A Drop of Night
By Stefan Bachmann
Published March 15, 2016 by Greenwillow Books
Review from e-ARC
Anouk has lucked into the opportunity of a lifetime - she's been selected to take part in the excavation of a hidden French palace with just a handful of other gifted teens. However, when they arrive, it becomes clear that nothing is what it seems. Is it possible that their lives are in danger?
Well, whatever I thought this book was going to be, it was something else. Glancing over other reviews when I started reading, I knew it was going to be a mix of many different genres and ideas, but I think I still underestimated exactly what I was getting into. There is so much stuff crammed into this book and, for me, it never really meshed all together. I'm generally a big fan of historical fantasy, but this also had elements of horror and the paranormal, plus action and mostly it just felt like a big old jumbled mess. I don't think the historical storyline was developed fully, and, because it had such a strong bearing on the present-day storyline, it made that weak as well.
I don't have to find characters likable to enjoy their stories, but Anouk was a very difficult character to care about. She behaves terribly to everyone and, yes, I understand that it's a defense mechanism because of how her parents treat her, but that didn't make her any easier to deal with. Additionally, none of the other characters are fleshed out at all, so I had a hard time getting invested in their survival throughout the ordeal.
Many parts of the story felt convenient and, at the same time, pointless. In fact, by the end, I'm not sure what the whole point of the story was. I can't give it away without spoiling things, but it seemed unlikely to me that this outcome would have occurred with this set of characters and no others.
Ultimately, I had high hopes for this but it did not live up to expectations. Thanks to the publisher for a digital advance reader's copy, provided via Edelweiss.