle
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Claire Winn has delivered another high-speed sci-fi action movie thrill ride of a novel! It was great to pick up with the Boomslang faction and find out what was next for them. I did hope to see growth in the writing with this sequel. My expectation was to see the novel pull back on careening action and instead slow down to focus on the emotional development of the characters. In this, I was disappointed. The plot suffers from an embarrassment of riches when it comes to twists and turns. Frankly, it's exhausting trying to keep up. Meanwhile, opportunities for tension between characters and the evolution of a natural growth were quickly bypassed through quick rationalization. Overall, this book's uneven stakes make it read the same way that the first one did: like extended fan fiction. That said, this is a perfectly fun ride that I would recommend to readers in search of something fun.
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3.5 stars rounded up to 4!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Netgalley, and Claire Winn for providing me with this ARC. I adored the first of this series, "City of Shattered Light", and was excited to dive back into Riven and Asa's world of Requiem, a gritty, neon-drenched refuge of criminals and big dreamers. 

And dive in, I did! "Vicious Night" starts with a bang and breakneck pace and doesn't let up. Riven is desperate to reassert herself as a power to be reckoned with in the underworld, and Asa wants to clear her name. If both can bring down Asa's father while they do it, well, more's the better! Beloved crew members from the previous book also show, as well as a few "did they die or no...?" characters we thought we said goodbye to. 

The plot follows a similar sort of "Hunger Games"-esque gauntlet to solidify both Riven's and Asa's goals, and of course there's plenty of sapphic tension between the two, as well as the underlying mystery of Riven's worsening medical condition. There's... a little too much going on, to be honest! This book absolutely felt like it could have been two books - some of the character development and quiet moments from book one are sacrificed to move things along with this installment. Winn's characters are so loveable that of course I wanted more of them, perhaps a little less action breaking up their more emotional stories. I felt like I was doing cardio between chapters!

Which is all to say, the end of the series (is this a duology?) left me breathless and yearning for EVEN MORE. 

A wonderful series, one I hope isn't actually over. Fans of Arcane, Firefly, sapphic romance, and quick-paced young adult science fiction will like this one.
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The sequel to City of Shattered Light and I had to pick it up...the book immediately puts you in the middle of the action yet again and after a few hesitant pages it all clicked again and the characters and plotline from the first book came flooding in. It was a good sequel, delving deeper in the plot set up in the first book and adding an extra layer with the matriarch competition, both of which are heading to an explosive end.
So you get sci-fi, a rag-tag queer team, villain turned anti-hero (I was so here for that!), more in deptht relationships and lots and lots of action.
Hold on to your spaceship and prepare for a thrilling ride!
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City of Vicious Night was disappointing; the first book in this series was around a three star read, I enjoyed the characters but the world building was shaky at best my hope for the sequel was for the world to come into its own. Unfortunately City of Vicious Night fell short for me the world was flat and where some characters received development over all it felt as if the characters haven't grown in the way I hoped they would have.
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4.25 stars

TW: Alcohol Abuse, Blood/Gore, Body Horror, Death, Drug Use, Human Experimentation, passing references to Sexual Assault, Suicidal Ideation, Violence (Combat, Gun)

After the previous events in City of Shattered Light, Riven, Asa and the gang are working for Requiem’s crime syndicate and nursing their wounds. The crew jumps on the opportunity to compete in deadly trials to take over a crime sector, but an unknown hacker threatens to take them down before they can even compete and save each other, let alone their city. 

Just like the first in the series, this sequel is action-packed from the get-go. We are thrown into another crazy story where everything is on the line, and danger is lurking around every corner. You really feel the stakes, and all of the characters have something to lose…you get caught up in politics, twists and betrayals that expose unlikely alliances and shed light on their past mistakes.

There were a few things that this sequel actually did better than the first story in the series! The romances and friendships were much more fleshed out and believable (for all of the characters with love interests, especially). We got more clarity in these relationships, and they worked out for the better, IMO. I felt the character development more in this novel, and felt more for their interpersonal relationships in general.

However, my lack of 5 stars lies in the matriarch competition, which was much too confusing for me to understand. I would go back and re-read passages to further understand how the competition worked, but it never clicked for me. I loved the idea of this competition, but the execution was confusing and a bit lackluster. I much prefer the other plot (which I shall keep secret!). That was super compelling, and I wanted more. I think the first novel did plot really well, and the second novel built on the relationships better. 

