Saturday, August 13, 2022

Book Review: Serenade (The Dark Nocturne #1) by Morgan Shamy

Title: Serenade
Series: The Dark Nocturne #1
Author: Morgan Shamy
Publisher: Aethon Books
Publication Date: May 31st 2022
Print Length: 319 pages
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Fantasy

St. Paul’s Academy of the Arts isn’t your usual boarding school…

When November Huntington is sent away to live with her long-lost family, she’s forced to attend a music school for the gifted—which wouldn’t be a problem if November were musical. She’s an athlete through and through, and hates being different.

The kids at the school don’t welcome her, they’re wary of her presence, especially Vincent, a brooding teenage boy involved with dark spirits, who can make time stop when he plays his piano. In fact, all her classmates are all obsessed with playing their instruments. And odd things happen when the do.

But something is off about the school. Deaths have occurred through the years, students showing up dead the same way November’s parents were killed—with their throats ripped out.

A killer is on the loose… November must figure out a way to stop whoever it is, balance her feelings for Vincent, and solve her parents’ past before she, too, is numbered among the dead.

The first in a Paranormal Fantasy Saga by debut author Morgan Shamy.

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I don't normally read young adult books anymore, but when I read the synopsis for Serenade by Morgan Shamy, I was intrigued. I decided to get the eBook, and I am happy I did because I ended up loving Serenade!

I felt as if the plot of Serenade by Morgan Shamy was very original. Yes, it does have some of the other elements of paranormal fantasy that others of the same genre have such as the evil supernatural and paranormal creatures, but Shamy uses all of that and changes it all around to form a very different narrative. Her background in music and dance really shines through throughout Serenade. Whilst reading this novel, I was kept on the edge of my seat waiting to see what would happen next to November and her school. I also enjoyed how Morgan Shamy is not afraid of killing off any character whether they are minor or major. It made the book that much more suspenseful. There was one major plot twist that I didn't see coming. Although Serenade is a series, there's no major cliff hanger which was a plus.

I loved each and every character in Serenade. Each was well fleshed out, and I felt as if I was reading about actual people instead of characters in a book. November was an awesome main character! While there were a few times, I felt as if she made the wrong decision, I could easily see why she chose to do/act the way she did. It was interesting to see her hatch her plan to take on the baddies of the book as well as how she would stand up for her cousin. There was something very endearing about April, and I think she was my favorite character. There was something so innocent and sweet about her. I wanted a friend like April. In fact, I think I kind of was like April in high school - low self-esteem and never quite fitting in. I never liked Cam, not because he wasn't written well, but I hated how assured of himself he was. I was always drawn to Vincent even if he was moody and broody a lot of the time. My favorite creatures in Serenade were definitely the sylphs. I loved how they could go from being beautiful and alluring to deadly quite suddenly.

Trigger warnings for Serenade include violence, death, and murder.

Overall, Serenade is an original take on the whole paranormal fantasy genre that's full of relatable characters and a plot that sucks you in from the very first page. Once you start reading this novel, you will struggle to put it down. It will have that affect on you. I would definitely recommend Serenade by Morgan Shamy to those aged 14+ who are after a book with a fresh new plot full of action, adventure, and some really cool monsters. I have already started reading Etude, the next book in The Dark Nocturne series by Morgan Shamy!
Morgan Shamy is an ex-ballerina turned YA writer. She has been immersed in the arts since the young age of 4, where she performed various roles alongside a professional ballet company for over seven years, and has danced on prestigious stages like soloing at Carnegie Hall in New York City. She has taught hundreds of girls in her fifteen years of teaching, where some of her students have received full-ride scholarships to schools like School of American Ballet, the Harid Conservatory, Kirov Academy of Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet, to name a few.

Morgan discovered writing when her three-year-old son was diagnosed with cancer. It was through that experience which instilled the need to share art and magic with children through words on the page.

Morgan is also an accomplished concert pianist. She was the first girl in Utah to receive the 75 pt. Gold Cup in the Utah Federation of Music in piano solo/concerto competition. Morgan currently lives with her X-Games gold-medalist husband and four children in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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