Review Snippet: Book of Night by Holly Black

About the book (from Penguin Books SA):

#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.


My thoughts:

Holly Black has been on my TBR-radar for a while already.  Her “Cruel Prince” series is patiently waiting on my Takealot Wishlist since forever.  But then again, “Book of Night” is her first “adult” book so I also didn’t have any pre-conceived ideas going into this.

“Book of Night” will draw you into a dark and atmospheric world – filled with secret societies, anti-heroes and stolen shadows.  It was a bit of a slow burn for me (almost too slow), but the mystical and magical aspects in the story kept me going.  The later half of the book was more eventful – with plot twists and a cliff-hanger ending that left me wanting more in the end – so we know that there will be a next one? The theory is that “Book of Night” is setting the scene for more thrilling and fantastic things to come.

Five favourite quotes:

  • “Love was a family religion, passed down to her when she’d been too young to protect herself from belief.”
  • “Never met a bad decision she wasn’t willing to double down on. Had fingers made for picking pockets, a tongue for lying, and a shriveled cherry pit for a heart.”
  • “What makes you feel safe when you go to sleep at night? Being able to check and see that your secrets are still hidden.”
  • “She was a poisoned well of a girl.”
  • “Most of their mother’s visits to psychics had been about relationships. The Hall women fell in love like they were falling off a cliff. They were terrible at picking men, as though there were some kind of ancestral curse that started with Nana’s marriage to a guy so awful that she was still in prison for shooting him in the back of the head while he was in his BarcaLounger, watching TV.”
@roelia_reads Convincing you to read “Book of Night” by @hollyblackwriter based on its aesthetics 🖤 @penguinrandomhousesa #roeliareads #bookifyza #booktok #bookofnight #hollyblack #hollyblackbooks #booktoksa🇿🇦 @boozyfoodie @jansbookbuzzblog @spicegoddessblog ♬ Magic Instrumental – Lila

Thank you to Penguin Books SA for the opportunity to read this book, in exchange for a honest review.