In this explosive fantasy debut, a provincial girl must work with an infuriatingly handsome prince to escape a nightmarish curse that forces them to relive the same night over and over.
"The time-loop fantasy you never knew you needed, where the fairytale ball is bloody and Cinderella is the Final Girl."—Gina Chen, New York Times bestselling author of Violet Made of Thorns
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.
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.
is pure, high-octane fun
. With whip-smart worldbuilding, spectacular twists, and the angsty romance of my dreams, Shahnaz’s debut is guaranteed to keep you up reading until midnight. A masterclass in YA fantasy
.”—Allison Saft, New York Times
bestselling author of Down Comes the Night
and A Far Wilder Magic
"Intricate and swoony
, Midnight Strikes
is the time-loop fantasy you never knew you needed, where the fairytale ball is bloody and Cinderella is the Final Girl. I'd gladly follow Anaïs until the end of time."—Gina Chen, New York Times
bestselling author of Violet Made of Thorns
"A twisty, glittering and breathtaking
fantasy romance that will ensnare you and refuse to let you go."—Tasha Suri, author of The Jasmine Throne
"Shahnaz’s gripping debut is a twisty story...slowly unveiling a plot full of courtly intrigue with a determined lead character whose personal agency is the focus. Riveting, time-looping fun.
"Anaïs’s profound feelings of isolation and loneliness, and her repeated deaths, including her subsequent grief and trauma following each, are handled with complexity and gravitas
alongside discussions of intersectionality in this elaborate debut."—Publishers Weekly
“…Anaïs is a heroine well worth rooting for
: resourceful, clever, and rarely one to indulge in self-pity, she enters each night with a gritty determination to stop the violence and put things right.” —The Bulletin
"Shahnaz has created an entire world of rich cultures and history....A perfect
choice for fans of second chances, also third, fourth, etc." —School Library Journal