Cover Image: Gallant

Gallant

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Member Reviews

Victoria Schwab is my favorite author and Gallant is a worthwhile addition in her literary canon. The creepy world building on the other side was perfectly chilling, though the main character and the action scenes at the very end felt a little lacking compared to her other novels. Still, this is going to be a fantastic pick for tweens and fans of Doll Bones.
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V.E. Schwab is at it again, writing a gothic book that appeals to our hearts and makes us realize just how dark it can be in there, but how much we should embrace it. While not her strongest work, I can definitely see how she invested her entire heart into this to describe the places her brain takes her and how much her heart struggles. I can see the need for this book being made and she does a great job at conveying it, even if it's missing some of the magic her other works have.
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Gothic, lots of fun and hard to put down. Exactly what you'd expect from the author: engaging and filled with the most wonderful word soup of prose you could ask for. Absolutely worth a buy!
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What an amazing book. I was introduced to VE Schwab with the Invisible Life of Addie and loved her writing style and detail. With Gallant, I was immediately immersed in Olivia's life - her struggles, her strength and her visions. This is a dark and heart-breaking book but one I could not put down. Beautifully laid out and heavy with emotion and suspense, you will find yourself tip-toeing into the next chapter, the next challenge and towards the brink. Highly recommend.
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I was so incredibly bored by this book. I never really got interested in what was happening. It's a shame because having a main character who was mute and saw these ghouls who she could speak to was such an interesting idea that was just so poorly executed.
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4.5 stars, but I like to round up. Thank you NetGalley for enhancing my quarantine. 

The writing was absolutely beautiful, of course, with some wonderful imagery and great lines such as, “I am so happy. I am so scared. The two, it turns out, can walk together, hand in hand,” and “My heart is ash and did you know that ash holds its shape until you touch it?” 

I definitely felt the Neil Gaiman vibes coming from this, with just the right amount of creepy to keep me enthralled, but not terrified, which I appreciated, as a giant scaredy cat. 

The only reason it didn’t get 5 stars is the abrupt ending. Not bad by any means, just rushed, so it felt like I lost a bit of that beautiful writing. 

I liked the main character, Olivia, because she was tough and curious, though she never spoke. The reader of course knew her because of internal dialogue and actions, but she had to connect with others through other means, which was interesting and new. I think there are more things I’d like to know about her, but I loved following her as she pieced bits of information together. 

I definitely recommend if you’re in for a quick, kind of creepy, fantastical mystery. Loved it!
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Another excellent addition to Schwab's oeuvre! This dark and whimsical piece is sure to interest readers of her other middle grade/YA books, while adult readers will find that no punches were pulled for a younger audience. Wander into the place where the world meets its shadow, and get ready for a ride!
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Olivia Prior has grown up in Merilance School for girls, and all she has of her past is her mother’s journal—which seems to unravel into madness. Then, a letter invites Olivia to come home—to Gallant. Yet when Olivia arrives, no one is expecting her. But Olivia is not about to leave the first place that feels like home, it doesn’t matter if her cousin Matthew is hostile or if she sees half-formed ghouls haunting the hallways.

Olivia knows that Gallant is hiding secrets, and she is determined to uncover them. When she crosses a ruined wall at just the right moment, Olivia finds herself in a place that is Gallant—but not. The manor is crumbling, the ghouls are solid, and a mysterious figure rules over all. Now Olivia sees what has unraveled generations of her family, and where her father may have come from.

Olivia has always wanted to belong somewhere, but will she take her place as a Prior, protecting our world against the Master of the House? Or will she take her place beside him?

The synopsis is mysterious and spooky and sounds so interesting and yet everything you need to know about this story is right there.  There is no additional depth.  It's a spooky story with ghouls and demons, mysterious family histories, and houses that come with an opposite on the other side of a gate.  The tone and atmosphere are mysterious and spooky but the rest of the book doesn't contain enough complexity to stand on its own.  It felt as if the idea was half-formed and then the story needed a few more edits.
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Gallant is a wonderful atmospheric read by V.E. Schwab.  Olivia has lived at an orphanage for almost as long as she can remember.  One day, out of the blue she receives a notice that her long lost maternal family has found her and is calling her home-only to learn that no one sent the request once she arrives.  Although she receives a less than enthusiastic welcome she begins learning all she can about this strange house and why her mother left.  What she finds is a chilling mystery of parallel worlds.   Well paced and spooky at every turn; I was not able to put it down.
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This book was received as an ARC from Harper Collins Children's Books through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

Usually I am not a fan of the Horror genre even, YA Horror, but V.E. Schwab constructed this YA novel so well that the story was so compelling, I completely forgot the story is a horror story. The ghouls were hysterically scary which in my opinion, made them more enjoyable so I had to keep reading. i know you never judge a book by its cover and the book description should immediately peak your interest, but for many reasons this book did not do that. What made me want to read and review this book was my friend/colleague reading it and she would not stop talking about how great this book is, and by the twist of an arm, I read it and she was right. Olivia is a great heroine with real life struggles of belongingness, but realizes how costly belonging can become when the life-changing circumstance surfaces that will affect her and the family. it always pays to keep on reading, and that still stands true with Gallant.

