E-ARC, 320 Pages
By: Holly Black
Rating: 🌟🌟🌟 3/4
“It takes bravery to be an adventurer,” Odette said, lifting her drink and walking away. “And what better adventure than the discovery of our true selves?”
I can’t believe I am one of the first people to rate and review this book, I mean it is freaking Holly Black and there are currently less than 10 reviews of people who read the book there! I am thankful for the publisher for providing me with an E-ARC in exchange of an honest review!
I should also point out that I really enjoyed The Folk of the Air series (Not obsessed as other readers were but still liked it very much) so I am kind of familiar with Black’s writing. However, this is her adult fantasy debut so it is a new territory for the author! It is funny how the blurb says the following: a modern dark fantasy of shadowy thieves and secret societies in the vein of Ninth House and The Night Circus! The funny part is that I did not like either of these books but I did enjoy this one!
I think reader’s expectations should be adjusted for this series, this is not an adult version of The Cruel Prince, the world is different, the romance is different and event the vibes are different. The story follows Charlie Hall who is a bartender/ con-artist who lives in a world where shadow manipulating is a thing. Shadows can be manipulated for all kind of reasons and Charlie find herself entangled in a web of secrets and murder against dangerous people who may be part of her past!
The writing is good, I believe it is a bit more mature which goes well with the age group, that being said, I think I found The Folk of the Air series more quotable! The story is confusing at first because the world needs some time to get into although it is not very complex once some answers are provided. The story is told mainly through Charlie’s POV with chapters from her past.
The characters were good but I don’t think they will be very memorable for me let’s say in one year from now. There isn’t enemies to lovers here which I have been asked about and there is kind of the opposite! I think Charlie and Vince were well written but they did not blow my mind or were very unique!
The world is interesting but I think the story took the mystery/ thriller way rather than focusing on the fantasy aspect themselves which for me made the story lose some of the potential. I think it takes some time to get oriented but the story holds the attention for sure. I was very sure this was supposed to be a series but I am not so sure anymore and if this is a standalone then I still need some answers?!
“If she couldn’t be responsible or careful or good or loved, if she was doomed to be a lit match, then Charlie might as well go back to finding stuff to burn.”
Summary: I enjoyed the story but I guess I was expecting a bit more from someone as big as Holly Black! I think the idea was very interesting but it loses itself a bit in the execution. The writing and the characters are very good and I believe many fans will enjoy the book!