Things aren’t always as they seem. Caraval brilliantly plays off this theme on various levels. Reality warps on a grand scale as appearances shift, time stands still, motives are ambiguous and death isn’t always the end. All these factors and more make for quite a mad ride.
Suspense is essential to propel a plot forward. It’s what fiction is made of as readers want to know, what happens next? An effective way to build suspense is to withhold information, make the reader guess, then reveal things later. That’s exactly what The Invisible Library sought to do. However, that for me, also was the downfall of the book. Too much information was withheld, to the point that there was little for me to hang on to. Instead of wanting to know what would happen next, I found myself asking what the point was.
The overlapping elements between The Girl at Midnight and Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor is uncanny. If you’ve read and loved DoSaB, you may be overjoyed that there’s another book out there with similar tropes. On the flip side, you may not like it at all because DoSaB was built with much more lyrical prose.
A Thousand Nights is a magical book. The prose is exceedingly beautiful. If literary fiction were to bridge over to the young adult segment, this book would be a stellar example of the genre. In some ways, I think that if readers were to expect a slow story, magnificent in words over a fast-paced one, then the reviews wouldn’t have come to be as mixed as they are now.
Thinking about A Court of Thorns and Roses evokes a whole range of emotions in me — all negative. Of the books I’ve read this year, only The Miniaturist received a lower rating from me. After accounting for all my variables (prose, characterisation, plot, depth, originality, impact & voice), my final rating is a measly 0.857 out of 5. Rounded up that means 1 star.