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The Lights of Prague

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For readers of VE Schwab and The Witcher, science and magic clash in atmospheric gaslight-era Prague. In the quiet streets of Prague all manner of otherworldly creatures lurk in the shadows. Unbeknownst to its citizens, their only hope against the tide of predators are the dauntless lamplighters - a secret elite of monster hunters whose light staves off the darkness each ni For readers of VE Schwab and The Witcher, science and magic clash in atmospheric gaslight-era Prague. In the quiet streets of Prague all manner of otherworldly creatures lurk in the shadows. Unbeknownst to its citizens, their only hope against the tide of predators are the dauntless lamplighters - a secret elite of monster hunters whose light staves off the darkness each night. Domek Myska leads a life teeming with fraught encounters with the worst kind of evil: pijavice, bloodthirsty and soulless vampiric creatures. Despite this, Domek find solace in his moments spent in the company of his friend, the clever and beautiful Lady Ora Fischerová-- a widow with secrets of her own. When Domek finds himself stalked by the spirit of the White Lady - a ghost who haunts the baroque halls of Prague castle - he stumbles across the sentient essence of a will-o'-the-wisp, a mischievous spirit known to lead lost travellers to their death, but who, once captured, are bound to serve the desires of their owners. After discovering a conspiracy amongst the pijavice that could see them unleash terror on the daylight world, Domek finds himself in a race against those who aim to twist alchemical science for their own dangerous gain.


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For readers of VE Schwab and The Witcher, science and magic clash in atmospheric gaslight-era Prague. In the quiet streets of Prague all manner of otherworldly creatures lurk in the shadows. Unbeknownst to its citizens, their only hope against the tide of predators are the dauntless lamplighters - a secret elite of monster hunters whose light staves off the darkness each ni For readers of VE Schwab and The Witcher, science and magic clash in atmospheric gaslight-era Prague. In the quiet streets of Prague all manner of otherworldly creatures lurk in the shadows. Unbeknownst to its citizens, their only hope against the tide of predators are the dauntless lamplighters - a secret elite of monster hunters whose light staves off the darkness each night. Domek Myska leads a life teeming with fraught encounters with the worst kind of evil: pijavice, bloodthirsty and soulless vampiric creatures. Despite this, Domek find solace in his moments spent in the company of his friend, the clever and beautiful Lady Ora Fischerová-- a widow with secrets of her own. When Domek finds himself stalked by the spirit of the White Lady - a ghost who haunts the baroque halls of Prague castle - he stumbles across the sentient essence of a will-o'-the-wisp, a mischievous spirit known to lead lost travellers to their death, but who, once captured, are bound to serve the desires of their owners. After discovering a conspiracy amongst the pijavice that could see them unleash terror on the daylight world, Domek finds himself in a race against those who aim to twist alchemical science for their own dangerous gain.

30 review for The Lights of Prague

  1. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte (Books and Bouquets)

    Massive thank you to Titan Books and NetGalley for providing me with a free ARC in exchange for an honest review. The Lights of Prague follows Domek Myska, a lamplighter, whose job secretly involves keeping the city of Prague safe from pijavice (vampires) and Lady Ora Fischerová, an aristocratic, bisexual widow, who just happens to also be a pijavica. It follows their relationship, and their intertwining storylines as they both attempt to save Prague, before the pijavice, who have recently discov Massive thank you to Titan Books and NetGalley for providing me with a free ARC in exchange for an honest review. The Lights of Prague follows Domek Myska, a lamplighter, whose job secretly involves keeping the city of Prague safe from pijavice (vampires) and Lady Ora Fischerová, an aristocratic, bisexual widow, who just happens to also be a pijavica. It follows their relationship, and their intertwining storylines as they both attempt to save Prague, before the pijavice, who have recently discovered a cure, take over the city. I love these characters and the dual perspective the story followed. Domek is such an unlikely gentlemen, which was refreshing considering the majority of modern male love interests seem to be the alpha male type, and Domek was quite the opposite. Whilst, Ora was definitely a badass (with an emotional side) and such a strong female lead. The romance between them is definitely not the focus of the book, but it was still great. “He was tearing down her walls, taking her apart - and would piece her back together. She let herself shatter.” -oop I will say, if you’re looking to read this book for a female-female relationship at the centre of this story, you won’t find it. However, I did think the normalisation and casual reference to Ora’s previous sapphic relationships was wonderful. The highlight of the book for me was Kája, the mischievous will-o'-the-wisp. Not only was their personality so well fleshed out (honestly had the most personality out of all of the characters), the whole concept of the will-o'-the-wisps was so unique? I’ve never quite seen a new creature be executed so well, it was so well integrated into the storyline, they just fit perfectly. The first 50% of the book were fairly slow paced, and if it wasn’t for the detailed, atmospherical descriptions of Prague, it perhaps would have been too slow paced. But as I absolutely love Prague (it’s one of my favourite European cities), it felt like the perfect setting for this story, especially within the 1800’s timeframe. It was wonderful to be able to relive the stunning city and recognise certain landmarks, such as the Charles Bridge, picturing them as if I never left. “Like a giant sated after a hearty meal, Prague after a storm was content and slow.” I’m sorry but these descriptions are stunning - not sure I’ll ever get over them! Overall I adored this and I would 100% recommend this to fans of urban fantasy, especially fantasy fans which love a historical setting (think ‘These Violet Delights’ by Chloe Gong) CAWPILE: 7.57 / 10 Blog | Instagram | Twitter

  2. 4 out of 5

    ♥Milica♥

    There are many reasons why I wanted to read this book. From the pretty cover, to the title, setting and blurb. But the real winner for me, was the word "pijavica". In my language (and in Czech too, I'd imagine, as our languages aren't so different) it means leech. I thought that was a really endearing way to say vampire. Then again endearing probably isn't the right word, since the vampires in this story are anything but cuddly...either way I thought it was cool and a tiny bit funny. I kept gigg There are many reasons why I wanted to read this book. From the pretty cover, to the title, setting and blurb. But the real winner for me, was the word "pijavica". In my language (and in Czech too, I'd imagine, as our languages aren't so different) it means leech. I thought that was a really endearing way to say vampire. Then again endearing probably isn't the right word, since the vampires in this story are anything but cuddly...either way I thought it was cool and a tiny bit funny. I kept giggling for the first several mentions (and there were many in chapter one). It was nice to see a book set somewhere familiar, both culture and location wise. I've been to Prague a couple of years ago. It's one of the most beautiful cities in the world and The Lights of Prague did it justice with the descriptions. I felt like I was back exploring everything because it was so vivid. AND THE NAMES! Domek Myska??? THAT'S SO ADORABLE!!! The names were done right for once. My Slavic soul is happy. It was interesting to see the differences between Czech and Serbian in the names too. For example Kaja would be a female name here, always...and more of a nickname really, but in the book it's male. Still, this book is not without its faults. The first half is slow. The next 20% gets better and then the rest is amazing. So it's a bit hard to rate. On top of that, the characters gave me mixed feelings. I liked Domek better than Ora, but I didn't love him. He was nice, but I wanted him to have more depth. Ora was alright, just not that interesting. Lina for example, was a lot more interesting (and Romani rep!). Kaja was the best character. A little ball of light, literally. He was written so well and I cried during his scene at the end. I think it's a unique concept for will-o'-the-wisps to be bound, I haven't come across that before. Bonus points. The storyline could've been fleshed out better. I liked it though. Especially when the twists come in the final third. As for the length, I think the book would've benefited from being a tad shorter. Somewhere from 30-50% scenes could be cut. It's still worth the read if you can look past the slower parts. *Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review*