A new twist on horror but fit for the YA genre combines with the brilliance of V.E. Schwab. This book gets 5 stars.
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VE Schwab is a very talented writer. The premise and world is mysterious and broody. But the story was a little surface level for me. I wish it was a bit deeper but it was still eerie. I almost wish it was written as an adult novel, I think it could have been more intriguing that way.
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GALLANT by VE Schwab consists of forgettable characters and forgettable plot shrouded by gorgeous prose.
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This delightfully creepy story in the vein of Neil Gaiman's Coraline was a treat to read; Schwab's writing is stellar and this story artfully bridges middle grade and YA.
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Thank you to Net Galley for letting me review this book.

This was such a perfect spooky, but not scary, read for October! I didn't want to put it down, and loved the added artwork to the physical copy. It's set in a sad and grey girl's school for orphans then at a crumbling manor. This book does not feature a romance like many YA books do, but does have a main character who longs for a family. She also happens to be mute and signs. 

Unlike a lot of YA, this book does not have a romance, as it focuses more of the mystery of the house Gallant, and Olivia's search for a family. This reminded me of some of Crimson Peak, and it is all about the atmosphere.
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While this isn't my favorite book we've gotten from Victoria Schwab, it was still really enjoyable. The story has such a wonderful uniqueness to it by being told through the perspective of a mute character. The biggest plus to this book is how atmospheric and chilly it makes the reader feel, however, I also felt like it wasn't anything I hadn't read before when it comes to Plot. It became a bit hard to get through towards the end
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I'm really glad I chose to read Gallant during spooky season because it gave me just the right balance of eerie and disturbing with heartwarming and straightforward. It's a fun read that manages to tackle territory that feels familiar and well-travelled from a new and unique perspective. I didn't care that I was reading a parallel world haunted house story that felt like many other parallel world haunted house stories, because this one had Olivia and her journals and her mysterious parents and that felt fresh enough that I was drawn in from the start.

While this story here can be thrilling and creepy, the highlights are the softer moments. I don't want to say more to prevent spoilers, but there's a distinct found family element here that feels very tender and sweet. The strong undercurrent of intergenerational trauma and healing from grief provide a lot of balance and depth to the story as well. And Olivia's parents?? I wasn't prepared.

Olivia makes for an interesting character study - one that feels really important to the success of this book. The way Schwab uses sound and voice in the setting contrasted with Olivia's muteness was a unique juxtaposition that forced the reader to think about communication and the broader concept of individual voice in a way I didn't expect from something that felt like it should be just another creepy thriller.

My biggest complaint was how the story wrapped up. Maybe the surprising amount of depth and reflection in other areas of the book lured me into expecting more than what I would have from a standard thriller/horror read, but I did find myself wanting a bit more from the ending, regardless of the reason. But Olivia's journey and the unraveling of Gallant was enough that I still enjoyed the experience overall and would still be willing to recommend. Heck, I'd still be willing to read it again.

Bonus points for really cool artwork!
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This story was like a slowly, unfurling flower that's petals crept out reaching towards the sun hesitatingly until suddenly you find yourself with a beautiful flower fully blossomed. It was not a fast-paced read but it was drawn out in its pace leading you around until you were finally in the right place. It was beautiful and sad, a little spooky but magical. Overall, this was an incredible story unlike anything by this author.
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There are some books that feel like they were written for you. That they are the story you needed and never wrote yourself. This book was the perfect encapsulation of a book that I would have loved. I just wish this book existed when I was younger.
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My rating: 3 of 5 stars—

I’ve never been quite as sold on V. E. Schwab as many fantasy fans. The synopses of her books rarely appeal to me.  I liked, but didn’t love listening to Addie LaRue as an audiobook. And in many ways, Gallant felt like much of the same. The protagonists are both lonely young women without any family ties, desperate for a sense of purpose and belonging. The villains are both shadowy figures with their own mysterious motivations for being so fixated on possessing the young female protagonists. Schwab’s writing style remains artfully atmospheric, as she describes her gothic horror setting in great detail (and length).

In other words, fans of Schwab will likely enjoy this shorter, less romantic, and less narratively complex (for the YA set) dose of her magic. For others, maybe skip it or opt for her adult writing. Gallant’s plot is very simple and not especially satisfying. Olivia Prior is left at an orphanage by her mother, with only a journal left to her, which suggests that her mother descended into madness, and a strict warning to never go to Gallant. And yet, a mysterious villain conspires to lure Olivia to the ominous house that she’ll discover is where her mother grew up. Olivia slowly learns more about her family’s history and the reasons they remained enthralled by Gallant for generations. 

Many thanks to HarperCollins/Greenwillow Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Gallant is unabashedly full of wonderful tropes and vibes, leaning in so hard to the Gothic mansion aesthetic that I could not help but be swept right along with it. It has strong Secret Garden vibes, but even more creepy, with dark illustrations woven throughout the story. It is a little light on actual plot -- the book is not long, and a lot of it is somewhat repetitive, but the atmosphere it evokes honestly makes up for it. Add in the sign language element, and I can safely say I adored this book.

Thank you to NetGalley and Greenwillow Books for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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