Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
This will be a spoiler-free review. For my spoiler-y thoughts, check out my Book Breakdown on my YouTube channel, which will be posted on 1/17/2018 (My Channel).
This novel had so many great things going for it. Bracken’s use of language was amazing, from her vivid imagery to her hilarious one-liners sprinkled throughout. This book had a tendency to make me laugh in one instance, and then gasp at the sheer beauty of the prose in another (something I wasn’t expecting to experience while reading a MG novel). Bracken was also very skillful in describing her characters, introducing their appearances and personalities in only a few short lines that easily got the point across nicely.
The characters themselves were well-written, as well. No character felt one-dimensional; every single one had their own life, personality, and growth or decline. Even the demon, Alastor, was a multi-faceted character, and he quickly became one of my favorite parts of the story.
The world-building was probably the best part of this novel, though. From beginning to end, we’re introduced to new elements of this magical world. Shades, hobs, howlers, Downstairs… Words that will mean nothing to someone who hasn’t read this book, but all of which were well fleshed-out in order to make the world feel rich and full of life. Bracken was able to take many elements of magical folklore that already exist, and twist them into her own creation in order to make her novel feel fresh.
Of course, not everything about this novel was perfect. There were moments where the spacial relationships between characters were unclear, or some plot elements didn’t entirely make sense, but these moments were few and far between. Easy to look past, in the grand scheme of things.
Overall, I would recommend this book to anybody interested in a fun, lighthearted story where a well-developed magical world interacts with the human world. Fans of Harry Potter will most likely enjoy many elements of this novel, from the quirky characters and magic to the action-packed climax.