  3. 4 out of 5

    Silvia

    I was sent this book as an advance copy by the publisher via Edelweiss for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own. 3.5 stars I quite liked this historical fantasy/mystery about vampires (pijavice) in Prague and the lamplighter who kills them, only to then fall in love with one of them. I will admit the premise wouldn't have caught my eye if it wasn't that the vampire heroine is bisexual (I promise you will never catch me reading about str*ight vampires...ever). The book immediately dre I was sent this book as an advance copy by the publisher via Edelweiss for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own. 3.5 stars I quite liked this historical fantasy/mystery about vampires (pijavice) in Prague and the lamplighter who kills them, only to then fall in love with one of them. I will admit the premise wouldn't have caught my eye if it wasn't that the vampire heroine is bisexual (I promise you will never catch me reading about str*ight vampires...ever). The book immediately drew me in and I found it had a strong start, plus the writing is really good, not too flowery but it manages to create powerful images. The writing is also very detailed sometimes and that made my ADHD brain lose focus more than once, to the point where I kind of skim-read a lot of the more detailed parts, but it should be no problem for someone else who loves descriptions of a beautiful city like Prague. The characters were well built in my opinion, we get a dual point of view from Domek and Ora and they're both well fleshed out people, but to me they didn't feel like the type of character I'm usually going to fall in love with, and that was also not the case here. I liked them both but I sort of felt a disconnect with both of them throughout the book. My favorite character by far was Kája, the wisp that Domek finds at the beginning of the book and that is at the core of the mystery of the story. Kája is exactly the type of character that inevitably ends up as my favorite and I'm only sorry that he didn't have more page time, because I loved it every time he had a line or did something. The romance between Ora and Domek was enjoyable, I liked that they already knew each other, somewhat, because the book didn't have to find a super relatable meet-cute or cliché first meeting (which can sometimes be a hit or miss, especially because you might feel like things are too rushed if they just met) and I think the book had the perfect amount of focus on the romance for its genre, not too much and not too little, but I also felt rather lukewarm about it. In a surprising turn of events, I was more drawn to the actual story than to the characters or relationships in this book, something that rarely happens to me, which is why I referred somewhere else about this book as "perfect for casual readers": you might not find your next favorite character or romance here, but the plot is entertaining and the mystery intriguing enough to hold your interest from the first to the last page. At least it was for me. So overall I think if the premise of this book sounds intriguing to you then it's really worth to give it a try and read about some slightly different takes on vampires.

  4. 5 out of 5

    asmo ☾

    excuse me, is this a lgbt fantasy taking place in the capital of my country, prague?? SIGN ME THE F*CK UP

  5. 5 out of 5

    Bob/Sally

    The Lights of Prague is an atmospheric tale of urban fantasy and paranormal horror, set in gaslight-era Prague that feels as authentic as it does fantastic. Nicole Jarvis nails the setting, the era, the personalities, and the mythology in a book that promised a lot, but delivered even more. One of my favorite scenes is a relatively minor one in terms of plot and significance, but it captures so much of what make the book work for me. Domek, our lamplighter protagonist, protector of the city again The Lights of Prague is an atmospheric tale of urban fantasy and paranormal horror, set in gaslight-era Prague that feels as authentic as it does fantastic. Nicole Jarvis nails the setting, the era, the personalities, and the mythology in a book that promised a lot, but delivered even more. One of my favorite scenes is a relatively minor one in terms of plot and significance, but it captures so much of what make the book work for me. Domek, our lamplighter protagonist, protector of the city against the vampiric pijavica, steps into an alley that even the gaslights can't illuminate. There we meet a bubák, a creature of shadow that feeds on fear and is quite literally the monster under the bed. It is with his captive will-o’-the-wisp that Domek vanquishes the monster, and in doing so he learns that even the best intentioned words can have fatal consequences. It's such a great scene in the way it illuminates the darkness and the monsters, and the way it casts such light on what kind of a man Domek is. I loved Domek, and thought he was a fantastic protagonist, a man of morals and purpose whose bravery stands between humanity and he darkness. He's not your typical Alpha hero, but a sensitive man who thinks before he acts. It was Lady Ora, however, who fascinated me the most, which was a surprise because I would have said I've grown tired of the 'good' vampire trope. She has charm and personality, an interesting backstory, and serves a genuine purpose in the overall conflict as a kickass woman of strength and determination. Together, she and Domek are a fantastic couple (even if I wish we could have explored more of her sapphic past), and they easily carry the story. As for the story, everything just worked for me - the setting, narrative, the pacing, the horror, the romance, the dramatic stakes, and the action-packed climax. Again, I would have said I was done with stories of vampire cures, of monsters who want to be men, but I thought Jarvis had an interesting approach to the dilemma of morality and mortality, and I like how it played out. I found it very easy to become immersed in The Lights of Prague, and found myself promising 'just one more chapter' far too long into the night. http://beauty-in-ruins.blogspot.com/2...

  6. 4 out of 5

    micolreads

    If you are looking for a book without any character depth nor development, a plot that is so basic that literally nothing happens, a world building that is so plain I couldn’t even imagine myself in that city. The only thing that kept me from dnf is the writing style. It’s good, but unfortunately all the rest was not and in the end, this book was just bad for me. Thanks to netgalley for the ecopy.

