• Book of Night

  • By: Holly Black
  • Narrated by: Sara Amini
  • Length: 12 hrs and 33 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

Number one New York Times best-selling author Holly Black makes her stunning adult debut with Book of Night, a modern dark fantasy of shadowy thieves and secret societies in the vein of Ninth House and The Night Circus.

In Charlie Hall's world, shadows can be altered, for entertainment and cosmetic preferences—but also to increase power and influence. You can alter someone's feelings—and memories—but manipulating shadows has a cost, with the potential to take hours or days from your life. Your shadow holds all the parts of you that you want to keep hidden—a second self, standing just to your left, walking behind you into lit rooms.

And sometimes, it has a life of its own.

Charlie is a low-level con artist, working as a bartender while trying to distance herself from the powerful and dangerous underground world of shadow trading. She gets by doing odd jobs for her patrons and the naïve new money in her town at the edge of the Berkshires.

But when a terrible figure from her past returns, Charlie's present life is thrown into chaos and her future seems at best, unclear—and at worst, non-existent. Determined to survive, Charlie throws herself into a maelstrom of secrets and murder, setting her against a cast of doppelgangers, mercurial billionaires, shadow thieves and her own sister—all desperate to control the magic of the shadows.

With sharp angles and prose, and a sinister bent, Holly Black is a master of shadow and story stitching. Remember while you listen, light isn't playing tricks in Book of Night, the people are.

©2022 Holly Black (P)2022 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Black is a master at world-building." (The New York Times Book Review)

"No one writes like Holly Black." (John Green, number one New York Times best-selling author)

What listeners say about Book of Night

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  • Muttley
  • 05-12-22

Couldn't finish

I have loved Holly Black since I first read Tithe at the age of 16, so I was so excited, as a now 34 year old, to read her first adult novel.

The concept of this book sounded so interesting to me, so I went into fully engaged and enthusiastic. unfortunately I just couldn't get into it, I didn't mind the narration, but the plot was very slow, it just didn't pull me in, something I've never had any trouble with other books she's done. I may try and give this another go in the future, but for now I just couldn't finish it as I realised I just didn't care about the characters at all. such a shame.

4 people found this helpful

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  • nathalie
  • 05-04-22

Disappointed

Really wanted to love this, but didn’t. I think Holly Black is an amazingly talented writer, normally I find her characters complex, compelling & memorable, but this whole book just felt flat to me. There didn’t seem to be any development of the world the story was set in, nor the characters themselves. I didn’t like the main character, not because she was particularly unlikable, just because there wasn’t enough substance to particularly like or dislike. Very unusual for this writer, I’m normally even intrigued by her “baddies!”
I chewed through to the end though, thinking I’d at least had closure to the story, but unfortunately it was clearly a setup to allow this to become a series.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Petteri
  • 07-27-22

A slow start, but persevere

A good story with very successful narration. It merely takes time until it becomes captivating.

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  • anja siikanen
  • 06-30-22

Holly Black does it once again!!

amazing narration! amazing story. took me a while to understand all the different shadow categories. Such a unique story. I loved the protagonist Charlie, fell in love with Vince but couldn't stand her sister Posies character, annoying little sister. Can't wait for whatever book comes next. sexy dark and amazing. Once you get the hang of it easy to follow the story.

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  • Linda Cooper
  • 06-02-22

Unique story!

Having read books by Holly Black I knew I wouldn't be disappointed. What a unique story she has crafted, which the narrator does a good job in telling.
It did take me until halfway through the book before I really got into this, due to the world and character building. Then suddenly the story line progresses interestingly and at a fast pace.
I certainly will purchase the next book to find out what happens.

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  • Wendy French
  • 05-21-22

I loved it

Wasn't too sure about this book at the start but really enjoyed it. A weird and enjoyable premise for a strange and unusual story. It was just a bit too short! I hope she does another as I found myself really wanting to know what comes next! The narration was great for the story.

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  • Charlotte
  • 05-13-22

Loved it.

I loved the plot and the development of characters. I look forward to the next one!!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-01-22

Opportunity wasted for a great story and performance.

