Cover Image: The Night Country

The Night Country

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Member Reviews

I absolutely loved The Hazelwood last year, but this sequel didn't live up to the same expectations. I honestly had a hard time remembering exactly where we had left off in the series and the author didn't provide helpful tools to immerse the reader back into the fold. I think this is extremely important for series, seeing that books are often released years a part. That being said, it took a while for me to reorient myself into the current situation and didn't enjoy the story of The Night Country as much as I did Book 1 of this series.
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The Night Country was a bit of a struggle for me.  I enjoyed the first book, but struggled with the character's purpose a bit.  This story ended the same way for me.  There seemed to be a lot of running around.  I wanted to delve deeper into some topics that were glossed over, which was disappointing.  I think that people that loved the first book will really enjoy this one as well though.
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Unfortunately, I did not get the chance to read this ARC prior to the book's publication, but we did end up buying it for our library collection.
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Night Country by @melissaalbertauthor is beautiful. I raved about the first Hazel Wood fairytale when it came out last year. And I didn’t know how you could beat the intriguing strangeness of it all. Luckily, Albert didn’t try. She wrote a whole new story and opened up the world bigger than I could’ve dreamed. Alice and Finch are back to their adventures and it was dark, and gorgeous, and thrilling.
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I LOVE the the dark stories Melissa Albert tells in The Hazel Wood and The Night Country — I’m a sucker for fairy tales so I fell in love with her storytelling quickly! Without making this spoilery, I will say that the sequel kept all the things that I loved about the first book — the horrific stories and characters in a magical world hidden within our own. The only thing I would have liked better was MORE FINCH and the banter between him and Alice! I loved that in the first book.
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The tale continues! Another dark and twisting tale for those who like a gritty story! The plot kept me on the edge of my seat. The wait for the book did not disappoint me at all!
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Weird and wonderful, just like the first. I love the world Melissa Albert has woven, and I'll be following her work closely from now on!
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Beautiful, dark story that is a great continuation of book one. Though, I needed to re-read book one in order to feel like there was a good flow going into the second. Don't let that stop you from getting excited!
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I liked this sequel even more than the first book. The first story set up the world and left us wondering what came next, and this story delivered all of the implications and fall out, and then some. I love the strong themes of storytelling and literature magic that permeated throughout this story. it is a story meant for those who love stories, books, fairy tales, and especially their characters. I think the characters became better developed in this sequel and I enjoyed seeing where their journeys or lack of there of took them.
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While I had merely liked the first book, my students loved it. However, I enjoyed this one a lot more. This may be due to the fact that it reads more like a spin-off than a true sequel.
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I adored The Hazel Wood and was so excited for this sequel! Honestly, I was a bit disappointed. It was hard to read and the characters felt so distant. Whereas the first book was fast paced, intriquing and I really had to "keep up" with it, this book dragged and was difficult.
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I loved and was so moved by The Hazel Wood, with its complicated layers of fairytales and darkness and how much agency a person or character can have in their lives. I could not connect with The Night Country at all, which was disappointing. It would be better to read this right after the first, perhaps, with a fresher memory of everything that happened, because starting with a couple of years in between left me lost and not able to appreciate subtle characterizations or motivations. This was grittier, and focused on what happens after the ever-after, but was not for me. Too hard to follow and piece together.
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I confess I found this sequel to The Hazel Wood hard to read. The grim and bloody violence was wrenching at times, and the story seemed a bit convoluted. However, all of the odd story strands were pulled tight and tied off in a pulse-pounding conclusion that will resonate with fans of The Hazel Wood and the Hinterland. 

All that said, I really think I was not in the right frame of mind to read this. It was early days of “New York on PAUSE” due to coronavirus and my nerves were super-taut. I’m recommending it because the writing is awesome and the conclusion to the story begun in The Hazel Wood is highly anticipated by fans.
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Still in print, best to added to library collections or read if you have read the first book in the series, THE HAZEL WOOD. Many readers say that Alice and Finch are among their favorite characters.
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The world building a character development is so much more than I hoped and left me wanting more, and I honestly need more. 

Alice's adventure is wild, I like the urban aspect meanwhile keeping the fantasy and fairytale flavor. Her story will keep you interested throughout the whole book, definitely wasn't ready for it to end because hello, that ending. But I loved every minute of it. I would have liked to have less inner monologue but it was great to see her perspective so clearly. But come on, I needed way more Finch. Maybe a novela with him... hmmm fingers crossed. 

If you haven't started these books, you should. I enjoyed them quite a bit!

Thank you net galley for the opportunity to read this!
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** I received an electronic ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this work. All opinions are my own. **

Okay, so it's no secret that I really did not enjoy The Hazel Wood. I thought the pacing was way off, Alice's character was strangely developed and that The Hinterland was not described with enough space or detail. The book tried to be a fantasy but felt more contemporary to me.

This book was able to improve on some of its predecessor's flaws. Pacing was somewhat better. I actually found myself wanting this book to be a little longer. I feel like I didn't have the time and space needed to absorb the horror of the last 10 to 15% of the book. We get an overview, like a reporter's newscast, about the effects of this horror on the "real" world, but not enough detail to truly "see" it. I was told about it, but not shown.

Alice is more bearable in this book as well. She isn't a horrible character, but her development is strange. She feels both dynamic and static, both flat and round. It makes for an incomplete character and I'm left to wonder if Alice is supposed to be an author or reader insert.

The author does an excellent job re-imagining the tales we heard as children and twisting them with dark magic and with the simple darkness we humans are able to all too easily inflict upon one another and upon ourselves.

** For teachers and parents, this book is intentionally dark and creepy. It is not for all students. There are numerous curse words, including f***. This is how Alice's inner monologue functions. You'll also see recreational drug use and the description of murders of Hinterland characters. It can get gorey. There are some mild sexual themes, but nothing that really stands out. Overall, your more mature junior high or high school readers will be fine. Language is the main concern here. **
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This book struggled a bit to keep my attention. But after awhile I got in my reading groove and found myself enjoying it more. I will continue to read more by this author.
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The Night Country is a powerful sequel to The Hazelwood. Rather the foreboding otherworldliness of the Hinterlands creeping in from the first book, The Night Country is about inner rage, living outside the world we know, and the connections and love we protect. I could read books and books about Alice and Ellery's adventures, and I look forward to more books by Melissa Albert.
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Definitely a good addition for my YA collection, and and author to watch.  Fantastic writing, and the covers from this author are always beautiful on the shelf.
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I thought this one was good, but felt It could be better. It was really predictable. I really enjoyed the parts where I thought there was an actual serial killer. That would have been so cool and interesting to follow. Really dissatisfied with this I wish the story was a bit more anticlimactic.
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