  7. 5 out of 5

    aphrodite

    nichole jarvis just said "oh ur sad about the empire of the vampire extension? here you go, have vampires IN PRAGUE as a treat" nichole jarvis just said "oh ur sad about the empire of the vampire extension? here you go, have vampires IN PRAGUE as a treat"

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lou

    The Lights of Prague is Nicole Jarvis’ debut historical fantasy novel with a delicious gothic tinge to it and tells a haunting story drawn from long-established Eastern European mythology. Otherworldly creatures of dark myth roam the streets of the city and only the lamplighters of Prague offer protection against this conspiracy of vampiric pijavica, the Czech cousin of the vampire. Domek Myska walks the dingy, cobblestone streets of 19th century Prague as a member of the Lamplighters’ Guild, a The Lights of Prague is Nicole Jarvis’ debut historical fantasy novel with a delicious gothic tinge to it and tells a haunting story drawn from long-established Eastern European mythology. Otherworldly creatures of dark myth roam the streets of the city and only the lamplighters of Prague offer protection against this conspiracy of vampiric pijavica, the Czech cousin of the vampire. Domek Myska walks the dingy, cobblestone streets of 19th century Prague as a member of the Lamplighters’ Guild, a group responsible for ensuring that the city’s many gas lamps continue to burn - protecting the population from bloodthirsty supernatural beings roaming for easy prey. He helps fight against the creatures that hide out in darkened alleys and among the shadows in Prague’s vast underground tunnel system shying away from the light that up until now has hindered their existence. But after killing a pijavica, Domek is shocked to discover the creature had been in possession of a captive will-o’-the-wisp, a rare spirit, and decides to attempt to track its origins. He befriends Lady Ora Fischerová, an affluent and elegant older woman who also happens to be a pijavica and is currently investigating rumours that some of her kind are developing a cure for their allergy to sunlight. Could the monsters be evolving? This is a riveting, enthralling and richly atmospheric vampire novel steeped in a creepy history and aura and alluring worldbuilding including such vivid descriptions of the city are so superb that you can transport yourself there amongst the culture, food and people almost instantly. It's a refreshing fantasy and actually the first story I have read that didn't come across as juvenile when using vampires and monster hunters as the main thrust of the sinister plot. It touches on the class system and thirst for power and is peopled with complex characters who feel like old friends as well as protectors. It's also a surprisingly action-packed and high-intensity adventure with an unsettling moodiness and unease underpinning it all. A thoroughly entertaining gothic historical fantasy. Highly recommended.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Holly (The GrimDragon)

    "There was something melancholic yet comforting about a silent library. So much knowledge sat unlearned. Books without readers were only paper." The Lights of Prague is the debut novel from Nicole Jarvis & comes out on the 25th in North America & TODAY for the rest of the world! Thanks to Titan Books for the copy & for inviting me along on the Instagram tour! Taking place in gaslight-era Prague, this has such a comfortable, cozy vibe but with wicked sharp teeth! Jarvis weaves together historical fan "There was something melancholic yet comforting about a silent library. So much knowledge sat unlearned. Books without readers were only paper." The Lights of Prague is the debut novel from Nicole Jarvis & comes out on the 25th in North America & TODAY for the rest of the world! Thanks to Titan Books for the copy & for inviting me along on the Instagram tour! Taking place in gaslight-era Prague, this has such a comfortable, cozy vibe but with wicked sharp teeth! Jarvis weaves together historical fantasy & horror in a lusciously brutal way. It's got mythology, costumery, bloodthirsty predators, elite monster hunters, trapped spirits, atmospheric writing & IT'S QUEER!! CW: Death, gore, homophobia, antisemitism, depression.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mogsy (MMOGC)

    4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2021/06/01/... Set in 19th century Prague, Nicole Jarvis’ historical fantasy debut opens on a world at the cusp of great change. Society has been introduced to countless wonderful new scientific technologies, paving the way for an era of cultural and artistic development. Residents of the city are enjoying a revolution of sorts, with everything around them changing quickly, becoming better and more modern. However, unbeknownst to its cit 4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2021/06/01/... Set in 19th century Prague, Nicole Jarvis’ historical fantasy debut opens on a world at the cusp of great change. Society has been introduced to countless wonderful new scientific technologies, paving the way for an era of cultural and artistic development. Residents of the city are enjoying a revolution of sorts, with everything around them changing quickly, becoming better and more modern. However, unbeknownst to its citizenry, Prague is still a dangerous place, hiding many secrets in its shadows. Thanks to men like Domek Myska and his fellow Lamplighters though, everyone can sleep a little more soundly. Our protagonist is part of a guild of monster hunters who patrol the streets at night, keeping the gas lamps burning, vanquishing any supernatural creature unfortunate enough to cross his path. As the story begins, Domek has just had a run-in with a particularly nasty pijavica, a vampire-like predator. After killing it, he discovers what the creature had been transporting—a mysterious container with a will-o’-the-wisp trapped inside. Curious about his find, Domek contemplates taking the wisp to the guild scientists, but winds up befriending it instead, learning that its name is Kája. Along the way, he also becomes drawn to Lady Ora Fischevá, our other major POV character who is a wealthy widow with a reputation for being a little eccentric. What no one realizes though, is that the noblewoman actually cultivates that image to her advantage, in order to prevent people from looking too deeply into her affairs. The truth is, she is a pijavica, currently working on her own investigation into rumors about a possible cure for vampirism. Having survived for centuries, Ora has mostly turned away from the more violent and baser instincts of her kind, but for some, it won’t matter—she’ll always be a soulless monster. Unaware of Domek’s affiliation with the Lamplighters, she strikes up a relationship with the young man, while he also finds himself growing more attracted to her, completely clueless as to her true nature. As the bond between our two main characters deepens, so too does the urgency to expose those behind the conspiracy that has bought them together, but of course, it’s also only a matter of time before they find out the truth about each other. Drenched in history and atmosphere, The Lights of Prague is an intelligent and moody work of fiction combining supernatural and urban fantasy elements. Nicole Jarvis has a way with words, bringing the setting to life with flowing, confident prose. Her world-building feels at once strange and wonderful, from the grand museums and lavish opera halls in which we find Lady Ora and the upper class circles she runs in, to the dank crypts and alleyways where Domek often hunts his prey. I loved that our two main characters come from different worlds, in more ways than one, as it allowed readers to experience so much more of the author’s version of Prague—both its fantastical side, as well as the mundane. I was also fascinated by the characters, as individually they were each quite compelling, though I confess I was probably more impressed with how well the two clicked with they were together. Domek is a level-headed man of purpose and principles, but he’s not so rigid as to be unwilling to consider other ways of doing things. That makes him a pretty good match for Ora, who is charming and vivacious, for all that she is secretly a pijavica. I was a huge fan of her character, the way she flouted social norms and expectations, following her heart wherever it leads her. Despite her socialite ways, there’s also a depth to her that’s only revealed in her more private moments. Ora has something of a heartrending backstory, one that gives her current mission quite a bit more meaning and substance. It’s when she and Domek are in each other’s presence, however, that things get really interesting, as neither are aware they are on opposite sides of a primal conflict. And when their investigative paths coincide, that’s when the story really heats up. Prior to that, the pacing was more of a slow burn, but the action ticks up noticeably after the halfway point, as does the intrigue in the overall mystery. For me, Kája was a highlight as well, and I enjoyed how such a seemingly minor side character came to occupy such a large place in my heart by the end of the book! Bottom line, there were so many moving parts to this book, I was quite amazed Jarvis was able to weave them all together while losing none of the gothic elements or atmospheric vibes. All in all, I had a good time with The Lights of Prague, a historical fantasy I would recommend to readers looking for a more sophisticated kind of vampire and monster hunter story.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alex (HEABookNerd)

