City of Day – Deadly by Night
By day, Astera is a bustling port city with shops, markets, shipyards, and people going about their day to day lives. But every night when the sun sets, the people of Astera board ships and abandon their home to dark, murderous ghosts —
Thislen lost his father to the vengeful spirits years ago and has barely survived on the streets as a common thief since. He dreams of escaping the dark truths of the island for good, but a family secret keeps him tied to the island and the oppressive Ruling Council. When he finds he is not the only one avoiding the entitled and sadistic gaze of Astera’s nobility, Thislen plans to help the gentle healer Mila leave everything behind to save them both - him from secrets and her from an unwanted marriage.
However, Lord Soren Bestant, head of the Ruling Council and spurned suitor, won’t let them go so easily. Caught and sentenced to a night on the island and the mercy of the Vaim, Thislen’s only hope is to reveal his family’s secret to save them, or die. But Mila’s family has a secret of its own, as does the Ruling Council.
The Vaim are not what they seem — and the fate of the kingdom hangs on the truth.
City of Day is the first novel of Astera from October K. Santerelli (Storm’s Eye).
October K Santerelli is an author, LGBTQ+ sensitivity reader, and international speaker and presenter who calls Denver, Colorado ‘home.’ His works span several genres, including fantasy, historic romance, and science fiction. He writes for multiple age groups, having in the past written for young adult and adult audiences. Santerelli has written in multiple formats, creating everything from novels, novellas, and short stories to comic scripts and video game pitches.
His career began with training the dog of a best-selling author, and led through one networking opportunity after another until he was introduced to award-winning author David Brin. His first published novel was STORM’S EYE, in Brin’s Out of Time universe. It was his first science fiction piece.
His second work, CITY OF DAY, released in February 2023 and was the first book of his debut fantasy trilogy, the Nightfall series. Though it was the first tale in the world of Astera, it will not be the last. The Nightfall series will conclude with book three in 2025. The books are published by Falstaff Books, the Misfit Toys of Publishing.
You can learn more about October on his About page.
I love [City of Day]! It was such a unique world and I couldn't stop thinking about it. As soon as I finished the story I was ready for the sequel! The tone is very reminiscent of Howl's Moving Castle, both the book and the movie, and Stardust. October K Santerelli jumped onto my must-buy list with this.
I initially thought [City of Day] was going to be a story about surviving a city infested with murderous creatures that only stalk the night. What I got to read instead was an adventure where two richly developed protagonists scrambled their way through a society of daytime life while waiting for the inevitable dusk and its monstrous perils. Well worth your time!
[City of Day] starts off fast and keeps you hanging on until the end. The worldbuilding is fantastic, and the backstories are giving in little drops of relevant bites rather than info dumping all at once, which helps keep the story moving forward. Overall, great book and I can’t wait to see what happens in book 2!