I think this sequel was more dark and dangerous than the first, so expect a bumpy ride, and hopefully you'll make it out alive ;)
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City of Vicious Night has action from day one. Hitting the ground running, we're absorbed back into this world of corruption, betrayal, and old mistakes coming back to haunt us. If you loved the world or the characters from City of Shattered Light, this is a must read. Not only are there twists that expose a web of shadows and unlikely alliances, but also there's a common theme of sacrifice and protection. A wonder how do we protect those we love in the face of danger.
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"The world was brighter through her eyes"

Here we are! City of Vicious Night was one of my most anticipated books since I finished City of Shattered Light back in 2021 and let me tell you, it did NOT disappoint!

If we got our heroes learning to fight together and stand together in the first installment of this duology, we saw them grow even closer in this sequel. With all the pain and hardship they went through, they stood together and learned how to talk to one another, to love one another and forgive even the gravest of mistakes. 
I'm gonna keep the summary short so as not to spoil anyone who hasn't read book one yet, but basically, in CIty of Vicious Night we follow Riven and Asa and their crew on another deadly adventure that will put them in the running for the throne of one of the matriarchs - or lead to almost certain death. The story picks up a few months after the heart wrenching ending of COSL, when everyone is still hurting but also learning, slowly, to be okay again and to move on. On the other side of the universe, we have our "dead" boy, now captive to the horrifying and manipulative Almeida and used basically as a lab project. We follow two different storylines, both filled with pain but also hope that there is still a way out (even if it takes a while to get there, both for Ty and the rest of the dauntless squad).

I LOVE that we got to see the relationships in this found family deepen - from Asa and Riven of course (our beautiful star-crossed lovers. Also, in all seriousness, Riven is everyone's dream girl, not just Asa's, right? Right?), to Diego and Samir (we didn't see that much of them in the first book, but here they really shone and your honor, I love them), to Kaya and Asa being reunited again, determined to never be parted. I love all the love stories but also all the friendships - we got to see how Riven was with Emmett and Ty, how Samir joined their group, how Diego did and how the last two slowly fell for each other. I also loved Kaya interacting with everyone and forming friendships of her own despite the underlying tension and distrust due to her past.
The real show stealer however was the one and only Morphett. She was introduced as a certified villain in book one, but we learn of her anti-heroness in this book. Morphett works for what is good for Morphett and there is that and I STAN! She was amazing and I really hope Claire writes a spin-off or something like that for her! (also did I read that wrong or was Morpehett coded as asexual and aromantic?? HAPPINESS!!)
(also Zephyr aka the little doggo, my heart!!)

City of Vicious Night is an amazing read with a diverse set of characters (from their race to sexual orientation, physical disabilities, chronic pain rep, and more!) and exciting plot that also deals with important and heavy themes in a respectful and sensitive way. I loved going on another adventure with one of my favourite sets of characters and I honestly wouldn't mind it at all if Claire Winn decided to write six more books about them. This squad will be sorely missed.

Pick up this wonderful duology is you are looking for:
- a queer cast of characters
- space shenanigans and lots of close calls
- a ragtag team that would kill for each and every one of their members
- amazing sapphic main love story and an achilean side love story
Basically, just pick this amazing duology up already!
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This book was definitely an enjoyable read. However, I felt that it was quite slow to get into, with my interest not really piquing until midway through. Had I not enjoyed reading the first book I probably would've just given up but the story was somewhat enticing. I think the science and lore of this world is fascinating but this books plot felt a little subpar compared to the first book. It brings two different character stories together but they fell flat to the first stories plot points. The characters also felt weird in that they seemed older than they are but also too young to be dealing with the things that they were doing. Its a YA novel trying to act like an Adult novel without getting the true age rating. Overall, I think I was expecting more but I do look forward to reading other works by this author.
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I was excited but nervous for this sequel. I did enjoy the first book but I did have a few problems and that made me nervous the problems would transfer onto the sequel. Thankfully, a lot of my worries evaporated by the halfway mark. 

My biggest problem with the first book was how predictable it was. I don’t mind predictability, that is a common characteristic in fiction. Not everything needs to have five million plot twists and have the readers beyond lost. My issue comes in when I was losing interest because I felt like I already knew what was going to happen. Readers keep reading to find out what happens but already knowing what happens loses the appeal to continue. So I was beyond terrified the sequel would have this. The shock that went through my body at realizing this wouldn’t be the case was insane. I was not prepared to be blown away. 

