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3.9 out of 5 stars
8
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 16 August 2008
Welcome to the world of Tess and her best friend Derrick they both work for the Central Occult Regulation Enterprise or CORE for short. Tess is a OSI - Occult Special Investigator just like a CSI but for the supernatural world of Demons and Mages. This world is set in our world. The story starts out with the death of a vampire in a alley way and the CORE are called in to investigate. So begins a good story beginning with the death of a vampire which leads to Mia a 13 year old girl in need of protection. Tess makes the decision to risk her career in order to protect Mia and so embarks on a superantual conspiracy. Chasing down one of her leads Tess interviews Lucian (yum) a necromancer who become part of the story.

I really enjoyed this story and will be buying the sequel?. The only grip I have about this book is that sometimes the story can ramble on about the technical aspect of what they are investigating. Once or twice not often I felt like saying JUST GET ON WITH IT. Hence the four stars. Otherwise a really good book. If you are into urban fantasy with a sassy flawed lead character, magic, vampires, and trusty side kick Derrick (who you can not help but like) then you will enjoy Night Child.
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on 19 July 2008
I realy enjoyed this first novel in what appears to be a new urban fantasy series, by a Canadian author, set in Vancouver. That the author is Canadian is significant for British readers as there is something much more akin to British humour than is found in American books - perhaps the sense of irony? Anyway, we meet Tess and side-kick Derrick who work as Occult Special Investigators investigating the death of a vampire. Both Tess (haunted by dreams of fire when she failed to save a childhood friend) and Derrick (the more cerebral and gay) are well thought out characters, both very credible and are both only half human with a demon parent as well. Their relationship with the 13-year old girl, Mia, is at the centre of the investigation into a paranormal conspiracy and is gradually developed with both pathos and humour. Vancouver is also lovingly protrayed with some magical differences. With some great one-line jokes and a developing relationship between Tess and necromancer Lucian, I very much look forward to a second outing (!) of these characters.
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on 22 February 2012
I wish I'd picked Night Child up sooner. There's an excellent independent fantasy bookshop near me, and I've read the back of this book several times, but somehow never picked it up. Thankfully, I saw it for 2.99 last weekend and grabbed it straight away.

Jes Battis kicks off the story with Tess looking at a body in the wee hours of the morning. There's apparently some tension between vampires & mages (like Tess & her team), which makes it a delicate situation to be doing a vampire postmortem. Tess has a review coming up, and her boss who seems to enjoy picking at her, is trying to get her to run this case exactly the way it's supposed to go. I like that she sticks to her convictions despite that. When Mia gets in touch with Tess and her partner Derrick, Tess sticks with what she thinks is right, even though it risks her losing her job. This is a constant through the book - Tess is of an age where she should normally be higher up in the structure of the OSIs, but she enjoys the job she's got, so she's stayed there. It was good to see a female lead who isn't the most magically powerful, or the biggest in the playground in other ways, but can still be described as 'strong'. I think there is potential there for us to learn more about her power in later books and for her to become more than she thinks she is - it reminds be a bit of the early Rachel Morgan books by Kim Harrison.

I did find the early chapters a little slow going, but after a break of a couple of days, I really got in to it, and I hope to read the next one soon. I don't want to say too much about the plot, because there are lots of twists and turns, but I'm interested to see where things go from here - a couple of incidents from Tess's past clearly affect her in this book, and I want to see if the events of Night Child change things.

I really enjoyed this first book by Jes Battis, and I certainly plan on picking up book 2 in the OSI series, A Flash Of Hex, soon. I'd recommend it to fans of Kim Harrison and Tanya Huff. I give Night Child 7 out of 10. [This review was originally posted by me at The Book Bundle - if you liked it, please consider following the blog at [....]
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VINE VOICEon 22 December 2009
The story is about a OSI (Occult Special Investigator, FBI for the non-humans!) named Tess, who at the age of 24 has failed to progress her way up the ranks, she has remained at level 1 since her teenage years. Her partner/sidekick is her friend gay best friend Derrick. Tess and Derrick are both part demon/part human and they are put on to the mysterious case of a dead vampire who was somehow connected to a 13 year old girl called Mia, who is now in danger. Tess and Mia decide that they are going to protect Mia, meaning that they have to disobey their superiors who have ordered them off the case.
The first third of the book is so-so, with far too much technical detail about forensics but a soon as Lucien the necromancer is introduced I perked up. He and Tess have some sort of connection but she is scared by his dark powers and tries to resist him.
From here onwards the story picked up pace and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The reader begins to get clues about why Tess has been held back at level 1 and the ending is unpredictable which makes a pleasant change. I'm looking forward to the sequel and would recommend it to people who enjoy reading stuff such as Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs or the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong. More detective/urban fantasy than romance.
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on 23 February 2009
Night Child is the debut novel from author Jes Battis and it focuses on Tess Corday, and OSI-1 investigator who stumbles into a mysterious case involving a dead vampire and a teenage girl named Mia. I think the best way to describe this novel is think Buffy, the Vampire Slayer/Charmed meets CSI with a dark twist.

