Rachel Churcher's Reviews > The Night Country

The Night Country by Melissa Albert
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really liked it
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This review is also available on my blog, Unsupervised in a Bookstore .

I read 'The Hazel Wood' in 2018, so I've been waiting a while to read the sequel. 'The Hazel Wood' is a fascinating urban fantasy, where several of the characters are stories in the fairytale world of the Hinterland, created by the controller of the world, and living out their tales over and over. Alice and Ellery cross into the Hinterland, with the help of a book of fairytales collected by Alice's grandmother, and their presence disrupts the world, and the stories living there.

'The Night Country' drops the stories from the Hinterland, with their magical powers and repeated trauma, into present-day New York. Alice finds herself drawn to the other stories as they try to survive in a place without the narrative structure they were created to serve. They find ways to stay hidden, and protect each other - until someone starts murdering stories, and Alice is the most likely suspect. There's a pattern to the murders, and if Alice can piece together the evidence she might be able to save herself - and everyone else.

I enjoyed 'The Hazel Wood', but I found it hard to connect with Alice as a character. I found 'The Night Country' much more engaging. The story is much darker, the stakes are higher, and as the plot develops there is real peril and edge-of-the-seat action. In contrast with her dream-like path through 'The Hazel Wood', Alice has a clear plot to follow in this book, and plenty of opportunities to make the wrong decisions - with disasterous consequences.

This is a very effective sequel to a highly unusual book, and I'm very glad I picked it up.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
Finished Reading
February 17, 2019 – Shelved
February 17, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read

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