I’ve not been very active on the blogging site this week, since I’m part on vacation and part on house arrest. So I’m spending time watching Netflix (just binge watched Locke and Key and loved it!!!) and trying to catch up with reading, along with socializing and spending time with the in laws 🙂 So, anyway, here I am, with another ‘thoughts on the book I read‘ post 🙂
Melissa Albert – one of my favorite discoveries in 2018, aptly writes in her acknowledgements – that second books are always hard to follow up to the novelty or excitement factor of the first book. And I kind of agreed with the author on this.
When I read The Hazel Wood, I was in love with the book. I had not read something so spooky, so novel and so gothic ever! Maybe there are many books out there with similar themes, but I’m just saying that I hadn’t read any such book, until this one. I’m excluding Sherlock Holmes’ Hound of Baskervilles and many of Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories and poems. I’m talking from new releases books perspective I guess.
I had fallen in love with the mystery of Alice’s story, and how she fit in Hinterland. All the darkness of the fairy tale. Of Althea. Of the tales. Of Ellery Finch and finally of her escape from The Hazel Wood and eventually the Hinterland.
There were a lot of questions I had from the first book, which I thought the author would answer in the second one. So although I didn’t get the answers to all of my previous questions, I did get some answers. Maybe some of them will be answered, like all the dark fairy tales in the next book – Tales from Hinterland.
In this story, we have re-visiting characters and we get to know one more story – a really important one. And oh my gosh, was it dark. I absolutely loved it when we reached that part of the book.
In terms of the characters introduced, while I had really liked Alice in the first book, I was a little frustrated with her -‘where do I belong’ dance, which is called out well by her friend Sophia in one of the scenes. In the first book, all she wanted to do was to find her mom Ella and keep her safe. But in the second, its like she is pushing Ella away from her life. Maybe its some kind of teenage angst or PTSD, but I was not able to digest the sudden change in affections or feelings.
I was glad with Ellery Finch’s scenes in the second book though. He doesn’t get enough credit in the first one but all that is nicely redeemed in the second book.
The romance felt absolutely flat for me though, in both books. So if youre looking for a dark gothic romance, I’m not sure this is the right pick.
But where the book was an absolute win for me, was with all the Hinterlanders – The story of Ilsa/Sophia and Death, The seven sisters/girls?, The trio, the story of the magician’s daughter…. I wanted to lose myself in their stories and I wanted more and more. That last scene was just epic – I don’t want to say more to avoid spoilers 🙂
All in all, even though the sequel wasn’t a sure shot five star rating favorite like the first book (I gave it a 4 star rating, in case you’re curious ;)), I’d still recommend it to readers who enjoyed the first book, just so they can get their fill of the gore and the dark fairy tales again 🙂
What I’d like to know from you guys
Have you read either of the books? What were your thoughts on The Night Country?
What is your favorite book in the fantasy/horror genre?