    Rating: 3 stars - it was good THE LIGHTS OF PRAGUE is a bit out of my usual reading genre but I'm glad I picked it up because I liked this interesting historical fantasy. The descriptions of a gas lamp era Prague were lush and beautiful and I really felt like I was there. I also enjoyed both main characters, our lamplighter and monster hunter, Domek, and our beautiful and aloof pijavice (vampire), Ora. I expected this to be mostly fantasy but there is a little bit of a romance that does end with Rating: 3 stars - it was good THE LIGHTS OF PRAGUE is a bit out of my usual reading genre but I'm glad I picked it up because I liked this interesting historical fantasy. The descriptions of a gas lamp era Prague were lush and beautiful and I really felt like I was there. I also enjoyed both main characters, our lamplighter and monster hunter, Domek, and our beautiful and aloof pijavice (vampire), Ora. I expected this to be mostly fantasy but there is a little bit of a romance that does end with Domek and Ora together and that nicely fed by romance reading soul. Of course it was very angsty since Domek doesn't realize at first that Ora is his "enemy" and this leads to some heartbreaking moments. A large part of THE LIGHTS OF PRAGUE focuses on mysterious rumors of a cure for the pijavice that leaves them able to go out in the sun but still maintain their other powers. In addition there's a another fairly important character, Kaja the wisp who gets tangled up in the plot in a variety of ways. This also leads Ora and Domek (and the reader by extension) into exploring the various classes of pijavice and brings up some interesting points about what truly makes someone a monster. While I enjoyed most of the book I do have to say that the pacing felt super lopsided. The first half of the book is very slow going and then the second half is action packed and literally everything happens. There's a lot of twists and turns and surprising betrayals and alliances. And while I really liked the second half of the book, I think it would have been better if some of it was spaced out a little bit more. Content Warning: references to antisemitism, racism, classism, and slavery; references to grieving the death of a loved one

  12. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte

    4.5 stars a beautifully stunning debut that’s addictive, unique and strikingly vivid. the writing in this is exceptional. it’s so delightful to read and the characters (ora and domek) are so compelling. this book has to be one of the BEST books i’ve read so far this year and it’s definitely a new favourite of mine. it’s absolutely AMAZING.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Eshana Ranasinghe

    I heard it is gay. I'm here for the gay I heard it is gay. I'm here for the gay

  14. 5 out of 5

    Milou

    I requested this from Netgalley because just look at that cover! Also, The Husband and I went on our honeymoon to Prague, so the city has a special place in my heart. And I am happy to report that this read was a lot of fun. We follow two characters, Domek and Ora, both on their own hunt to find the truth (and of course their paths collide). Domek is a lamplighter, an organization that keeps the streets safe at night. From monsters that is (also, he does light the gaslamps on the steet). And most I requested this from Netgalley because just look at that cover! Also, The Husband and I went on our honeymoon to Prague, so the city has a special place in my heart. And I am happy to report that this read was a lot of fun. We follow two characters, Domek and Ora, both on their own hunt to find the truth (and of course their paths collide). Domek is a lamplighter, an organization that keeps the streets safe at night. From monsters that is (also, he does light the gaslamps on the steet). And most of these monsters find their origin in Slavic mythology and lore. Which is a thing I for some reason absolutely love. Domek is a big and kind bear of a man, but also very set in his ways. Monsters are bad and need to be killed. Which brings us to Ora… a pijavice (a kind of vampire), who has given up on drinking human blood (and yes she has been to an AA meeting). She married a human, and is now sadly a widow. She is also very rich, a flirt, bi, and loves to host dinner parties for her human friends, as well as visit museums and science fairs. Basically, she tries to love life even though she is (un)dead. These were two great characters to follow. They both have to face their prejudices and change their minds to get to the bottom of the mystery… which is that pijavice have somehow created a cure for their weaknesses, making them impossible to kill. Because we have two POVs we get to approach this case from two very different sides, and therefore can piece things together ourselves a bit (lot) quicker than Domek and Ora do. Although nice, this did also lead to some moments of frustration… I just wanted them to stop their miscommunications and work together already. As I stated earlier, I do have a soft spot for Prague. And the city has certainly been done justice here. Maybe someone who actually lives there may disagree with me, but as a once tourist I definitely felt transported back. Yes we pass by some of the very well known buildings, but also some lesser ones. And the atmosphere is just spot on. It served for a great stage of this till full of monsters. The ending sketches the possibility for this becoming a series, and I really hope it does. I want to see more of these characters, the monsters and the city. This was a great read for me, and certainly one I would recommend.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kal ★ Reader Voracious

    ✨ You can read an excerpt from The Lights of Prague here!Words cannot express how much I adored this debut. Atmospheric and engaging, The Lights of Prague swept me away to another time and place. This is a must read for fans of immersive fantasy. "With the gas lamps came the lamplighters to patrol and protect their routes, fighting back against the shadows of Prague." Oozing with atmosphere that engages all of the senses, Jarvis transports the reader to Prague of the 1800s with its l ✨ You can read an excerpt from The Lights of Prague here!Words cannot express how much I adored this debut. Atmospheric and engaging, The Lights of Prague swept me away to another time and place. This is a must read for fans of immersive fantasy. "With the gas lamps came the lamplighters to patrol and protect their routes, fighting back against the shadows of Prague." Oozing with atmosphere that engages all of the senses, Jarvis transports the reader to Prague of the 1800s with its lush and vivid prose. I'll admit that it took me a bit of time to settle into this immersive historical fantasy (likely because of my mood), but it didn't take me long to fall in love with the characters and the world. The story really took off for me around 20% in. I love that the worldbuilding is vast and left no questions to pull me out of the story while maintaining a solid pace and avoiding info-dumps. "Cobblestones gleamed underfoot from the rain earlier in the evening. Like a giant sated after a hearty meal, Prague after a storm was content and slow." With two main characters seemingly on the opposite side of a supernatural battle in the dark streets of Prague, the book follows follows a lamplighter (and monster hunter) named Domek and a centuries-old bisexual vampire (pijavica) named Ora. Secret identities unknown to one another, their paths have crossed on occasion over the course of the last year, both having a bit of a crush but not moving beyond casual flirtations. I love gentle ribbing and roasting among friends, and both Ora's and Domek's friends trade gentle barbs with one another. This gives life to the friendships beyond the parts of our character's lives confined within the pages. "There are days when it seems like no matter what happens, everything stays the same. Maybe on a grand scale, it does. That doesn't mean that every minute in someone's life can't be important too." I appreciate the discussion of class and privilege woven into the narrative. Despite being of the working class, Domek's been fortunate for people to judge him based on his character rather than station but there's still an undercurrent of how different his world is from Cord's or Ora's. High society in a way serves as a lens for the rigid boxes that he puts people into. Human or monster. Good or evil. Just and Ora and Cord look beyond his station, he needs to learn how to judge a person by their character. Meanwhile, Ora is a foil to Domek's selflessness and needs to help others. Their journeys are complex and compelling, as well as a bit messy. "Give men weapons and tell them they have a righteous war, and they'll do anything." No review by me would be complete without mentioning Kaja's philosophical musings. Who is worthy of saving? Good and bad are not purely black and white; some monsters are of the human variety, and some "monsters" act just as they did when they were human. I love that Domek's character development doesn't come from his relationship with Ora, but rather Kaja challenging his rigid notions of right and wrong. Overall, I am wholly impressed with Jarvis' debut fantasy and look forward to reading more from this author in the future! I enjoyed the characters and world created, as well as the vivid and immersive prose. Fans of V.E. Schwab's writing style will certainly enjoy The Lights of Prague, just be sure you're in the right mood before picking this one up as I think it's one that you need to be in the right mood to read. Representation: bisexual main character, gay side character, Romani rep Content warnings: blood, classism (challenged), death, racism and antisemitism (challenged) ARC provided by the publisher for my honest review. This has not affected my opinion nor the contents of my review. Quotations are from an unfinished proof and subject to change upon final publication. Blog | Twitter | Instagram

