This is the shadowy story of a low-level con artist forced into the role of hero when she must confront an old foe.
Good to know
In Charlie Hall’s world, shadows can be altered, for entertainment and cosmetic preferences—but also to increase power and influence. You can alter someone’s feelings—and memories—but manipulating shadows has a cost, with the potential to take hours or days from your life. Your shadow holds all the parts of you that you want to keep hidden—a second self, standing just to your left, walking behind you into lit rooms. And sometimes, it has a life of its own.
Charlie is a low-level con artist, working as a bartender while trying to distance herself from the powerful and dangerous underground world of shadow trading. She gets by doing odd jobs for her patrons and the naive new money in her town at the edge of the Berkshires. But when a terrible figure from her past returns, Charlie’s present life is thrown into chaos, and her future seems at best, unclear—and at worst, nonexistent. Determined to survive, Charlie throws herself into a maelstrom of secrets and murder, setting her against a cast of doppelgangers, mercurial billionaires, shadow thieves, and her own sister—all desperate to control the magic of the shadows.
With sharp angles and prose, and a sinister bent, Holly Black is a master of shadow and story stitching. Remember while you read, light isn’t playing tricks in Book of Night, the people are.
Why I love it
BOTM Editorial Team
How do you know when you’re fully immersed in the world of a book? For me, it’s when I forget to check if I’m at my train stop. Or when someone says my name for the hundredth time, trying to draw my attention away from whatever story I’ve lost myself in. It’s a feeling that I search for every time I reach for a new book. So when I read the first few pages of Book of Night, I knew it was going to be one of those special books that pulled me into its world and would not let me return to reality until I had savored every last page.
Charlie Hall is a low level con artist who does the occasional odd job here or there when she’s not bartending, having left the more dangerous world of shadow trading and gloamists behind. Gloamists are people who steal shadows and manipulate them for all sorts of reasons: for entertainment, to alter memories, even to gain power. And Charlie wants no part in it. But then one day, someone from Charlie’s past reemerges. Suddenly, she is thrown back into the dark world of shadow trading, where she encounters people who would do anything to control the shadows.
This is a deliciously dark tale that I promise you will not be able to put down. I could not get enough of its intricate world building, suspenseful plot, or Charlie Hall, who I rooted for on every page. Holly Black has created a shadowy masterpiece, wholly unique and even a little sinister at times. Don’t miss out on this story—let it pull you in for a wild ride.