Amy J reviews After Dark (Night Owl 3)

Amy J reviews After Dark (Night Owl 3)

After Dark (Night Owl 3) reviewed by Amy J

Blurbs, I hate them. I don’t read them. I don’t want to be swayed one way or another, or have preconceived notions and expectations of a book whether an author or story is familiar to me or not. As tempted as I was when it came to the Night Owl trilogy I stayed away, each installment fresh-too fresh between book one and book two. That said, expectations after book one Night Owl were way too high and quite frankly there was no way on God’s green Earth any installments could impact the reading community the way Night Owl did. The brilliance that is M. Pierce set it up that way. A true, real trilogy tells a different story in each installment. Instead of the outline of a novel it is broken into thirds. We had the shock in awe of Night Owl, the emotional investment in Last Light, and now we get the conclusion that is After Dark.

I also loathe second and third installments when not done correctly. You can always tell when an author had zero intention or bad intentions of a trilogy, it can’t be hidden, the story is too predictable. The second drawn out installment contributes minimally to the story line and the third which usually is a sappy corny finalization wrap up of the story. For the Night Owl trilogy it really is a shame, the expectation of each book surpassing the first when the brilliance is sitting right there in front of the reader to savor every.single.word. Each installment I found myself trying to figure it out, trying to make sense of the crazy that is Matt Sky. I literally would have to tell myself to just read and enjoy. Each book had a purpose to the story that is Matt and Hannah, it is Matt and Hannah.

Not one love story comes without scars, none are perfect. There is dirt, grime, ugliness. When we first meet someone there is the exhilaration of the newness, getting to know each other, the sexiness of it all. Then the “naked” truth happens. We see each other without the blinders, we get faced with the realization that is reality and have to make a decision… is it all worth it? Then even the ending the so called “happily ever after” is different to each of us. Each story is different. This is how I interpreted the Night Owl trilogy.

After Dark is not Night Owl, nor does it have the drama of book two, Last Light. If you’re looking for drama and only highs and lows then the Night Owl trilogy is not for you, it does not satisfy the guilty pleasure or the cheap thrills. On the contrary it fulfills the reader’s heart of all that is Matt and Hannah. There is some heart break, there are some odd moments- those that occur when couples aren’t sure if their comfortability is crossing the line or not. The awkwardness at times transcends off the page. The story begins where we left Matt & Hannah in Last Light, the “Marry Me”. I was so worried the entire story would be based on that one soul bearing line. How could I doubt M.? Yes, it is discussed and worked through which becomes a precursor to the meat of the story. How do couples work through issues? We watch the couple evolve and as much as I despise stories that are too realistic this story kept me fully vested. I was never bored but honestly at one point I thought O.K. where is this going but not in a bad way. By the time I realized I was questioning this story line it was almost over. How can the author go from drama to relatively drama free zone without any transcendence? The story would have felt way too rushed and the reader would have felt robbed if he had. I found myself irritated with Matt and annoyed with Hannah, literally yelling at the book “Matt, you big douche” and “Hannah you nagging wench”. Only once though. As in any relationship we are exposed to the not so pretty and perfect side of a couple.

M. wrote this story so flawlessly. The reader literally feels every pain, every laugh, and every thought. Why am I surprised, he did this with the entire series. I felt like I was observing, witnessing and feeling the most private of moments. There was a point I, as a reader, felt like I missed the intensity that is Matt. I feel like his intensity, his insanity wasn’t there until the end. Same with Hannah, I felt like I was missing her emotional self. Isn’t this what happens in relationships though? The more time spent together the more comfortable and secure they are with each other? It would be impossible to keep up that level of intensity and there are times that arise for both Matt and Hannah throughout the story where they can choose to react the “old” way or not. They complement each other when needed, when required, when necessary, when the other just can’t find their way back on their own.

There are some steamy moments in After Dark but it seems like the author pulled back as they were not as prevalent and not as frequent. Yes this also happens as relationships progress and true, sex scenes wouldn’t “fit” in some of the story. When they did occur it felt like the author was holding back. The absence of intensity was more than intentional, like M was making a statement.
M.’s writing doesn’t fall short of brilliance. The way his words flow onto the page, construct a sentence, instill feelings. I said it before and I’ll say it again, M is one of those authors I will read and feel privileged to read every line he ever writes. What is real what isn’t real? Is this story somewhat autobiographical? Is M a woman or a man? Is there really a Hannah? I’m here to say NONE of it matters. The marketing campaign intertwined in and outside of the story, doesn’t matter one tiny bit. Not only has this author more than proven himself but he did what he had to do to get you, the reader, to read his story. Well played M, well played.

If the Night Owl trilogy is new to you , I recommend reading them all back to back .

I will truly miss the craziness and intensity that is Matt & Hannah!

5 Bravo “Little Bird” Stars

http://amzn.to/1FyN22J

piercee pierce

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