A review by sauvageloup
Book of Night, by Holly Black

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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