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Title: The Night Country
Author: Melissa Albert
Genre: New Adult | Dark Fantasy| Urban Fantasy | Fairytale
Publication Date: January 7, 2020
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“We aren’t like the creatures who were made in this world. We aren’t meant to debase ourselves with then. To live a human life is to forget who we are. To forget who we are is to be an enemy to ourselves. To each other.”
The Night Country Summary
Alice Proserpine dives back into a menacing, mesmerizing world of dark fairy tales and hidden doors of The Hazel Wood. 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…
The Night Country Review
I have got to be honest here. I did not really enjoy this book. I struggled to stay engaged and almost thought about giving up on it. I almost wish The Hazel Wood was a standalone that ended with its open ended story and let us imagine what happened afterwards. I did like The Night Country, it just felt unnecessary to the dark fairytale that was The Hazel Wood.
The book has both Alice’s and Ellery’s perspectives, although the method and timing of introducing Ellery’s perspective lacks finesse. We learn a lot more about how this magical universe works, which is interesting, but takes away a bit of the magic. The Night Country has a murder mystery subplot as there seems to be a serial killer targeting people from the Hinterlands. That was interesting and got rather dark, eventually weaving into Ellery’s new life.
The power of love seems to be a key theme in this book, but seems an odd turn from the ambiguous love subplot in The Hazel Wood. However there is enough moral ambiguity in some of the side characters with messy backgrounds and complicated motives to feel like the first book, but the way things were tied up felt a little too pretty and “happy ever after” for the dark fantasy that the first book and the themes of this book was going towards
Overall takeaway, this has some interesting revelations and few really great dark fairytales. I’m left feeling conflicted, but very much excited for Tales of the Hinterlands and whatever else Melissa Albert brings us in the future. However, I won’t likely be putting this series on my Favourites shelf.
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More about Melissa Albert
Melissa Albert is the founding editor of the Barnes & Noble Teen Blog and the managing editor of BN.com. She has written for McSweeney’s, Time Out Chicago, MTV, and more. Melissa is from Illinois and lives in Brooklyn, New York. The Hazel Wood is her first novel.
The Hazel Wood series
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