ARC Review: "Book of Night" by Holly Black

Book of Night by Holly Black
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

#1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black makes her stunning adult debut with Book of Night, a modern dark fantasy of shadowy thieves and secret societies in the vein of Ninth House and The Night Circus

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 doppelgangers, mercurial billionaires, shadow thieves, and her own sister—all desperate to control the magic of the shadows.

With sharp angles and prose, and a sinister bent, Holly Black is a master of shadow and story stitching. Remember while you read, light isn’t playing tricks in Book of Night, the people are.



I received an e-ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. 

Holly Black leaves Faerie Realm for the world of shadow magic. A world where for some strange reason shadows can become alive and sinister magic is hidden behind it. Carlie Hall is a con artist coming for a broken family who deals on books connected to shadow magic or blood magic...but has no trust for the people around her.

Living with her sister and Vince her boyfriend, she will slowly become entangled with the politics of her city and an old enemy from her past will resurface, trying to steal an otherworldly book that may hold secrets to immortality...or death itself.

Coming from books by Holly Black that had lots of action and intrigue, I found this book too slow, hence the missing star. I loved the slow weaving of introducing this new world but at times I found myself missing the action I became accustomed to with the Cruel Prince series.

But since I can not compare two series that have way different development, my kudos go to the character development. I knew that Vince was fishy but never did I imagine how he could develop. Charlie is a person broken by others in her spirit but she is loyal to those who belong to her.

For me, the last pages were the best part where action suddenly picked up and the least part of them were revealed.

It's Holly Black so definitely recommended!

About the author:

Holly Black is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over thirty fantasy novels for kids and teens. She has been a finalist for an Eisner Award and the Lodestar Award, and the recipient of the Mythopoeic Award, a Nebula, and a Newbery Honor. Her books have been translated into 32 languages worldwide and adapted for film. She currently lives in New England with her husband and son in a house with a secret library.