  16. 4 out of 5

    charlotte,

    Hopeless or not, life keeps moving. I don’t intend to let it move on past me. On my blog. Rep: bi mc with depression, wlw side character, gay side characters CWs: violence, gore Galley provided by publisher Something about the year 2020 seems to have led half of my most anticipated releases (although this one has since been pushed to 2021) to be boring as anything to me. I should have liked this one. It combines some of my favourite things (sapphic historical paranormal mystery). And yet. The Hopeless or not, life keeps moving. I don’t intend to let it move on past me. On my blog. Rep: bi mc with depression, wlw side character, gay side characters CWs: violence, gore Galley provided by publisher Something about the year 2020 seems to have led half of my most anticipated releases (although this one has since been pushed to 2021) to be boring as anything to me. I should have liked this one. It combines some of my favourite things (sapphic historical paranormal mystery). And yet. The Lights of Prague follows Domek Myska (House Mouse), a lamplighter in Prague who has a secret life as a vampire (or pijavica) hunter. He is drawn to the widow Lady Ora Fischer, who is, unbeknownst to him, herself a pijavica. When Domek kills a pijavica and ends up with a will-o-the-wisp, he finds he has stumbled on a macabre plot, one that might well spell the end to life as he knows it. I think I knew from pretty early on that this book wasn’t going to be for me. Something about the slow pace of it, the lack of real action, flagged it as being potentially boring from early on. And I was proven right. I could not really pinpoint what it was about it that made it so – possibly because it felt like YA-depth writing in adult fiction trappings – but I found myself skimming from fairly early on. The most disappointing thing about it was the amount of potential it had. I truly thought I would love this book, and I did not. Like I said, it didn’t have enough action to truly grab me, but that would have been alright if the world had been somewhat more immersive. It wasn’t. So I ended up bored. So bored in fact that I looked up what the characters’ names meant, which is how I came to be calling the mc House Mouse. That was probably a tactical error, because once I knew that, there was no chance I was going to read this book seriously. I thought for a moment that it might redeem itself by having an interesting mystery, but that too was not to be. It was pretty obvious from the start that the people who were supposedly to be trusted actually couldn’t be. Or maybe that’s just because I’ve read way too many books with similar plotlines. But regardless. It ended up predictable and boring. Like I found much of the rest of the book too.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Aly (In Wonderland)

    Look at me enjoying some good old fashioned urban fantasy. If THE LIGHTS OF PRAGUE isn't already on your preorder list, do it now. You won't regret it. FRTC. Look at me enjoying some good old fashioned urban fantasy. If THE LIGHTS OF PRAGUE isn't already on your preorder list, do it now. You won't regret it. FRTC.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Verónica Fleitas Solich

    4.5 Vampires, monsters and other creatures have returned and they are stomping! Great atmosphere and characters that I think still have a lot to tell. I really enjoyed the story and those little details that make it different from other vampire books. I want more from Domek and Ora!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Celia McMahon

    Thank you to Edelweiss and Titan Books for the e-arc. Ah, this was such a treat! I've been itching for some historical creepiness since finishing Penny Dreadful on Showtime. This gave me the dark, atmospheric vibes I was craving. This story centered on a lamplighter (moonlighting as a vampire hunter) and a vampire living amongst humans. I loved the split POV as you get to see both worlds. I absolutely loved the setting. Prague was one of my favorite cities I'd visited and it holds a special place Thank you to Edelweiss and Titan Books for the e-arc. Ah, this was such a treat! I've been itching for some historical creepiness since finishing Penny Dreadful on Showtime. This gave me the dark, atmospheric vibes I was craving. This story centered on a lamplighter (moonlighting as a vampire hunter) and a vampire living amongst humans. I loved the split POV as you get to see both worlds. I absolutely loved the setting. Prague was one of my favorite cities I'd visited and it holds a special place in my heart. I could picture the scenes, as Jarvis wrote them in such vivid detail, and found myself back in the Czech Republic, marveling over the sights. I loved everything about this book. If you're looking for a unique spin on vampires, this the book for you.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sasan

