Not gonna lie, the main reason I got this book was that the cover was gorgeous and I have A Thing for hardcover editions. Even if it had review quotes and New York Times Bestseller or something stamped at the back which tells me Nothing about the actual book. Pfft, books these days, amiright?
I read this book with zero expectations and ideas on what it was about. Here’s how it went.
Can I say I absolutely love the concept of the libraries and monster books? It was So fricking cool! A breath of fresh air from a bunch of recycled concepts circulating in YA lit. For a stand alone book, the world building in this was AWESOME. I fell in love with the whole concept – the libraries, sorcerers, demons, Books Gone Wild.
Also want to mention, the prose was beautiful to read. I loved the way this was written, it feels magical!
Elisabeth is “a true child of the library”. She’s bold, yet vulnerable. Into the book we see that everything she knows and understands about libraries, magic (and monster books) are wrong. She starts out as naive, someone who hasn’t seen the world outside the library she grew up in and slowly gains understanding. The character development is good, AND it’s all in one (standalone) novel.
I was Very Afraid that Nathaniel would be one of Those YA Brooding Bad Boys. The goodreads blurb also described him and Elisabeth as “sworn enemies”. Both assumptions? Wrong they were! Nathaniel and Elisabeth’s relationship is not a pointless rivalry for the sake of tension. Good ol’ sarcastic boi which I surprisingly, I didn’t mind :’) His tragic past isn’t just for the sake of it and is important to his character.
(bonus Bonus BONUS points for making nathaniel swing both ways. i screamed when i read that part, even if it was vaguely referenced. the casual rep gets Full Points from me)
But it was Silas I liked the best and found most intriguing! I stan one snarky and incredibly charming demon. Elisabeth, Nathaniel, and Silas make a great little disaster trio.
The one complain I do have is how fast the plot is. I hate slow books, I have very little patience. Which is why I don’t usually mind if books are a bit fast paced. In fact, I was happy the book started out with a fast plot and no beating around the bush. But this was a bit too fast. I didn’t have any time to linger on a scene or savor a moment. Would have been a lot better if this one was slightly slower paced.
Overall it was a very refreshing read! It’s entertaining and gets my rec.
Rating: 4 out of 5