Jayne Castle’s "The Lost Night": a short take

Rating: 4 out of 5

Review book courtesy of Penguin Group


The Lost Night (A Rainshadow Novel) is by Jayne Ann Krentz, writing as Jayne Castle. It’s an odd book, set in a world called Harmony, peopled with folks who have odd and unusual abilities, containing such creatures as dust bunnies (they seem to make very devoted companions)—among more dangerous things. Yet it’s surprisingly modern-day in its setting despite that, complete with roads, cottages, and even SUVs. (I gather there are other Harmony novels, but I found this one stood alone surprisingly well.)

Rachel Blake has the ability to detect the auras of dangerous psychic criminals, but she’s retreated from the world and moved to the peaceful Rainshadow Island, where she operates a bookstore and cafe. Nevertheless, things aren’t quite right for her—she’s missing a night in her memory, and has no idea where she was or what she was doing during that time.

Harry Sebastian has arrived on the island to investigate strange and possibly dangerous developments in the alien wood known as the Preserve. He’s drawn to Rachel on a personal level, but he thinks he also needs her help to figure out what’s going on. And she just might be the one person who can balance Harry’s own dark gift…


Due to the backlog of books I read but didn’t review while I was having medication problems, I find myself with books to review that I don’t perfectly remember every detail of. Hence, the new “short take” review format. I’ll do my best to pull up at least a vague and semi-helpful rendering of whether I enjoyed the book and why.

I liked The Lost Night quite a bit, although it didn’t bowl me over. The dust bunnies add a great bit of whimsy in particular. There’s a little discordance between the darker and lustier parts of the book and the whimsical light-heartedness found in the rest, but it isn’t too jarring. The unusual talents of Rachel, Harry, and those like them keep things interesting, and the mysteries surrounding the Preserve and Rachel’s lost night keep the plot moving. Despite the fact that Harry and Rachel are so different and, at a surface level, seemingly incompatible, the pairing worked for me.

I won’t add this to my “absolute must-keep” shelves of books, but I definitely enjoyed the experience of reading it and would certainly read more books set in the same world.

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