    I finally found one, I finally found a book where vampires ARE SCARY! I have received this book in exchange of an honest review, thank you to NetGalley and Titan Books for the opportunity. I have my own blog now, so please do give it a visit if you're interested in my other reviews :) ────────────────── I'm a fan of historical fiction with a fantasy twist, although I will admit that I'm not very big on vampires as I was not very confident that they can be "scary", but Nicole Jarvis may have changed I finally found one, I finally found a book where vampires ARE SCARY! I have received this book in exchange of an honest review, thank you to NetGalley and Titan Books for the opportunity. I have my own blog now, so please do give it a visit if you're interested in my other reviews :) ────────────────── I'm a fan of historical fiction with a fantasy twist, although I will admit that I'm not very big on vampires as I was not very confident that they can be "scary", but Nicole Jarvis may have changed that misconception (bias?) with this book. The plot of the book revolves around the darker entities on the streets of Prague (specifically the pijavice/vampires), the lamplighters who hunt them, a seemingly unrelated individual with their own secrets and a mysterious rumour that threatens to destroy everything. In the bigger scheme of things, it's not going to be something completely different than what I've read before given the similar elements, but in books like these especially, it's where I believe the author's ability shines best in my humble opinion. Nicole Jarvis has a beautiful way of writing, I wouldn't go so far as to call it flowery as I don't think it's accurate, but she painted a beautiful picture of Prague for this story to take place in which is not a feeling I got from the majority of my reads this year. The landscapes, the buildings, the food and the people made it feel very vivid to me and got me even more interested to see what she has in store for me moving forward. Which is why I was ecstatic that she added interlinked dual point of views and didn't only rely on Domek's. I enjoyed both point of views, as both characters were interesting, they have lessons to learn and they brought different things to the story. Domek on one hand is a lamplighter, someone who kills pijavice that are dangerous to humans and through him I got to learn more about the organization, the way they actually kills these vampires and a little bit more about the society around him. I will admit that I felt at times, that he was a little too nice, a little perfect and a little too noble which made me really enjoy the situations he got put into after finding the wisp because he was called out on a lot of things that he felt were "right" or "just" that other characters didn't agree with and I got to see an interesting internal struggle alongside his paranoia. Ora on the other hand, also had her struggles which were more about confronting the past, moving on and fighting against herself. She provided a closer look to the pijavice from their habits, their abilities, their secrets and also provided a look into the government in a way. I did feel somewhat bad for her in certain scenes, but she's kind of like a force of nature so the feelings never stayed for long when she was more than capable of handling herself. I also enjoyed the different feel of her point of view in comparison to Domek's more mellow one, and it falls down to how they offset each other as characters, not on the events themselves. While the book may start out on a slower pace until the bigger plot points are established, I wouldn't call a single instance in it boring and it's not just because I got to read fun battle scenes here and there. I was actually more drawn to the eerie and scary feel of the pijavice as they honestly felt like monsters, and I was even more interested when more information about them started appearing the more I got into the book like what happens after they get turned into one which was both intriguing and horrifying. The will of the wisp as well, once he came into being, the story got even more gripping because there is now an extra source of information that could provide the details I craved and providing a look at a different type of magic in this world while the characters went about solving the mysteries in Prague. The book deals with several of them, and I wouldn't necessarily call them hard to solve as I got two of the supposed big ones quite easily. Even then however, I wouldn't say any of them were bad, I enjoyed myself a lot and it was wrapped up neatly even when I thought that one of them might slip away. Final thing I want to comment on is the romance as I'm hater of that genre, and its inclusion in any of the books I read with the exception of like two at the top of my head. I found it to be tolerable in this book, and I think I'll go as far as to say that while I didn't care much for it, I didn't mind that it existed in it like I would in any other series and the main reason for that is simply because Nicole Jarvis gave the concerned characters a purpose and a sense of being outside of that relationship. There is nothing more I hate in included romances than when having a significant other seems to become more important than the plot like a certain on-hold book series that I can't bring myself to come back to, which makes me really glad of the way she handled it. I believe it's pretty clear that I enjoyed myself reading this book, and I believe that the author has a strong foundation in her craft which makes me even more excited for any upcoming books by her after this brilliant debut.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura)

    Thank you Titan Books for the gifted review copy!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Anita

    The setting of this novel was superb, and as someone that has visited Prague a couple of times, I feel like the author really captured the feel of the city. The way that the vampires functioned was also pretty original, and I liked the more cultural take on them - especially with the other supernatural elements that appear, like will-o-the-wisps and the White Lady of Prague. Sadly, there were also alot of things that didn't work for me. The characters needed more time to develop, and I found it h The setting of this novel was superb, and as someone that has visited Prague a couple of times, I feel like the author really captured the feel of the city. The way that the vampires functioned was also pretty original, and I liked the more cultural take on them - especially with the other supernatural elements that appear, like will-o-the-wisps and the White Lady of Prague. Sadly, there were also alot of things that didn't work for me. The characters needed more time to develop, and I found it hard to care about the romance even though I did like both of the characters quite abit - especially the vampiric character. But I think many readers will love the vampire hunter/vampire romance, as it got that enemies to lovers aspect to it! The plot itself I found kind of meh and predictable, but in the grand scheme of things this is not that bad. It is formulaic, and often I find that comforting, even if it wasn't to my taste here. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the arc! 3.5/5 stars.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

    ~2.5 stars Not saying it's not a good book....just not a book for me. ~2.5 stars Not saying it's not a good book....just not a book for me.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Aeshley

    This was so good! I loved the vampires in this and all the other monster lore. I really enjoyed the setting and all the side characters as well. The idea of an alchemical cure was so interesting to me and I got a lot of the same vibes as Underworld. Definitely a must read for classic vampire lovers and fans of Dracula and Underworld. (4.5)

  25. 4 out of 5

    Snowleesi

    I was overjoyed when I received a free review copy of this book from Edelweiss+. I grew up in Europe, grew up on Slavic mythology, and I am very familiar with it. Central and Eastern Europe is still too rare a setting in western literature, and Slavic myths and legends are even rarer a subject. This was a book I would definitely have reached for, sooner rather than later. I have never actually been to Prague, although I've visited nearby Slovakia, and I am familiar enough with old European cities I was overjoyed when I received a free review copy of this book from Edelweiss+. I grew up in Europe, grew up on Slavic mythology, and I am very familiar with it. Central and Eastern Europe is still too rare a setting in western literature, and Slavic myths and legends are even rarer a subject. This was a book I would definitely have reached for, sooner rather than later. I have never actually been to Prague, although I've visited nearby Slovakia, and I am familiar enough with old European cities to feel right at home in the descriptions of Prague, this novel's titular setting. The descriptions are vivid, they are atmospheric, and through them the city becomes a perfect setting for this Gothic story. The plot revolves around Domek, a lamplighter moonlighting as a vampire hunter, and Ora, a vampire living among the humans. Domek is a kind, but somewhat bumbling, young man tirelessly working to protect his city, friends, and family from a myriad of paranormal creatures deeply rooted in Slavic mythology (pijavice, rusalki, even a mention of a Golem!). Ora, the several-hundred-year old pijavica, is living a pretty routine "life" among the humans, until a sighting of a fellow vampire apparently committing suicide-by-sun draws her into the sinister machinations of the high society. Sounds good, right? And yet quickly my excitement - and with it my interest - waned. At first, I was merely getting annoyed by the frequent interruptions of the narrative to "dump" the backstory and other information to the readers. Unlike the descriptions of the setting, the plot becomes heavily "tell" instead of "show". I think the most egregious of these was when we find out that Domek and Ora are already acquainted, more - there is already some kind of emotional attachment/attraction that has developed between them. The lack of the traditional meet-cute is an enormous blunder on the authors' part, in my opinion, especially in a novel that is also a love story. A huge part of the reader forming attachments to the characters and falling for their romantic choices is being able to follow these budding romances from the beginning, and not "in medias res". Ultimately, I was unable to spark any interest in these protagonists, and by extension, in what was going to happen to them. By being described primarily through the other POV's eyes, and not enriched in enough internal thought, they lacked personality. I saw no allure in following their romance, because I was not there from its inception, and had no chance to fall in love alongside them. Everything exciting seemed to have already happened to them, including the unceremoniously revealed reasons for why Domek was fighting the forces of evil in the first place. The novel is in dire need of better pacing, better structure, more vivid characters. I wish the debuting author all the luck in the future – and kudos for including LGBT characters in major way.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Will

