ARC Review: A Drop of Night by Stefan Bachmann

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A Drop of Night by Stefan Bachmann
Genre: YA Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller
Publication: March 15th 2016 by Greenwillow Books
Series: n/a
Length: 464 pages
Format: eARC from publisher

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.

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Thank you to Greenwillow Books for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review.

When I read the synopsis, I was quite interested to see how this novel would play out. I had never heard of Stefan Bachmann, and through the synopsis, it reminded me of The Maze Runner, something I had read a few years prior and enjoyed.

A DROP OF NIGHT is told in dual POVs, both of which take place in the same setting but at different times. One primarily follows Anouk and four of her acquaintances, whom she meets during the trip. Another follows Aurélie, a girl who goes through similar events as Anouk does. This dual storytelling style did make for a very thrilling ride but it was incredibly confusing at first—I was around 40 percent into the story before I actually understood what was going on.

There were five main characters, but I did not feel as if I really connected with them at all. We first are introduced to them quite simultaneously in the beginning and although they play quite large parts in the novel, we learn more about Anouk than any other character in the novel. Moreover, we only learn more about Anouk towards the very end, where things are getting put together.

What also really intrigued me was the lack of romance. This novel is a very concept-heavy novel, and the characters all had to work together to survive. The dual POVs really helped showed that, as many of the circumstances present in both main characters’ lives were quite similar. I definitely appreciate this lack of romance, something that is quite unique in many YA novels. What’s more interesting is that I, a major romance sucker, didn’t even realize there was no romance until the very end; this novel’s pacing is so quick and thrilling that it was amazing without any love story.

Overall, I quite enjoyed this novel. It was thrilling and confusing (but in a good way); it made me think about what was going on and how everything connected. Despite some unanswered questions, it was a generally resolved ending. Although I would have preferred something that went more into depth about the characters in both Anouk and Aurélie’s lives, this novel wrapped up quite nicely. I definitely recommend if you enjoy puzzles and an action-filled plot. I most likely will be checking out more of Bachmann’s work.

Rating: ★★★½

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Have you read this book yet? Are you planning to? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

 

 

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