On a whim, I picked up Book of Night from the library. I haven’t read a Black book (unless you count The Spiderwick Chronicles when I was a kid) and I’ve heard conflicting reviews of Book of Night…
Which I now understand.
The first half of this book is slow. The worldbuilding is minimal, there are too many chapters that take place in the past, and the world itself suffers from what I call adult fantasy book syndrome—the world is cold and dreary, depressing and dark. For example, Ninth House has adult fantasy book syndrome, meaning everything about it is unnecessarily dark. While Book of Night isn’t quite as dark, it still has a criminal main character, lots of references to drugs and alcohol, kidnappings and murder, self harm, trauma, etc.
Which makes me wonder…why can’t we have an adult fantasy book that is both dark yet fun?
That being said, the second half of this book takes a turn. The inciting incident doesn’t happen until around page 50 or 60, and then the plot gets rolling. I became more intrigued by the plot and the characters, especially as the world’s shadow magic and manipulation was explored a little more. There was also a plot twist that worked really well for me.
The beginning of the book is 2 stars, and the latter half 4, making this a 3 star read overall. (Or crescent moons, if you will).