Reviews tagging Self harm

Book of Night, by Holly Black

12 reviews

micheala's review against another edition

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3.25

So once again, this book has an unlikable main character which is not really my preference. The plot concept was interesting, however it took about 50% before it started to feel like things were actually happening. 

This is set in an alternative, magical USA in modern time. I would say that this is urban fantasy (but not Urban Fantasy - the romance is definitely a small side plot point rather than being about 50% of the plot). I wasn't a huge fan of the writing style, I felt like things were overly discribed (not always but on a reoccurring basis).

This is the author's first adult novel. I've previously read the Spiderwick Chronicles (many years ago) and DNF'd The Coldest Girl in Cold Town, so I'm not sure if the writing style is the same as their YA novels. 

Everything indicates that this is a standalone, however if it remains so, it has a very unsatisfactory ending. I'm not sure if I liked this book enough to want to read a sequel, so I probably won't be keeping an eye out to see if it does continue. 

Overall, this book was fine, but very middle of the road for me. 

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craftykind's review

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adventurous dark medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

2.5

Too many one dimensional characters. Disappointing writing in parts. Strange pacing. Zero character development. Great concept that could’ve been done really well but sadly wasn’t. 

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lolamosk's review

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adventurous dark emotional mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0


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thoughtsontomes's review

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adventurous dark mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

I wasn't a huge fan of TCP, so I didn't go into this with any expectations but was hoping to like this more than her other work. I find that Holly Black's writing style doesn't really work for me. She has some cool worlds and magic systems, but under-develops them. Her writing style is lacking and leaves me wanting more. Side characters don't feel very fleshed out. And Charlie as a main character felt a little heavy handed with the morally grey thief thing which has become a little overdone these days. I did really enjoy Vince as a character though and would have almost preferred more from his POV. Some of the mystery elements were also compelling, even if I figured a few of them out beforehand. I'm also a bit annoyed that the ending makes this obvious that it's at least going to be a duology but was not marketed as such - which is kind of annoying when it's a cliffhanger ending. 

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bookedandbusy's review

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dark tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

I really enjoyed this one! The beginning was a little slow but then it really picked up and I could not stop reading! 

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sauvageloup's review

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adventurous challenging dark emotional funny mysterious sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

SO GOOD! Wish i hadn't tried to rush quite so much because of the event and savored it a bit more but still loved it

pros:
- the magic!!! i haven't read a book (that i remember) with shadow magic in it and i loved the whole thing. the alterationists, quickened shadows, the way the magic became known to the general public through the internet, etc. all of it :D
- Charlie. She's such a mess but she never really means badly by it and I loved how there's the reveal at the end how's she's been holding herself back because she's been afraid of what happens when she really tries. Her nickname of the Charlatan, her past with Rand, her really grey morality but still being loyal and good at heart, as well as her proud sexuality and her relationship with Vince - she doesn't realise how much she likes him and they've kept so many secrets, and yet they're both totally dedicated to the other and i loved that :)
- all the other characters!! Vince was amazing
Spoiler and I didn't guess at all that he was Edmund's shadow, which i should've really, but i'm so glad Charlie wasn't that fussed about it
and i loved Posey, with her determination to be a gloamist. she was a mess too and making some questionable decisions, but she comes through for Charlie and i liked that she got some healing at the end too.
Spoiler - the ending was bittersweet but in kind of a perfect way. I liked the possibility of Vince/Red getting his memory back and that Charlie wasn't gonna quit on him.

