I’ve enjoyed reading Holly Black books in the past. When I heard of this book I decided to pick it up when I got the chance. The library had it available as an audio book. This is the first book in a series, the book two is supposed to be published in 2023.
In Charlie Hall’s world, shadows can be altered, for entertainment and cosmetic preferences—but also to increase power and influence. You can alter someone’s feelings—and memories—but manipulating shadows has a cost, with the potential to take hours or days from your life. Your shadow holds all the parts of you that you want to keep hidden—a second self, standing just to your left, walking behind you into lit rooms. And sometimes, it has a life of its own.
Charlie is a low-level con artist, working as a bartender while trying to distance herself from the powerful and dangerous underground world of shadow trading. She gets by doing odd jobs for her patrons and the naive new money in her town at the edge of the Berkshires. But when a terrible figure from her past returns, Charlie’s present life is thrown into chaos, and her future seems at best, unclear—and at worst, non-existent. Determined to survive, Charlie throws herself into a maelstrom of secrets and murder, setting her against a cast of doppelgangers, mercurial billionaires, shadow thieves, and her own sister—all desperate to control the magic of the shadows.
With sharp angles and prose, and a sinister bent, Holly Black is a master of shadow and story stitching. Remember while you read, light isn’t playing tricks in Book of Night, the people are.
I have mixed feelings on this book. I really enjoyed the magic system of manipulating shadows and the different disciplines within shadow magic. The crime was done well as well with background on how Charlie learns about her marks before moving forward. Charlie will do anything for her younger sister and it makes her endearing.
Regarding Charlie’s character development. I feel that Charlie keeps doing as she has always done even if her reasons shift slightly; it’s not enough for real character development changes. Charlie has these things that she tells herself and with the way things are written she is going to keep repeating the pattern that has plagued here and her family all her life. However, the ending does set up a chance for change.
I suggest this book for those of Holly Black, for fans of crime novels, and for fans of Holly Black. Happy reading.
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