Day Unto Night by TammyJo Eckhart

Day Unto Night by TammyJo Eckhart
Publisher: Liminal Books
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Erotic Romance, Horror, Paranormal, LGBTQ, Action/Adventure, Historical, Contemporary
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

A Sumerian child named Ningai survives the murder of her entire family and cries out to her people’s gods, who answer her prayer in an unexpected way. Now, as the first of the Akhkharu, the living dead, Ningai embarks on a journey across the millennia to rebuild what she lost. The best of her offspring must maintain some shred of goodness to prove worthy to their Child-Mother while fighting the deadly impulses of their kind. Join their journeys across time in a series of interconnected stories from the earliest cities to a brutal future where humans are mere pawns in the hands of near gods. Like all of us, Ningai and the best of her children will stop at nothing to protect her family. Can they succeed before they lose what’s left of their humanity, or will all of humanity become enslaved to the Akhkharu forever?

Fear is an excellent teacher.

Anyone who is patient will eventually discover the many ways in which Akhkharu are nothing at all like humans. Some of these differences weren’t revealed until the last hundred pages or so. Seeing them gradually shared with the audience only made me more excited to learn more. I was never quite sure when the narrator would stop remembering more things to add to this list. Each one of them was important regardless of how often they showed up in the plot, so it was a great deal of fun to keep discovering them up until almost the end.
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This book included dozens of characters who were human, Akhkharu, or a god or goddess. Sometimes I struggled to keep track of who everyone was and how they were connected to other characters, especially for individuals who only showed up occasionally. As much as I enjoyed the breadth of it all, the gigantic cast was a little overwhelming for me at times. I did find myself wishing that the glossary in the beginning had included the names of everyone instead of only some characters.

With that being said, I adored seeing the wide variety of responses people had to meeting an Akhkharu for the first time or, even better, to becoming one themselves. These creatures tended to feed on folks who lived at the margins of society because it made it less likely that anyone would come looking for someone who had died or joined their ranks. This had fascinating repercussions for how Akhkharu society evolved over time and why Ningai struggled so much with the behavior of some of her followers.

There were pacing issues. Some sections seemed to move much more quickly than other sections. When combined with the multiple time jumps and large number of characters to keep track of, this made my reading experience feel disjointed at times. I never knew who I’d meet next or how quickly their tale would be wrapped up. The storyline itself was complex and well written. I would have gone with a much higher rating if there hadn’t been pacing problems and if it had been easier to keep track of everyone.

The horror elements of the storyline were well done. Blood-sucking creatures like the Akhkharu are frightening enough by themselves, so I was pleasantly surprised by how many other things the author thought of to make things even scarier. Some scenes relied on graphic descriptions of battles or surprise attacks, while others used mental or emotional fear to amplify smaller events into much bigger deals than they would have been if the characters had known in advance what was coming for them. This is something that I think would work best for readers who enjoy thrillers and many different types of horror.

Day Unto Night was well worth the read.


  1. Thank you for reading and reviewing the book!

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