Review: The Cage of Dark Hours by Marina J. Lostetter

Series: The Five Penalties #2
Author: Marina J. Lostetter
Publisher: Tor Books
Released: February 14, 2023
Received: NetGalley

4 kitties

Book Summary:

For a moment, it seemed like the Charbon (the long-dead serial killer) was finally in the past. Naturally, they were wrong. Once again, Krona and her Regulators will have to step up to protect the city. However, it’s never as easy as it sounds.

To protect the city, they must delve into the secrets of Thalo – a child’s tale that may hold more truth than fiction. Without this hidden key, they will stand no chance of protecting their city. They may win the battle, but not the war.

My Review:

I love fantasy series like The Five PenaltiesThe Cage of Dark Hours is dark, tense, gritty, and so brilliant. It made for a suspenseful read, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. In a way, diving back into Krona’s world felt a lot like coming home. Though I say that, I’m not so certain I would enjoy living here (or that I would survive…).

There’s a bit of a time jump between the two books, which is normally jarring for me. But it felt seamless here as if the passing of time was a natural consequence. Or maybe that’s just my anxiety about Charbon talking. Hard to be sure.

I’m already counting down the days until the release of the third and final part of this trilogy. I need to know how they bring it all to an end.


  • Expansive World
  • Myths and Magic
  • Trilogy
  • LGBT+

Trigger Warnings:

  • Serial killer

Thanks to Tor Books and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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