The blurb is quite enticing for the seedy/magic/modern twist sun-genre, however the story just fails to go anywhere. The storyline revolves around a girl (in the past)/woman (in the future) who some how manages to hit every “down trodden poor person” trope ever thought of, and then doubles down with “I like broken men and domestic violence because my mum did”…. Definitely not worth the purchase, especially as the narrator doesn’t pronounce simple words correctly or maintain a stable character voice, lending a certain feeling of just shabbiness through and through. Spend your credits else where.

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  • manga_me_over
  • 05-10-22

Great plot and narration

Holly Black has done it again, a great start to hopefully a long series. The narration was excellent and well paced.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Rebeca B.
  • 05-07-22

A great beginning

Raw and radiant. Holly never disappoints ! Started a little slow but gathered momentum to a cliff hanger finale. Love how the author grabs you by delving into damaged, hanging by a thread characters that have so much in common with the struggles of life, feelings and living ordered lives. Absolutely love the rawness of Charlie as well as her insecurities as she tries to recognise her true self. I cried and laughed for her - A perfectly engaging work!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lady Readalot
  • 05-06-22

Enter a dark fantasy world of shadow magic

If you’ve ever pondered what it would be like to have your shadow come alive, then Book of Night explores the notion for you.

I became quite taken with this world of magical shadows - with their capacity to become sentient beings, that can communicate and perform activities. Gloamists - those who can command the shadow magic are revered and feared.

BoN diverts away from the YA work we know from this author. It’s dark adult fantasy which feels at times like a fog blanketing any hope or light within the story. Many of the characters are unlikeable, but that is the purpose to demonstrate the ruthlessness of this setting, I got definite Gotham vibes reading this story.

As the layers are peeled away with scenes of past and present the reader begins to understand the disconnect between characters, and the dangers for them. Vince’s character really hooked me, whilst Charlie- our FMC who has always been viewed as somewhat of a bad egg by others, evolves into her own. I do feel we’ve more potential yet to come from her yet.

I enjoyed how the author lulls the reader with the climax providing a sense of well-being, before that twist at the ending.

My only critique was I listened to the audiobook and the narration felt very monotone in parts. There were a few mispronunciations which irked me. But that’s just my particular preference.

I hear there will be a second book - I hope so -it felt very unfinished, I would love some resolution to the story.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Courtney Allingham
  • 06-30-22

Well built world with a great twist

I really enjoyed this book, I don't normally read urban fantasy but loved the storyline and characters so much. I particularly liked that the characters weren't perfect and had enough emotional baggage to feel real. The narration was excellent, distinct character voices made the story come alive while being read. A fun read with plenty of mystery, twists and turns, and dark enough to fit alongside other urban fantasy series.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-23-22

Book of night

Great narration and interesting premise. really enjoyed it. The story is a little juvenile from time to time but redeemed itself by the end

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Cheri L.
  • 05-26-22

A Mystery with a touch of magic

I went in to this with no expectations.
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This is my first book by this author and I know that alot of fans were disappointed.
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But I liked and enjoyed it. It was more of a mystery with a touch of fantasy and a unique magic system.

This story is not about the magic system, it is about a book that has been stolen and the people that want it found, by any means.
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The main character Charlie is a Thief And a very good one. She is tattooed and not a size 10 which I adore. I love her personality and her style.
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There'd always been something wrong with Charlie Hall.
Crooked from the day she was born.
Never met a bad decision she wasn't willing to double down on.
Had fingers made for picking pockets, a tongue for lying, and a shriveled cherry pit for a heart.
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  • Ainslie
  • 05-16-22

Good, closer to YA but easy read

Very slow start, things actually start happening around chapter 13 (tho they’re not long chapters) and I felt like a lot of the early details were unnecessary & the same info could’ve been conveyed with fewer words. Good narration but it felt a bit stiff and didn’t flow super smoothly. Also, I’d say it veers closer to YA from the way it’s written (very short and simple sentences, repetition of personality traits – we get it, Charlie’s a train wreck, no need to spell it out constantly when her actions speak for themselves!) and the story is only slightly more intense than YA content, even though I’ve read supposedly YA books that are darker than this. 3.75 stars, but it is an easy read.

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  • Jess
  • 05-09-22

Binge read

I really enjoyed the quirk of this story, characters were engaging, and detail of story made it an engaging escapist read. Some sex and some gore but nothing gratuitous and emotions of main character felt reliable and she had enough flaws to humanise her enough to be relatable. And the narrator sounds like brene brown- and that is a huge compliment.