March 15, 2016
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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.
A Drop of Night was very different form what I was expecting, starting with main character Anouck. She's negative, mean, cynical depressed and anti-social. She doesn't always intend to be mean or harsh or grumpy, but she knows that's how she comes across. She is also incredibly intelligent, fluent in several languages and excited to be getting away from her family for a while. Even if it is to an international location they know nothing about.
I liked getting glimpses at who she was, her family and that something had happened but not finding out what right away. It really makes you wonder about her character.
It all sounds so very amazing and intriguing. Sure, it all seems to involve a bit of cloak and dagger, keeping nearly everything secret even from the teens. That just makes it more special, right?
When things quickly go form secret-scholarly-mission to creepy-dangerous-game, Anouck and the others have to adapt and figure things out if they want to make it through the palace.
I loved that A Drop of Night kept me guessing so much. From what it seemed like the book was going to be in the beginning and through each of its many (many) twists and turns. I did, of course, wonder about these highly intelligent teenagers who known they're going somewhere different than their families believe and are okay with it. I supposed it was the prestige of what was promised them.
The secret, underground palace was pretty amazing. It was more elaborate than I was expecting and had much more to surprise the characters than I could have dreamed. Not only the existence of the palace but the different rooms, the amazing, beautiful things it hosts but those more sinister things, as well were pretty fantastic. The creation of the palace and how the teens must transverse it showed a lot of imagination.
I definitely understand the mentions of The Maze Runner and The Cabin in the Woods in the book's description. This is an exciting, action and adrenaline filled story with a different sort of main character. I loved it . . . until the ending. I really, really wanted to love the whole book but the ending was too quick and left (far) too many things unanswered. There were things about the palace, the characters what had happened to the five teens and about the plan that just did not add up (in one case literally so). The ending was too quick and neat. If we had been given more information or if things had come together better, I really could have loved it.
received for review from publisher, via Edelweiss