Dead by Morning by Kayla Krantz

Book Blurb: Obsession is deadly. No one learns that better than Luna Ketz, a pessimistic high school senior. She wishes more than anything to graduate but things don’t always go as planned. Luna quickly finds herself trapped in a web of lies and murders, spun by the least suspected person in her hometown. It’s not long before she realizes she’s being targeted by the person she despises most in the world. When Luna figures out who is behind the killings, things make a turn for the bizarre when she is contacted by a friend she has not heard from in years. It is then Luna realizes she is very much in danger, but although she can avoid the killer in reality, she cannot avoid him in her dreams.

In the first chapter of Dead by Morning (Rituals of the Night: Book One), it came off as a twisted and fresh version of “shy, loner catches the eye of the most popular and hottest guy at school despite his ‘superior’ social ranking” style novel. And, it didn’t disappoint–but it was also much more than that.

Luna wants nothing to do with Chance, despite his unyielding adoration and questionable efforts to get her attention. Luna can’t understand how everyone else falls under Chance’s spell, while all she sees is a controlling, manipulative and possibly dangerous jerk. 

Chance’s character is believable and I could tell the author did her research. Luna’s pessimistic, intelligent and more serious–because she doesn’t have time for bs–personality was also refreshing and believable. I could relate to her and understand the various emotions she felt during the story.

At first, Luna’s father seemed a bit unrealistic and it almost seemed too easy for Chance to integrate himself into Luna’s personal life. However, I remember having friends whose parents acted just as Luna’s father, which only made the situation more frustrating as I read. Parents, trust your kids over random strangers. Seriously. They have instincts for a reason.

I had actually forgotten how much I enjoy thrillers and horrors. I’ve mostly stuck to the paranormal romance and fantasy genre for the past few years. However, after reading Dead by Morning I find myself checking out books in the horror and thriller genres more often. 

I feel like enough questions were answered to wrap up book one, yet as the situation stands, I have substantial reason to continue reading the series. Hence, the reason I signed up to be an advanced reader for the second book in the Rituals of the Night series: Alive at Sunset, which will  be released on November 15th. I’ll be sure to post my review here once I finish reading. 

Dead by Morning took me on a surprising and horrifying adventure almost from the beginning. I think the story started well and continued at a good pace. I appreciated the supernatural elements and the variety of characters, as the personalities seemed unique and developed. I recommend this book to anyone with an interest in psychological thrillers. 

You can get your copy in e-book for only 99 cents and paperback for $13 on Amazon.

Dead by Morning is also available on Smashwords.

Also available for free through Kindle Unlimited.

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