Book of Night by Holly Black
Release Date: May 3
I’ve loved Holly Black since I read the Folk of the Air Trilogy. I have yet to read her complete backlist, but I knew I had to jump immediately to get my hands on her adult debut. I just knew her twisty, morally compromised characters would thrive in a setting that allows them to go just a little bit darker.
I feel like the book succeeded in doing just that. This is definitely a dark read and focuses very much on trauma, violence, death, etc. So, if you’re looking for a more whimsical story, I don’t think this is the one for you.
The setting is much more grounded in reality with magic being rather new to the general population. Shadow magic, that is. In this world /some/ people are able to manipulate their shadows, whether it be for cosmetic purposes or something more nefarious (i.e. murder lol)
Our main character Charlie Hall cannot control her shadow at will, but she has some experience with these “gloamists”, as they’re called, because she is a con artist and tends to get wound up in their business. We find her after a con gone bad with a healing gunshot wound to remember it by. She has seemingly sworn off the game and now works as a bartender.
I really don’t want to give too much information about this one, because I think it’s more fun to find out about Charlie and everything that happens while you read it. I will say if you were a fan of Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo, I can safely presume you will love this one as well.
If you have not yet read this book, this is where I recommend you stop reading and please come back once you have finished to read all the spoilers things below!
*SPOILERS BELOW BEWARE!!*
Okay, hello fellow finishers of this book!! What did you think? I have a few things that I enjoyed and some where I was like ???
I actually really liked all of the characters in this book. Charlie was doing her best considering her past. It was sad to see her mom basically ignore her in her youth until she pretended to be a medium??? Also I think they alluded her to mom thinking she was sexually abused by that conman and it is never really addressed again. Like we know that didn’t happen, but the fact that the mom was allowing her to hang out with an adult man when she was twelve??? Jail!
Okay I actually really liked Vince. I guessed who he was pretty early on in the book after we were given a couple clues. (Truly if you didn’t guess after that bar scene from his POV??? It was pretty obvious lol) The only thing that really got me was the other casual mentions of incest??????? Like HUH! I couldn’t tell if at the end it we were supposed to assume the aunt was sexually abusing him? I really don’t know. It was a weird inclusion that I wish was wither omitted or more fully addressed.
I’m happy Black included the time jumps so we were able to piece together who everyone was and who Charlie was exactly. I think the inclusion of her childhood really explained a lot of the decisions she made as an adult. She definitely made some stupid decisions, but they never seemed unbelievable to me.
The ending!!!!! I was so offended lmao. Like after everything they both went through in their lives???? This is what we get?? Vince basically erased and Charlie has to teach him how to be a person again??? Like is there a sequel or is that really how the story is ending lol. Emotional damage. That’s all I have to say.
Overall I really enjoyed this book and I would recommend it to anyone who likes a darker read. I will say you should read any and all trigger warnings because there are a ton in this book. Despite my reservations to some of the plot choices, I really enjoyed this and I’d say it brought be out of a reading slump.