Summary: Orphan Maurey has been living the life of a servant at school ever since his guardian died and the money for his tuition just disappeared. A chance encounter with the King and his Chancellor reveals that Maurey is not only half-human, half-Nightwalker, he is also actually the King’s half-brother. Living in a kingdom known for its bitter hatred of Nighwalkers, a separate species from humans, Maurey’s life is in danger until he is rescued by a crafty Baroness named Annot. She encourages Maurey use his Nightwalker skills and reach out to the family he has never known for protection, but it ends up being the Nightwalkers that need him.
Number of Pages: 196
Age Range: 15-17
Review: A fantasy/paranormal/science fiction cross, Nightwalker is remarkably easy to get into and straight-forward. The characters of Maurey and Annot were interesting and relatable, and I liked the book’s theme of acceptance. Maurey is willing to help his people overcome their previously unfavourable attitudes towards Nightwalkers, which is surprising considering when people discovered he was half-human, half-Nightwalker, they were going to kill him, but admirable.
Nightwalker wraps up pretty neatly so I’m not sure where Johansen would go with another book, although since it says ‘Book One’ on the cover I’m assuming it is a series. I’d say it’s geared more toward mid-teens because of the maturity of Maurey’s character and the depth of his insights.
“I was only some dark-haired foreigner’s bastard, but the names were a good insult and an easy way to hate me. Small-minded people always feel better with someone to hate. It covers up their secret fear that there is something to the world outside themselves.” – Maurey from Nightwalker by K.V. Johansen, page 4
“‘I have to stay,’ I said, ‘at least for a while, long enough to make them see that I’m – human too. We have to start somewhere. If I can’t make these people, most of whom knew my mother, all of whom are supposed to be loyal to my brother – if I can’t make them understand that I’m a little different from them, what chance does a real embassy from my aunt the queen have?'” – Maurey from Nightwalker by K.V. Johansen, pages 185-186
“Holden was found guilty of murder and treason. He was sentenced to death by beheading. Annot and I attended the execution, not out of any vengeful desire to watch his dying, but because it would have been cowardice, of a sort, to have hidden away, when we were the agents of his downfall, the living representatives of those he had destroyed, the survivors of his crimes. . . I wept afterwards. I don’t know why. It was not for Holden, nor even for the parents I had never had a chance to know – but for a world, I think, where men like Holden could go to their deaths still believing that in killing people like me they had done what was right.” – Maurey from Nightwalker by K.V. Johansen, page 189