    4.25 / 5 ✪ https://arefugefromlife.wordpress.com... Prague, 1868. The quiet streets of Prague hide a secret, one that haunts these passages in the dead of night. Ancient and mythic beasts lurk in the shadows, preying upon anyone unfortunate enough to be out past sunset. And only those paid to bring light to the city’s dark stand between the monsters and their prey. Domek Myska is a lamplighter—a profession both dedicated to bring light to the darkened streets of Prague, but also to protect its citi 4.25 / 5 ✪ https://arefugefromlife.wordpress.com... Prague, 1868. The quiet streets of Prague hide a secret, one that haunts these passages in the dead of night. Ancient and mythic beasts lurk in the shadows, preying upon anyone unfortunate enough to be out past sunset. And only those paid to bring light to the city’s dark stand between the monsters and their prey. Domek Myska is a lamplighter—a profession both dedicated to bring light to the darkened streets of Prague, but also to protect its citizens from the evil that walks it. With the advent of gas lamps, the lamplighter presence in Prague has changed. While the lamps themselves keep the night at bay better and longer, fewer souls are required to keep this army of lights burning. And where there are fewer lamplighters, there are more monsters. With little to no backup, Domek is forced to rely on his own wit and skill to survive the night, with stakes of hawthorn and daggers of silver to help even the odds. But when he discovers a strange jar one night on the corpse of a pijavice (a vampire), the young lamplighter discovers there’s more renaissance in the city then just that of gas lamps. Lady Ora Fischerová is a permanent fixture amongst the city’s upperclass, but an enigmatic one at that. She’s known as an eccentric widow—having lost her husband a decade prior—albeit a beautiful one who hardly looks as though she’s aged since his passing. That’s because Ora harbors a secret of her own, hidden beneath layers only won by coin and eccentricity. She’s a pijavica, but lives a low-key life for one of her kind preferring venison and pork blood to that of humans. But while she calls some humans friend, some others would only see her as the demon that hunts in the night. Enter Domek, and a mutual hot-blooded attraction between the two. Neither knows about the other’s secret, but with the way things are going, it won’t be long before they find out. And what will happen when the cards fall—will either survive to see another sunrise, or will Prague itself fall into eternal darkness? For the jar, and its wisp occupant, Kája, represent a new weapon—a hope and danger both. But could these fortunes be reversed? And whom (if anyone) would Domek trust to make that distinction? With an atmosphere drenched in darkness and steeped in blood, The Lights of Prague represents the best of historical fantasy, combining a killer story, deep and meaningful characters, with a lush if claustrophobic setting. The backdrop of 1860’s Prague was breathtakingly beautiful: a city on the cusp of change from fire to gas; a city drenched in shadow but clinging to the light; a city built on the ruins of another that came before it, with the beings of the night lurking within. From tight back alleys to gilded opera halls to the mansions of the elite to the slums of the Jewish quarter, Nicole Jarvis sets the stage incredibly well! If not for the strength of its characters, I’d say the setting was the story’s strongest asset. Pargue did not know Domek, did not need him, but his life was overlaid on the ancient streets in watercolor, the patterns sheer and impermanent. But the characters are quite well done as well. Both Domek and Ora are well-fleshed, with their own history and motivations, intentions and ideals—so that while they may want in one another’s pants and/or gowns, they don’t necessarily want the same thing for Prague. And while the two may fall on the same side now and then, they definitely aren’t that way all the time. I loved their interactions—be they hot and heavy, violent, or even casual—and it was this that kept the story from ever feeling too weighed down or stagnant, even toward the end when the action-sequences sometimes threaten to override the plot. While Domek isn’t the brightest tool in the river, he makes up for it with his deep- and well-thought-out plans, his ingenuity and stubbornness. Ora’s just pretty amazing—no notes! But where these two are so strong, I found the supporting cast was a bit hit and miss. Some characters seemed deep enough to carry their own POVs, while others felt too hollow to be little more than set dressing. The POVs definitely carry the load, however, so there's relatively little to complain about, story-wise. TL;DR 1860’s Prague provides an incredible backdrop for any fantasy adventure, at least when one plays it up as well as Nicole Jarvis does. The city was resplendent, despite the story mostly taking place in the dead of night, where the streets are quiet, dark, and claustrophobic, and the atmosphere one of tension. While the story might get a bit iffy later on, the interactions between the two POV leads Domek and Ora provide more than enough of a reason to press on. Turns out, the characters are just as impressive as the world-building. Come for the vampires and dark atmosphere, stay for the romance, action and characters. Heartily recommended!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Brandee

    Check out this review and more on The Quill to Live! It’s only May, but I’ve been in a spOoOky mood. Lucky for me, The Lights of Prague makes its debut at the most perfect time to pander to my weird spring vibes. Nicole Jarvis promised me monsters, ghosts, and magic - and this book definitely delivers. I was eager to get lost in the dark streets of Prague but found myself removed from the story and forced to watch the events unfold. If you follow our reviews regularly, The Lights of Prague is als Check out this review and more on The Quill to Live! It’s only May, but I’ve been in a spOoOky mood. Lucky for me, The Lights of Prague makes its debut at the most perfect time to pander to my weird spring vibes. Nicole Jarvis promised me monsters, ghosts, and magic - and this book definitely delivers. I was eager to get lost in the dark streets of Prague but found myself removed from the story and forced to watch the events unfold. If you follow our reviews regularly, The Lights of Prague is also one of our Dark Horses of the first half of 2021. Vampiric monsters known as pijavica stalk humans in the streets of Prague. Most of these creatures are uncivilized and live in the city’s underground tunnels. Others find themselves hiding in plain sight amongst Prague’s upper class. Domek Myska is fighting against the darkness as he lights lamps across the city while hunting creatures of the night. After one of his rounds, Domek comes into possession of a will-o'-the-wisp whose untapped power is now his to command. This removes him from his previously unassuming life and thrusts him into the spotlight as dangerous people start to take notice of his existence. On the other hand, we have Lady Ora Fischerová, a recent widow who simply wants to quietly mourn her late husband and indulge in her lavish lifestyle. However, her government friends have other plans and pull her into an undercover operation to investigate rumors of a pijavica cure. Domek and Ora’s paths begin to cross as they fight unknown forces in the shadows. The Lights of Prague takes a shallow approach with its monsters, schemes, and violence. Each scene was described matter-of-factly and didn’t dive into the heart of the situation. All the emotion was pushed aside, so I failed to make the deep connections that are needed for the darker side of this story to hit home. The book is very plot-driven and doesn’t create a lot of depth around the characters or their relationships. This makes for a super easy read as Jarvis pushes us along quickly through the events. And while the pacing makes it easy to digest, the story doesn’t pull you into the world. It left me feeling like an outsider because I wasn’t invested in the people or the outcome. While the majority of the story was a smooth, adventurous ride through the streets of Prague, I constantly tripped over the awkward dialogue. I found the conversations and moments between characters stilted. Their dialogue seemed robotic, and it was missing an emotional element to make it feel real. My missed connection with the characters really reared its head during these moments. Jarvis does a nice job pacing the plot, but things would get bumpy when people interacted. The characters in Prague are very uneven. Ora steals the show, while Domek and the supporting cast fade into the night. She is the strongest character by far and has a defined backstory that informs us of her thoughts and actions in the present day. She’s stuck in her grief, and I like how Jarvis puts her in uncomfortable situations to confront her demons. I found Ora’s story to be more compelling as Domek seemed to bumble through his situation. He does jump into the action without a second thought but there is a lot of worrying that takes place in between. You can’t help but like the guy because he’s unbelievably good and honorable, but Ora brought the fire to light this story up. While I would say The Lights of Prague is not the strongest debut of 2021, it is still an interesting enough read especially if you want a plot that doesn’t stop. I’m definitely more of a character reader, so while I missed that particular element, this book can certainly entertain anyone looking for an effortless read. Rating: 6.0/10

