Top positive review
Holly Black’s “debut” Adult Novel
Reviewed in the United States on May 8, 2022
I have the term debut set aside by quotation marks in the title of my review because, at fifty-seven years of age, I have voraciously read as many of Holly Black’s YA offerings as I could get my greedy hands on. (Or ought I to write, on which I could get my greedy hands? Proper grammar and usage is surely more adult, right?)
Book of Night fits neatly into the author’s canon: her world-building, her inclusion of magic, her thoroughly-realized characters, and her astute almost preternatural grasp of exactly how much information and detail to feed her readers —and what to withhold— will all feel familiar in the best ways to her fans.
Charlie, the novel’s heroine, has the grit, determination, and drive to pursue her goals. Charlie’s activities involve theft, larceny, and the art of the grift, and she tiptoes across dangerous tightrope strung above highly toxic, unprincipled foes. Charlie also works to protect her younger sister (sometimes from herself), and tries to figure out her complicated relationship with her secretive but gentle and kind lover, Vince, work.
These traits make her intriguing, but it is the author’s deft handling of Charlie’s unorthodox past, her traumas, wounds (literal and figurative), insecurities, and disappointments that make the reader root for Charlie despite her faults and rash decisions.
I am eager to read more of Holly Black’s adult fiction, and I’ll still gobble up her YA novels as well. This author truly delights readers of many ages. If you have not read her books, hie thee to a bookstore. You won’t be sorry.