Book Tour: Review of Midnight Srikes by Zeba Shahnaz

A special thank you to TBR and Beyond for hosting this exciting book tour. To see the full book tour schedule, click here.


In this explosive fantasy debut with a time-loop twist, a provincial girl must work with a roguish prince to stop an attack on the royal family and escape a nightmarish curse that forces them to relive the same night again and again.

Seventeen-year-old Anaïs just wants tonight to end. As an outsider at the kingdom’s glittering anniversary ball, she has no desire to rub shoulders with the nation’s most eligible (and pompous) bachelors—especially not the notoriously roguish Prince Leo. But at the stroke of midnight, an explosion rips through the palace, killing everyone in its path. Including her.

The last thing Anaïs sees is fire, smoke, chaos . . . and then she wakes up in her bedroom, hours before the ball. No one else remembers the deadly attack or believes her warnings of disaster.

Not even when it happens again. And again. And again.

If she’s going to escape this nightmarish time loop, Anaïs must take control of her own fate and stop the attack before it happens. But the court’s gilded surface belies a rotten core, full of restless nobles grabbing at power, discontented commoners itching for revolution, and even royals who secretly dream of taking the throne. It’s up to Anaïs to untangle these knots of deadly deceptions . . . if she can survive past midnight.

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5 Reasons You Should Read Midnight Strikes

1- The luscious word choice of Shahnaz paints an enchanting picture for the reader to enjoy.

2- If you enjoy court drama and balls, Midnight Strikes is the book for you.

3-Midnight Strikes has a clear magic system (blood magic).


5-Mindnight Strike is a unique fantasy romance, something you have not encountered before.

My thoughts

Overall I enjoyed Midnight Strikes. It has everything I look for in a YA: tension, a budding romance, an engaging main character, and a time loop.

I enjoyed the time loop elements. I am a sucker for a character or group who must relive an event until they can escape it. It is fun yet frustrating to experience. Shahnaz provides enough tension for the time loop to be enjoyable without overdoing it. As much as I wanted some relief for Anaïs, the fact that she had to carry the weight of the time loop made the story more impactful. She was challenged and grew as a character as the story progressed. Shahnaz freshly writes each day, so the reader is not taxed with many repetitive scenes.

Anaïs is an interesting main character; she is clever and determined to break the loop while saving everyone. Just because she is willing to do so does not mean she is looking to be the hero. Shahnaz has written Anaïs in a way that she has realistic reactions to the unfolding events. While I enjoyed the character, my favorite element was the world-building. Shahnaz creates a magical world with power struggles and caste systems. I know this is a common element in most novels, but Shahnaz crafts her world in a realistic yet enchanting way.

I really liked a few design elements, such as the chapter page design and cover. It has been a long since I last saw this in a book. Each chapter page has clock details in the corner, which is nice.

About the Author

Zeba Shahnaz writes fantasy full of political intrigue, twisted romance, and a healthy dose of existential angst. A proud Pakistani-American, she translated her love of storytelling into a graduate degree analyzing national identity, culture, and cinema in South Asia. She grew up in New Jersey, which she has yet to fully escape (though not because of a time loop). MIDNIGHT STRIKES is her debut novel.

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