A Drop of Night by Stefan Bachmann
Published by Greenwillow Books
Published on March 15th 2016
Genres: Horror, Mystery, Thriller, Young Adult
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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.
“You will die. You will step through those doors and he will see you. His eyes shall eat you like mouths, and you will lie on the floor, and ants and wasps and nits will crawl from your wounds like drops of night. Four little plums, all chewed up.”
This book caught my attention because it has so many things going on. There was the way it hopped back and forth between the 1870’s and the current time. It was a mystery, but also horror like, and called a thriller. I understand that sometimes those lines get blurred. But they are all my favorite genres, and this sounded fun, so I went with it.
This book was definitely, in some way, a mixture of all of those things I mentioned. Yes, the mystery part is clearly the big thing here, but at times, it it bloody and a little gory (well, very light horror/gore). It moved along petty quickly, which really added to the adventure and excitement. This story was definitely strange, but strange in a good way, at least for me. It carried this eerie feeling throughout the majority of the book, and I love that.
It’s like jumping into a nightmare, some sort of surreal, Dadaesque ballet. The floor is covered with bodies.
I may have even cried a smidgen. Jacques! The author just had to throw in that little chapter to tie up that loose end and break my freaking heart. Thanks for that. I also really enjoyed how grand and massive the palace (underground hideout?) was. The trap rooms were really cool too, that was a nice touch.
Honestly, the only thing about this book that really bugged me was how pretentious Anouk was sometimes. Did the author have to make her that awful? I mean:
“Jules starts talking about bands I’ve never heard of. I wonder if he’s just trying out subjects until I latch on to something. Sorry, my life consists of reading Tolstoy in original Cyrillic and watching foreign-dubbed Hollywood movies on repeat until I understand the dialogue through context. Also dreaming up Machiavellian revenge. I don’t thing we have anything in common.”
REALLY? Ugh. Give me a break. Then there are moments where she is funny and almost normal and I kind of like her…
“Come on, Anouk. Maybe I won’t be next. Maybe you’ll be.”
“Psh. Please…” My voice is caustic enough to burn metal. “I’m the Final Girl. Gaze upon my wholesome innocence and despair.”
Anyone who can work a Final Girl reference into anything is pretty cool by me. (My obsession with horror, gore and the “Final Girl” concept really was very pleased with this book.) She was much more likable farther in, but I still had to suffer through those kinds other kinds of comments first. I mean, I hate basically everyone and every thing, but I at least have some level of chill. Lol… she took a while to chill the hell out. But once she did I was much more at ease and easily finished the book without waiting for the next ridiculous thing she would say.
I think this was a great time; a creepy good adventure for sure!
There’s this special talent humans have that they can be unhappy no matter where they are. But humans have another special talent: We can be happy almost anywhere, too. We can be happy because we are not alone.