Featuring one of the most delightfully messed-up main characters I’ve read in a while, Book of Night is both wickedly clever and dangerously entertaining ... I was hooked ... This is Holly Black’s first foray into adult fantasy, having garnered a huge fanbase in Young Adult fantasy. While Black’s signature twists and turns are present, the relationships are much more established, allowing me to enjoy the nuances of the characters without being distracted by relationship woes ... The wielders of power are fantastical, but the way the power is used to manipulate and control is completely familiar and believable ... an exciting urban fantasy from an author who can easily conquer any genre she chooses to write in.
What a premise, right? And with gorgeous writing, a big mystery at its centre, an underdog protagonist and a race against the clock on a high-stakes heist, Book of Night definitely did not come to play. I can already tell that this will make readers both put it on their Best of 2022 list and beg Holly Black for a sequel (because that ending. Whew) ... What I will say is that Book of Night takes quite a while to pick up its pace. At times, I almost felt like reading two different books: the first half dragged and was boggled down with confusing information about the range of shadows and the alterations one can make as well as the backstory of Vince, Charlie, and Posey but by the time the second half arrived, I was so hooked I couldn’t put Charlie’s story down as it all unravelled magnificently with plot twists that left me shook. So you might have to slog your way through the drawn-out set up, but if you manage that, you’re rewarded with one hell of a ride ... combines a world full of danger and magical shadows with an adrenaline-fueled heist and a flawed, memorable underdog of a protagonist that is sure to have readers keeping an eye on their own shadows. Gripping, dark and sinister.
... wondrous, sinister and engrossing ... Black presents a decidedly mature perspective on our relationships with our silhouettes. It’s a wildly entertaining, magic-filled mystery haunted by criminals with murky intentions ... A consistent atmosphere of dread and foreboding reinforces the core magic system, giving shadow magic a sharp, dangerous edge. Black unspools the mystery patiently and deliberately ... Black’s plot is expertly crafted, her magic system simple yet interesting, her characters wounded and very human (well, most of them anyway). Mystery fans will find a lot to love here, but so will lovers of more traditional fantasy. Book of Night will have you looking over your shoulder, out of the corner of your eye, wondering if your shadow just moved.