Review of Lightfall by MA Phipps and Rebecca Jaycox

Lightfall is a YA paranormal romance, with a hint of dark academia and a bit of mystery. Now I usually shy away from romance and paranormal romance particularly as there is usually lots of “claiming” going on, but actually the romance element of Lightfall is pretty low down on it’s list of priorities.

The story is told in alternating chapters between naive Light, Luna, as she takes her first wobbly steps in the Alexandria Academy and bad boy Dark, Caleb, attending the Academy on an exchange programme. Caleb has an agenda, and when Luna’s powers are not quite what they seem the two team up to reach a common goal. The Academy is elitist and it’s easy to understand how lost Luna feels especially when her first ally, Alaric, leaves on other business, she doesn’t get support from either students or staff, leaving her open to suggestion from a mysterious voice. I really did feel for Luna, as she has become broken by the mortal world and then she is just dropped into the thick of it being told she is nephilim and that actually there’s a whole other world hidden away that she’s part of. Caleb doesn’t fall into the trope that he could have become, actually standing out as by far the most reasonable person there. I found that he handled the conflict between his agenda and wanting to be there for Luna really well, they have the perfect burgeoning relationship which is being solidly built on honesty, and communication plays a vital part in getting them over any hurdles they reach. Normalising healthy and positive relationships is one of my number one priorities when it comes to romance in YA and I am so happy that this is the route taken in Lightfall.

I really enjoyed the discovery element of this story, the mystery surrounding Caleb’s task and the voice that Luna hears is really well done and exciting to read, it was easy to fly through the pages to find out what came next and it certainly left me ready to read more. I also do enjoy a creative spin on “releasing a breath they didn’t know they were holding”!

On the flip side, for me it took a few chapters to settle into its stride, maybe it was a case of just wanting to get from A to B quickly to move the story to where it needed to be but it didn’t immediately pull me in which was a shame as once I was in sync with it I couldn’t put it down. The story did feel a little flowery at times and some unusual word choices did pull me out of the world which was a shame but then that’s probably just a me problem.

Overall I was pleasantly surprised with Lightfall and it goes to show that sometimes an out of comfort zone read can be a good thing and i’m excited to see where these characters head next.

4*

Lightfall is out on 6th September and is available for pre-order now

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