The first half of the story moved a little slowly but I wasn’t too upset because there was a lot going on and moving too fast would’ve blurred everything together. When the story picked up at the 52% mark I was extremely pleased. The plot was really thickening and it held my interested. I fell in love with a character at this marker as well. It was perfect. 

When I read series there’s always that chance of inconsistencies from book to book. Characters will suddenly develop differently or details will go haywire that change things in dramatic ways. That always drives me nuts and I was fully prepared for this sequel to do that. I was prepared to look away during moments but phew did I eat my words. This was easily one of the most consistent sequels I’ve read. The characters had development that didn’t change their characteristics. They stayed true to who they are as a person. There was also a perfect balance of including past characters to the story while giving new characters. Finishing off the old storyline while effectively creating a new one. 

Overall, I was immensely surprised and impressed by how well this sequel was. The found family aspect really had me rooting for everyone, especially since we had Ty’s pov. He is family even if he wasn’t there for a second. The character that got roped into the family has a special place in my heart. She is cold and ruthless and I truly fell in love. Gays in space, truly couldn’t get better than that.
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Thank you so much to NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this book early! After loving the first in this series, I couldn’t wait for the chance to read its follow up. And it did not disappoint. This picks up not long after the first book ends and we are thrown right into the action, along with all the characters we grew to love. All the characters who had begun to come into their own in the first installment, only continued to grow in complexity. Likewise, the world building only expanded and it was interesting to see which new avenues it could take. When it comes to this series, come for the sapphic romance and gunslinging, but stay for the found family trope that I never seem to tire of. For fans of Netflix’s Arcane and Gearbreakers, you absolutely don’t want to miss out on this story.
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another 3.5 star read just like the first book. 

to start off, the romances. while not the focus of the story (they were quite small which i dont mind) they were definitelt done better than in the first book. i dont actually remember a lot of the first book because its been so long since i read it the main thing i do remember was hating the way the romances played out. i really didnt like whatever ty and asa had going on and in glad it was basically addressed in this book as being a mistake. we got more clarity into samir and diego. we got some nice moments with asa and riven carrying on from the first book. and another surprise romance which im not too sure about because is it a case of the last two characters of the group needing to be together? plus it being ty and kaya (asa’s sister) kinda weird. 

anyway, the plot. i was kinda confused for half of this. the plot of the first book was a lot more captivating. i liked the idea of the fight to be matriarch big death competition but the execution was kinda meh. i didnt really know what was going on at some parts and some of it felt inconsequential. like the etri thing in ty’s head and the villain from the start being asa’s long lost sister? and whatever happened to asa’s dad. i dont know the characters and relationships and friendships were kinda better in this one but the plot im not too confident on.
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I was very interested in this book because the genre isn’t something I typically read and it seemed fast-paced, but I had to put it down. There are too many “rules” in this universe that are explained, but I didn’t have the patience to understand. It’s also a heavily dialogue-driven book, which I didn’t love considering that the universe is so complex and unique. I think this book would be more digestible if the author spent some time depicting this universe instead of relying solely on the dialogue to explain everything.
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Thank you Netgalley for this ARC! 
Minor spoilers ahead. 

We pick up with Riven, Asa and the gang about 4 months after the end of book 1. They are just trying to scrap by when a new threat arises, someone named Redline. Redline has it out for Asa and is telling all of Requiem that she is responsible for the Banshee issue. This puts a huge target on Asa and the only option they have is to join the trial to have Riven become a matriarch. Chaos and drama ensues, old enemies become allies and the gang realizes Luca Almeida isn't done with them. There are twists and surprises along the way in this fast paced sequel. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to anyone and everyone.
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An explosive sequel that feels like stepping into a favorite video game armed with neon-soaked bullets! The whole crew is back and better than ever in this perfect follow up to Winn's cyberpop debut.

I loooooved this sequel so much! It builds on everything that the first book created perfectly with more action, more heat, and more of our favorite queer crew. The plot spirals upwards in the best way, keeping me on the edge of my seat as we learn more about Requiem and everything else that's been simmering since book 1. Lots of twists and surprises that were so unexpected but still soooo satisfying.

Also, I have to comment on the writing. Because I highlighted so many lines that struck me to my core or made me gasp. I really can't wait for everyone to get their hands (cybernetic or otherwise) on this book so we can scream together about Asa and Riven and everyone else!
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