Monday 6 June 2022

Book Review | Book of Night by Holly Black | prettylittlewriter

'In Charlie Hall’s world, shadows can be altered, for entertainment and cosmetic preferences—but also to increase power and influence. You can alter someone’s feelings—and memories—but manipulating shadows has a cost, with the potential to take hours or days from your life. Your shadow holds all the parts of you that you want to keep hidden—a second self, standing just to your left, walking behind you into lit rooms. And sometimes, it has a life of its own.

Charlie is a low-level con artist, working as a bartender while trying to distance herself from the powerful and dangerous underground world of shadow trading. She gets by doing odd jobs for her patrons and the naive new money in her town at the edge of the Berkshires. But when a terrible figure from her past returns, Charlie’s present life is thrown into chaos, and her future seems at best, unclear—and at worst, non-existent. Determined to survive, Charlie throws herself into a maelstrom of secrets and murder, setting her against a cast of doppelgängers, mercurial billionaires, shadow thieves, and her own sister—all desperate to control the magic of the shadows.'
This is a novel that I had massive high hopes for. I've heard so much praise for Holly Black, the Folk of the Air series on my tbr pile, I was expecting to be thoroughly impressed. 
So when I started reading it, and every character seemed dull and lifeless, with no gripping storyline, tensions or suspense, I was left feeling completely deflated. 

I read this novel as a buddy read, and myself and my buddy felt the exact same throughout. We had to force ourselves to read it, and both said if we weren't reading it together, we probably would have marked it as a DNF. 

I didn't find any of the characters interesting, the only one I was remotely interested in was Vince, but we barely got any details on him, and considering he was a major part of the novel, it was pretty disappointing. 

The world building was very slow, but it did have some interesting magic elements (shadow magic), which weren't particularly complicated, but I can't say I really understood it all (I still don't know what a Hierophant is, amongst other things). 

Overall, I found that the novel had a massive amount of potential, but fell completely flat on its face, and I won't be reading the sequel.

(side note, the fairyloot/illumicrate editions are pretty gorgeous though).

2.5/5 stars

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