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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Review: A Drop of Night by Stefan Bachmann

A Drop of Night by Stefan Bachmann
Publication Date: March 15, 2016
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
A Young Adult novel
Pages: 464
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Seventeen-year-old Anouk has finally caught the break she’s been looking for—she's been selected out of hundreds of other candidates to fly to France and help with the excavation of a vast, underground palace buried a hundred feet below the suburbs of Paris. Built in the 1780's to hide an aristocratic family and a mad duke during the French Revolution, the palace has lain hidden and forgotten ever since. Anouk, along with several other gifted teenagers, will be the first to set foot in it in over two centuries.
Or so she thought.
But nothing is as it seems, and the teens soon find themselves embroiled in a game far more sinister, and dangerous, than they could possibly have imagined. An evil spanning centuries is waiting for them in the depths. . .
A genre-bending thriller from Stefan Bachmann for fans of The Maze Runner and Joss Whedon’s The Cabin in the Woods.
You cannot escape the palace.
You cannot guess its secrets.
*An advanced reader's copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review*

I wasn't completely prepared for this book.  I thought it was going to be a story that tried to be scary, but instead came off as a goth fanfiction piece about the French Revolution. And, yeah, it's a little like that, but then there are these glimmers of absolute terror, and I couldn't put it down when this moments dropped into my lap.


A Drop of Night really does shine with the tone of the story.  There's a chill that runs through your spine while reading particular parts of this story, mainly the flashbacks which tell the story of  Aur√©lie du Bessancourt and I deeply wish that the author had focused on these scenes rather than the main plot.  I just barely cared about what's happening to the main character, Anouk, and while her scenes have more action, the pacing in the flashbacks is just so good. The point of view of A Drop of Night is mainly a first person narrative from Anouk, but if Bachmann wanted the reader to care about all the teenagers in the story, it would have been better to switch between all their narratives into third person point of view.  I know that point of view is also a preference, and some people prefer the intimacy of first person, but the reader is suppose to care about too many things happening at once, and what little glimpses we get at other characters are just not enough to form an emotional attachment.
  
Do not pick up this book if you are looking for romance, and while it can be a page-turner this book's horror elements aren't nearly as strong as I think the writer intended.  Overall, not a bad book, but more a fun read on a stormy night that will make you second guess a bump in the night than a heart-stopping nightmare I think Bachmann hoped it would be.


I wish I could had a half target on here, but three target it is