A Drop of Night by Stefan Bachmann #bookreviews

Seventeen-year-old Anouk has finally caught the break she’s been looking for—she’s been selected out of hundreds of17735579 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.  – Goodreads.com

A YA thriller with comp titles of The Maze Runner and The Cabin in the Woods?  Yes, please.  I don’t know how I missed this one when it was first offered on Edelweiss, but I’m so glad I was able to get a copy at the last minute.  This book is described as action/adventure/thriller, but some readers may consider it a touch of horror also.  Which is absolutely fine with me, and that’s one of the reasons I requested it.

We’ve all heard the phrase ‘If somethings seems too good to be true, it usually is.’  Well – either these teens hadn’t or thought they were too intelligent to be scammed, but it sure made for an interesting setup in this story.  No spoilers here, but the underground palace is full of surprises – most of them the hair-raising, nail-biting kind – and I can’t say I’ve read anything quite like this in the YA genre.

There’s a dual narrative in this book, both equally important and connected.  I immediately liked Anouk’s voice.  She’s snarky, intelligent, pessimistic, and a bit full of herself – but she’s also persistent and determined when a lot of people would throw out the white flag and assume the fetal position.

I was a little disappointed with the reveal near the end – it felt more like an info dump.  If some hints had been sprinkled throughout the story, giving the reader a bigger sense of mystery and allowing them to form theories, it would have been a more satisfying read for me instead of a quasi-Scooby-Doo moment.

A Drop of Night is equal parts thrilling, chilling, and mysterious – a highly enjoyable read.  Thanks to Edelweiss for a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review



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