Review: Book of Night by Holly Black

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Once again, I am late to the hype train. But, holy heck, I am glad I’m now on it.

Book of Night by Holly Black is the self-titled debut in the Book of Night series. This modern, dark fantasy takes us on a petty criminal’s journey into too-deep waters. Charlie Hall has always been a low-level con artist, swindling, pilfering, the works. She started work as a bartender to put distance between herself and the ever-evolving, ever-dangerous world of shadow-thieving. Sure, she pulls the odd job every now and again, but for the most part, she’s keeping it straight. Someone has to pay for her sister’s college education, after all. Charlie realizes that the past is impossible to escape and finds herself caught in the squall of secrets, lies, and murder. And even more terrifyingly, shadows.

I have never read anything of Black’s before, but I certainly will check out more of her work now! I loved her writing style. It was clean, succinct, and incredibly engaging. There were some dense excerpts of lore than kept me from fully immersing myself at some points, but overall, the world-building is quite fascinating! I will say that the pacing at the beginning made me worry that I wasn’t going to enjoy the book. But, once past that slump, it was smooth sailing.

I loved the way Black wrote her characters. Charlie is, in some respects, rather unsympathetic. If you’re a sucker for a good ol’ anti-hero, you’re likely going to fall head over heels for Charlie, just like I did. And then there’s Vince—super plain Jane. But is he really? 

Book of Night is one of those stories that keeps your mind constantly twisting. It gave me “whodunnit” vibes in the best way. 

I am so greatly looking forward to the second book! Especially after that ending! If you like dark fantasies with unique lore and characters you’re unsure you want to like, this might be worth picking up!

Have you read anything from Holly Black before? Let me know!

You can find Holly Black: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, her website.

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