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Williams

    https://lynns-books.com/2021/05/24/th... 3 of 5 stars My Five Word TL:DR Review : I wanted to love this I really did expect to love this one. Prague.. Vampires. Gothic. This is my catnip In fact it’s what I’ve been waiting for. And, to be fair to Jarvis, there’s a lot of positive vibes here, but somehow, although I liked the story it failed to make me connect with either the characters or the place. To the story. Basically, we follow Domek Myska. This is the gaslight era where science was starting t https://lynns-books.com/2021/05/24/th... 3 of 5 stars My Five Word TL:DR Review : I wanted to love this I really did expect to love this one. Prague.. Vampires. Gothic. This is my catnip In fact it’s what I’ve been waiting for. And, to be fair to Jarvis, there’s a lot of positive vibes here, but somehow, although I liked the story it failed to make me connect with either the characters or the place. To the story. Basically, we follow Domek Myska. This is the gaslight era where science was starting to play a part in everyone’s lives for example here, the dark streets of Prague, lit by gas lamps, forcing the monsters to retreat even further into the darkness. At the same time the monsters here are still hidden, the majority of the population are unaware of the vampires or pijavice that they are known as. Now, the gaslighters are more than they seem. They act as a kind of monster hunter force, lighting the streets whilst eliminating monsters and keeping people safe. In terms of plot, we have a vampire slayer and a vampire. The two have been circling each other in a romantic way, unaware that they are natural enemies. On top of this, following a late night attack, Domek has stumbled onto something secret that will change things in the worst possible way – for humans at least. Lady Ora Fischerová is part of the nobility but she is also a pijavice or vampire and for some time she’s been flirting with Domek, blissfully unaware of the danger he could pose to her. Ora was turned hundreds of years ago but she now resists the natural life of a vampire. In fact she loved and married a human who she still mourns. Ora is about to be pulled back into the vampire underworld against her own better judgement. Prague lends itself naturally to the supernatural elements of the story. A beautiful city with dark tunnels beneath where danger lurks. This is a city with ghosts, vampires and much more. So, I enjoyed this but it didn’t ‘wow’ me in quite the way I hoped for or expected. It’s difficult to put my finger on why that is exactly. I think it boils down to two things. I failed to really engage with either Domek or Ora and this led to a lack of fear or tension when they stepped into the fray. And the two of them certainly face danger as the story progresses. Basically, this was certainly not a bad story, or difficult to read, but it didn’t deliver the gothic fantasy I was eager for and in some ways the plot was a little obvious. I was hoping for a little more menace from the vampires but felt the threat was never quite realised, even when they were striving to become something much more dangerous. Overall, I think this could possibly be down to my own reading mood or the fact that I over hyped this one to such an extent that it would always be difficult to live up to such notions. I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks. The above is my own opinion.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Vivienne

    My thanks to Titan Books for an eARC via NetGalley of ‘The Lights of Prague’ by Nicole Jarvis in exchange for an honest review. On publication I purchased its ebook and audiobook editions. There was a great deal in this novel’s description that appealed to me. It is set in 1868 Prague where all kinds of mysterious creatures lurk in the shadows. The Lamplighters are a secret group of monster hunters that protect the citizens against these predators. Domek Myska is a lamplighter whose life is fille My thanks to Titan Books for an eARC via NetGalley of ‘The Lights of Prague’ by Nicole Jarvis in exchange for an honest review. On publication I purchased its ebook and audiobook editions. There was a great deal in this novel’s description that appealed to me. It is set in 1868 Prague where all kinds of mysterious creatures lurk in the shadows. The Lamplighters are a secret group of monster hunters that protect the citizens against these predators. Domek Myska is a lamplighter whose life is filled with encounters with the pijavice, bloodthirsty and soulless vampiric creatures. Domek has two unusual encounters that changes his life. First, he finds himself shadowed by the White Lady, a ghost who haunts the baroque halls of Prague castle. Then he comes into possession of the sentient essence of a will-o’-the-wisp, captured in a mysterious container. As the wisp’s bearer Domek now in theory wields its power. Yet the wisp resists being controlled. Domek has a close friend in Lady Ora Fischerová - a widow with secrets of her own. Together they uncover a conspiracy amongst the pijavice that could see them unleash terror on the daylight world. Definitely this historical urban fantasy was a strong debut. I felt that Domek and Lady Ora were well developed protagonists and I quickly became very invested in their stories. I also felt that Nicole Jarvis recreated the shadowy streets of Prague brilliantly incorporating its cityscape and history to great effect. Overall, ‘The Lights of Prague’ appealed to the deepest cockles of my Gothic heart. I shall be looking forward to news of Nicole Jarvis’ future projects. On a side note, the cover designed by Julia Lloyd is wonderful and captures the essence of this atmospheric novel. Highly recommended.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    {4.5 stars} “Prague did not know Domek, did not need him, but his life was overlaid on the ancient streets in watercolor, the patterns sheer and impermanent.” ————————————- I've found another fabulous addition to my vampire book collection. The Lights of Prague is dark and compelling and full of unusual magic and monsters. Domek is a lamplighter, his job, on paper, is to be out at night lighting the gas lamps around the city. Lamplighters, however, are secretly charged with protecting the city from {4.5 stars} “Prague did not know Domek, did not need him, but his life was overlaid on the ancient streets in watercolor, the patterns sheer and impermanent.” ————————————- I've found another fabulous addition to my vampire book collection. The Lights of Prague is dark and compelling and full of unusual magic and monsters. Domek is a lamplighter, his job, on paper, is to be out at night lighting the gas lamps around the city. Lamplighters, however, are secretly charged with protecting the city from demon attacks. The most fearsome threat are pijavice: immortal soulless former humans who subsist on human blood (essentially vampires). When there are reports that some of these demons have been spotted in the sunlight, the lamplighters group is frantic to figure out how this is possible and stop it before the pijavice become unstoppable. Not all pijavice are hell-bent on killing humans and grabbing power, in fact there are some hiding in plain sight. When Domek learns that not all demons are as evil as he thought and the cost of the magic giving them this new capability, he must decide whether eradicating all demons is the right path. I love that Prague itself served as a character, the atmospheric descriptions of every dark corner and gilt theater was so immersive. Domek's evolution from unwavering vampire hunter to a more nuanced hero was quite satisfying to watch. This is an excellent addition to any vampire, witch or magic lover's shelves! Other quotes I loved: "Monsters come from humanity." "There was something melancholic yet comforting about a silent library. So much knowledge sat unlearned. Books without readers were just paper."

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