Monday, December 30, 2019

The Night Country by Melissa Albert

From Goodreads: The highly anticipated sequel to Melissa Albert’s beloved, New York Times bestselling debut The Hazel Wood!

In The Night Country, Alice Proserpine dives back into a menacing, mesmerizing world of dark fairy tales and hidden doors. Follow her and Ellery Finch as they learn The Hazel Wood was just the beginning, and that worlds die not with a whimper, but a bang.

With Finch’s help, Alice escaped the Hinterland and her reclusive grandmother’s dark legacy. Now she and the rest of the dregs of the fairy tale world have washed up in New York City, where Alice is trying to make a new, unmagical life. But something is stalking the Hinterland’s survivors―and she suspects their deaths may have a darker purpose. Meanwhile, in the winking out world of the Hinterland, Finch seeks his own adventure, and―if he can find it―a way back home...

Hardcover: 352 pages
Expected publication: January 7th 2020
Publisher: Flatiron Books
ISBN 1250246075

The Night Country by Melissa Albert
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I loved Melissa Albert’s The Hazel Wood and I loved The Night Country just as much. Alice and Finch are two of my favorite characters, each for different reasons. Alice, awkward and unsure of herself in any situation, always rises to the occasion, sometimes in a really round-about way but her intent is always true. She has deep questions about who she is and her depth of actual goodness:

“To be honest, I don’t know if I’ve even got a soul. If a soul is what makes you human, then I probably don’t. Unless a soul is something you can grow, like, after the fact. And I don’t think it is. So. No Soul.”

Finch is complex yet so freaking decent and good. Whatever the worlds throw at him, he always does the right thing - no matter the cost to himself; he’s a hero in The Night Country but won’t realize it. He is adventurous, trustworthy, and just so authentically Finch! The addition of new characters is something I really liked in The Night Country, Sophia, who we meet in the end of The Hazel Wood plays a prominent secondary role and I loved reading about her. She is quirky and odd and wonderful. I loved hearing about all of them! The ex-stories are scattered about and are as interesting and dark in our world as they were in the Hinterland.

The story-line is complex and compelling, dark and bloody but there are periods of happiness and light. When the ex-stories and Hinterlanders start to settle in to New York City, they think they are the ones to fear until the strange murders begin. Because of their unique deaths, all start to look suspiciously upon Alice.

“We were predators set loose in a world not made to withstand us. Until the summer we became prey.”

The worlds that Ms. Albert creates are astonishing and fascinating! Finch is a traveler and I didn’t get to explore as much as I would’ve liked. There were bits and pieces of his travels through the Hinterland and his travels with Iolanthe but I would’ve loved more! Ms. Albert is such a skilled world builder and I hope that there is a third book in this series. I feel like there will be because there’s still so much to explore! And, I want more! More of Alice and Finch, more ex-stories and Hinterlanders, more of the many worlds that lay just beyond! As Finch says:

“Jesus, Are all these books doors? To which Io responds, “A book is always a door.”

This is one of my favorite series, obviously, and I listened to The Hazel Wood on audio before I started The Night Country and it was just as fascinating as it was the first time I read it. This is a series that I would recommend to any reader who enjoys a good dark fairy tale, a bit of fantasy, or just a really compelling series. I feel like I need to say again that I am HOPEFUL (wishful) for a third book in this series!

A big thank you to NetGalley, Flatiron Books, and Melissa Albert for providing me with a copy of The Night Country in exchange for my honest review.

View all my reviews

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