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Book of night
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Library Journal Review
Black's ("Spiderwick Chronicles") adult fantasy debut features a system of magic based on shadows--people can detach from their shadows, augment or embellish them, and, in some cases, train them to act separately from their person. People who can manipulate shadows are called gloamists, or "glooms." Charlie Hall is a bartender and a mostly reformed con artist and thief of magical artifacts, stealing objects from and then selling them to various gloamists. She lives in the Berkshires with her boyfriend, Vince, and younger sister Posey. Charlie is trying to stay under the radar and on the straight and narrow, but when she finds the body of a murdered man who may have stolen a rare book of magic from evil billionaire Lionel Salt, she gets pulled back into the--literally--shadowy underworld. Black's world building is strong, and while the central plotline wraps up at the end, she leaves room for future books set in the world of the gloamists. Sara Amini's narration is exceptional, providing unique voices for the broad range of characters. VERDICT Listeners who enjoy real-world fantasy such as Leigh Bardugo's The House of Night will delight in Black's latest.--Stephanie Klose
Publishers Weekly Review
Bestselling YA author Black (The Cruel Prince) conjures a dark world filled with crime, betrayal, and power in her atmospheric adult fantasy debut. Shadows are a valuable commodity to be manipulated, altered, traded, and experimented on--and there are many dangerous players looking to harvest them. Growing up in this treacherous world, Charlie Hall learned the arts of conning and thievery from a young age, and there's no denying her skill. At 28, however, Charlie's determined to stay on the straight and narrow, using a bartending job to distract herself from the thrill of her old lifestyle. But when she reluctantly agrees to an odd job, a horrifying encounter reveals the return of a sinister individual from her past, plunging her into the dark underworld of shadow trading. Investigating its secrets leads her to discover a magic even darker than the shadows themselves. As the narrative shifts between past and present and the skeletons in Charlie's closet come to light, she must reckon with her dysfunctional childhood--and with just how powerful shadows can be. The many mysteries keep the suspense sizzling as Charlie guides readers through this slippery world. Black's adult fans and readers looking for dark urban fantasy will be thrilled. (May)
Booklist Review
Charlie Hall is used to keeping to the shadows, but in her world, shadows can be just as frightening as they seem. Gloamists, magic workers who use shadows for strange and often sinister spells, have started to grow their craft from an underground rumor to a cultlike phenomenon. People like Charlie's sister, Posey, hope their own shadows will quicken so they might perform shadow magic themselves. Charlie, once a talented thief who helped gloamists steal one another's secrets, knows exactly how dark this underworld can get, and she wants everyone she loves out of that game. But her boyfriend has no shadow and a few too many secrets, Posey's getting in over her head, and Charlie's old boss keeps visiting her at the bar where she works, bringing her old life uncomfortably close to her new one. Veteran children's author Black makes her adult-fiction debut with a slow-burn narrative that slinks across the page, entrancing and unsettling readers at turns. Careful plotting gives way to a powder-keg ending, so prepare for inevitable sequels.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Black is a Newbery Honor recipient (Doll Bones, 2013) and a #1 NYT best-seller (The Wicked King, 2019) who's amassed adult readers in addition to teen fans for her dark fantasies. They'll be eager to get their hands on this edgy new venture.
Kirkus Review
A former thief who specialized in stealing magical documents is forced back into her old habits in Black's adult debut. Charlie Hall used to work as a thief, stealing for and from magicians--or rather, "gloamists." In this world, gloamists are people with magical shadows that are alive, gaining strength from the gloamists' own blood. A gloamist can learn to manipulate the magic of their shadow, doing everything from changing how it looks to using it to steal, possess a person, or even murder. Gloamists hire nonmagical people like Charlie to steal precious and rare magical documents written by their kind throughout history and detailing their research and experiments in shadow magic. Gloamists can use onyx to keep each other from sending shadows to steal these treasures, but onyx won't stop regular humans from old-fashioned breaking and entering. After Charlie's talent for crime gets her into too much trouble, she swears off her old career and tries to settle down with her sensible boyfriend, Vince--but when she finds a dead man in an alley and notices that even his shadow has been ripped to pieces, she can't help trying to figure out who he was and why he met such a gruesome end. Before she knows it, Charlie is forced back into a life of lies and danger, using her skills as a thief to find a book that could unleash the full and terrifying power of the shadow world. Black is a veteran fantasy writer, which shows in the opening pages as she neatly and easily guides the reader through the engrossing world of gloamists, magical shadows, and Charlie's brand of criminality. There's a lot of flipping back and forth between the past and the present, and though both timelines are well plotted and suspenseful, the story leans a touch too hard on the flashbacks. Still, the mystery elements are well executed, as is Charlie's characterization, and the big twist at the end packs a satisfying punch. Hits the marks for spooky thrills and mysterious chills. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

"A delicious, dark, adrenaline rush of a book. I'm already dying to see Charlie Hall's next con." - New York Times bestselling author, Alix E. Harrow

#1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black makes her stunning adult debut with Book of Night , a modern dark fantasy of betrayals, secret societies, and a dissolute thief of shadows, in the vein of Neil Gaiman and Erin Morgenstern.

Charlie Hall has never found a lock she couldn't pick, a book she couldn't steal, or a bad decision she wouldn't make.

She's spent half her life working for gloamists, magicians who manipulate shadows to peer into locked rooms, strangle people in their beds, or worse. Gloamists guard their secrets greedily, creating an underground economy of grimoires. And to rob their fellow magicians, they need Charlie Hall.

Now, she's trying to distance herself from past mistakes, but getting out isn't easy. Bartending at a dive, she's still entirely too close to the corrupt underbelly of the Berkshires. Not to mention that her sister Posey is desperate for magic, and that Charlie's shadowless, and possibly soulless, boyfriend has been hiding things from her. When a terrible figure from her past returns, Charlie descends into a maelstrom of murder and lies.

Determined to survive, she's up against a cast of doppelgangers, mercurial billionaires, gloamists, and the people she loves best in the world--all trying to steal a secret that will give them vast and terrible power.

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