Thursday 6 October 2022

Book Review | Gallant by V. E. Schwab | prettylittlewriter

Olivia Prior has grown up in Merilance School for girls, and all she has of her past is her mother’s journal—which seems to unravel into madness. Then, a letter invites Olivia to come home—to Gallant. Yet when Olivia arrives, no one is expecting her. But Olivia is not about to leave the first place that feels like home, it doesn’t matter if her cousin Matthew is hostile or if she sees half-formed ghouls haunting the hallways.

Olivia knows that Gallant is hiding secrets, and she is determined to uncover them. When she crosses a ruined wall at just the right moment, Olivia finds herself in a place that is Gallant—but not. The manor is crumbling, the ghouls are solid, and a mysterious figure rules over all. Now Olivia sees what has unraveled generations of her family, and where her father may have come from.

Olivia has always wanted to belong somewhere, but will she take her place as a Prior, protecting our world against the Master of the House? Or will she take her place beside him?’

This was a spooky read!

My very first Schwab novel, and at times I was very creeped out, she certainly knows how to create a terrifying atmosphere! The Ghouls that Olivia could see from the beginning felt very warm and protective (I knew straight away that they were not dangerous to her) but the shadows in ‘other’ Gallant, were very spooky and at times this felt like an adult horror story, rather than a YA novel.

I loved the diary entries and the drawings, having her mother’s voice within created more depth and I felt very empathetic for Olivia as she tried to get closer to her Mother by finding out what happened to her (although half the time I couldn’t actually tell what the drawings were of!). Schwab’s writing is incredibly lyrical and beautiful, and it certainly gives me major FOMO and I now need to read the rest of her back catalogue!

All the characters were incredibly interesting, and her cousin Matthew ended up being a very surprising character indeed and I ended up liking him a lot! I would have liked a little more about him actually, as he played such a big part in the book in the end! 

I also loved that Olivia was Mute, I've never read a book where the main character speaks no words, and I was thoroughly impressed by it!

The only reason I haven’t given this 5 stars is that I found it a slow burner, with a very fast and lacklustre ending. It was only after the halfway point that a villain came into play, which then kick-started a very exciting rest of the story, until I got to the end of the book, which just had a very sudden ending, which was kind of resolved, but also not (if you read the book you’ll understand what I mean by this!). I just felt that it was incredibly well written, and the storyline was there, but it just wasn’t as impressive as it could have been, there was a lot that was missing.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this for anyone that’s a fan of Schwab, or spooky/mysterious stories, but be aware you may be disappointed by the ending.


4/5 stars

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