The main character, Tess Corday is actually a very likable, first person narrator. I have found that quite often it is difficult to like the main character in a first person novel, but here Tess is a fun, feisty, relateable character whose tenancy to act first and think later is all part of her charm. We get the story through her eyes, so one of the most likable characters in the novel is her best friend and college Derrick who takes on the sidekick role and often gets some of the best lines his relationship with Tess is a fun, deep and trusting friendship. We also have other characters such as Lucian a necromancer who Tess is drawn to, Selena Tess' boss/teacher who I found to be another extremely likable character and Marcus the big boss who isn't the friendliest of people towards Tess.

The story itself has a good few twists and turns, the story is well developed and well thought out and the main twist at the end was surprising in some ways, but in others I managed to figure out what was going on as the book progressed. Battis makes good use of mythology, often exploring different supernatural elements such as scyring, glamouring, telepathy as well as having a whole cast of characters with special powers and different supernatural beings such as mages, vampires and necromancers.

I picked this novel up after wanting to read it for quite some time, and although it did take me a while to get into it - likely due to the amount of technical babble that the author has chosen to include, once I got about half way through I couldn't put it down until I finished, in fact I think I read the last third of it in one sitting almost. But there is, as I said quite a lot of technical language relating to forensics and that side of the novel, which I can't make my mind up over if I think it helped the novel or not. I think what makes the novel different is the inclusion of all the forensics language, so it kind of makes the supernatural side of the story fit better into the real world because it creates scientific explanations of what is going on and obviously it is all fantasy, but Battis does a good job of making it sound "real". The writing is top notch, there are a lot of pop culture references, perhaps a few too many sometimes but it's all part of the tone of the book and again, makes you think of Buffy.

One thing that did bother me slightly was the ending, there seemed to be a lack of closure for such a well thought out, well researched and well written novel. The story kind of just stopped, I would have liked to have seen what happened after the action stopped and the villains were defeated, I don't know maybe we'll find out in the next book but it would have been nice to have been left with a sense of closure. This is probably one of my only major complaints about the novel, because other than the fairly abrupt ending the story was great.

Overall, this is a decent debut novel and I will be picking up the sequel A Flash of Hex when it is released later in the year. Hopefully by then Battis will have perfected the balance between supernatural, fantasy and technical jargon because here the technical language does seem to take over the main narrative from time to time but this is still an interesting and entertaining read for fans of the urban fantasy genre.
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on 20 December 2009
I found myself conflicted over my opinion of this book. Overall it is reasonably well written, with occasional sections that drag you into the story. The plot, while simple, is enjoyable and not immediately obvious from page one. However I also found it full of inconsistancies, and lacking in explanation for the world background. I kept waiting for vital information to be given either as expose or contextual background, but it never turned up. I am still unclear after finishing the book if supernaturals are a known part of the human world or living in secret. I am not sure what exactly the CORE (governing body for the OSI) is, why it exists or what it's powers are (if any) over the various supernaturals (who might actually be variants of one type, also unclear).
**Spoilers below**
I am confused as to why there is an OSI at all given the apparent ability of CORE members to view events as if there were there - for one segment of the book there is a tape watched of a crucial event, with no explanation as to how it was obtained. The bureacracy is confused, and there appears to be no actual reason for any of the procedures given. There is no clear distinction between what the different ranks of OSI do, although emphasis is placed on the main character still only being OSI 1. She describes herself as a preliminary crime scene examiner, but then goes on to do the equivilent work of a senior detective. Tess refers to herself as over the hill in matters of magic at 24 years old while her main boss, a middle aged male character, is in his prime but no explanation is given for the difference. The apparent sex interest, Lucian is rather two dimensional and always turns up very conveniently to save Tess.

I did enjoy enough of the book that I will buy the sequel to see if the writing has improved, but if it has not I won't be buying a third.
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on 31 March 2010
This was more of a weird CSI lecture than a novel, the pseudo science got more attention than the characters none of whom were memorable. I bought this thinking it would be along the lines of Mark Delfranco's Connor Grey series and I was bitterly disappointed. I had to force myself to finish it, but I wish I hadn't bothered.
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on 24 November 2008
This is one of the best urban fantasies I have read. A gripping tale, truly unique, but with all the passion Ilona Andrews, the race of Kay Scarpetta, and a healthy dose of Jim Butcher. Truly worth reading and a bright new light in the genre of urban fantasy.
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