- Salt was such a good villain too, and Charlie's horror story past of meeting him first was so well done and creepy, because she was so young and relatively defenseless then, but still managed to keep her wits. she's such a survivor :)
- i definitely felt the similarity between BoN and Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. There's no dark academia, but the main characters are both 'not on their first mistake, but maybe their last' (as Black put it), a bit older, survivors and smart but jaded and making bad mistakes. there were strong resonances in the magic too, even though it's entirely different, there's the same wild danger of it and not quite knowing how it actually works or how the magic arises/the shadow is quickened. And there was a similar complex, mystery-based plot where both had too many names and was a bit confusing. but i loved both books all the same, and that type of tired-but-fierce female MC who is holding onto life with her teeth is the best :))

cons:
- there's a lot of names. i definitely got lost. Malik and Mahir i muddled up, i forgot who Paul Ecco and Adam and a bunch of the others, as well as small clues like the magnet Charlie found. i did rush through a bit, but it was still pretty complicated
- i did also find that Charlie's chaos kind of spilled into the plot? so i got lost a bit about how much time this was all taking, and the clues/plots/twists and turns felt very haphazard, according to just when the thought showed up in Charlie's mind. it definitely felt organic, but maybe a bit too much so
Spoiler - also i'm not quite sure what was hinted at with Vince and Adelaine? did she have a relationship with Red? or Vince? or did she hurt Red when Vince wasn't there? idk


But overall, adored it and can't wait for book 2 :D

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kimberly94's review against another edition

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mysterious slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0


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ode_to_readers's review against another edition

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adventurous dark mysterious tense

4.5

WTF WAS THAT ENDING EXCUSE ME HOLLY BLACK

Okay so the book was a little slow to begin with, the build up and understanding of how shadows worked and the lingo being a struggle. The chapters flick between past and present, Charlie and others. It's both a good thing and a bad thing because the in-between chapters give some more depth but they happen just as there's a cliffhanger on the previous chapter so half the time I'm tempted to skip forward. 

At first I didn't really care for Charlie all that much. I like her now but there's still something I can't quite place my finger on why she bothers me. However, Vince became my favourite about half way through and I loved their relationship with each other. 

Towards the end of the book, the amount of times you think something is about to happen the way you want it to and Holly just snatches that hope right out of your hands. And then does it again and again. 

AND THAT ENDING?!?!?!

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lexi17d's review against another edition

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dark mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

Received an ARC from NetGalley in return for an honest review:

I went into this book expecting a dark fantasy about evil shadows, and I got an oddly paced mystery about a girl who makes a ton of obvious mistakes and serves at a bar for a solid portion of the book.

Book of Night by Holly Black is a dark fantasy mystery that takes place in our world, where shadows can come to life and be controlled by feeding them your own blood. This book follows our main character, Charlie, who is a con artist tasked with the responsibility of finding stolen secrets about shadow magic. I was so excited for this book whenI heard it was being released, especially a book about dark shadow magic from the author that wrote The Cruel Prince. However, this did not live up to my expectations like I hoped it would. 

This book would be a good book for fans of mystery that want to get more into fantasy, but as someone who has read my fair share of mystery novels, this felt a lot like many others that I have read in the past. I felt like I was still waiting for it to really pick up 80% into the book. The pacing was off and the writing was flat. I also used to work in the food industry for about 10 years, so reading about a main character who works at a bar for about 50 pages of the book isn’t what I would consider something I want to read about. Charlie is a con artist, so you’d think she’d make smart decisions, but she is constantly messing up dramatically and overlooking obvious clues intentionally. I didn’t feel much of a connection to any of the characters, and I felt they were all very underdeveloped. Maybe I wasn’t enjoying this book as much as I was hoping I would because I wasn’t expecting a mystery, but I still didn’t feel the suspense and tension most other mysteries give. 

Although I was not entirely blown away for the majority of this book, the ending was better than I was expecting and somewhat redeemed this book for me. It left me interested in seeing how the rest of the series will play out, but at the same time, I don’t necessarily feel excited to continue it. I was curious about how it would end throughout—enough so that I was still drawn into continuing the book. I thought the magic and setting of this book was unique and interesting, but even still, it wasn’t done as well as I hoped. 

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deannareadsandsleeps's review

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dark mysterious reflective tense slow-paced

2.5


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