Cover Image: Gallant

Gallant

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Member Reviews

***Thank you to NetGalley and to the publisher for providing me with an electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.***
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The imagery in this book was fantastic and I’m always interested in what V.E. Schwab writes! I would definitely recommend this to a lot of people.
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VE Schwab is an author who always delivers, and Gallant was no exception! An amazing novel, that I absolutely could not put down. As always, superb characterization, plot-development, and world-building. 4/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.
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The best way to describe this book was atmospheric. You felt the unsettling vibes straight from the beginning. As in her previous books, Schwab's writing is impeccable and so well done. Though, unlike the others, this had a less character-driven plot and more like the plot happening to the characters. I think this was sort of the point with humans dealing with a force and being beyond their control. There was more of a dark fairytale setting than a realistic world with magic. One thing I thought was an interesting choice, but well-executed was that the main character Olivia was mute. Schwab did a great job of making her have her own voice and her own person. As this is a shorter book and not focused on characters, I felt like there could have been more exploration of the relationships and backstories of other characters. Overall this was a good read with a spooky atmosphere that kept you on the edge of your seat, though different than her previous works.
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*Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC. All opinions expressed are my own.*

I loved this book - the eerie atmosphere, the fabulous world-building, the amazing characters, the gate leading to a mirror world, and the fact that the main character can’t speak, but is powerful in other ways. It kept me guessing with tricky hints and plot twists. I highly recommend it to middle school and up. It’s a must purchase for any middle school library.
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V.E. Schwab always paints a vivid picture in her novels. She did a good job of slowly revealing and building upon earlier descriptions for optimum creepiness. This book had a well developed main character and loveable side characters. I didn't think the villain was as scary as he could be, but was definitely ominous and creepy. I didn’t find the conclusion very satisfying, but the ride until the end was very entertaining. This is a book I would definitely recommend to our teen readers. I think fans of dark academia would like this book, even though it is not strictly in that genre it has very similar vibes.
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Thank you, NetGalley, for an e-ARC of Gallant by V.E. Schwab.
Once again, Victoria Schwab delivers a book that draws you in from the beginning and keeps you hooked until the end. Ghost stories, paranormal, and horror are not preferred genres for me, but Schwab is an exception. Creating three dimensional characters, descriptive settings, and plot twists that are sound. She ties everything together in the end and makes you feel like you are part of the story.
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Thank you to Net Galley, the author, and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review!
 
This is only the second V.E. Schwab book I've read and I stand by the conclusion that she is an excellent writer. I really enjoyed The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. But this one? Just wasn't it.

Olivia Prior is a fourteen year-old living at an all girls' residential school. There, she is often singled out as a result of her mutism and strange behavior. Yet, what no one else realizes is that her strange behavior is tied to her unique ability to see the dead. She has no ties to her family and very little sense of where she's come from. The only information she has are the journals and drawings left behind by her mother. 

However, the story starts to really take shape when Olivia receives a letter from her uncle inviting her to the family estate at Gallant. Ominously, her mother has issued a warning to Olivia against this structure. But, keen on the idea of belonging somewhere (and absolutely hating her life at the residential school), Olivia sets off to learn more about where she's come from. Yet, she's not exactly given a warm welcome when she arrives at Gallant. No one understands how she received an invitation from her SPOILER ALERT deceased uncle. From there, we learn more about Olivia's abilities and why her mother was invested in keeping her from Gallant.

I won't lie -- reflecting back on all of it, that sounds very much up my alley. And yet, I was incredibly bored throughout the vast majority. The pacing and character development were drastically different from what was seen in Addie LaRue. I assure you, you will not want to compare the two. The only common thread is that Schwab's prose remains as strategic and thoughtful as ever. The story, itself, though? Didn't grab me. I wasn't invested at any point. 

I will say that the book (which, despite getting a digital ARC, I presumptuously bought) is beautiful. The front and back covers are so aesthetically pleasing. The illustrations? Dark and beautiful. However, as the old adage says, you should never judge a book by its cover. I tend to disagree with this statement. And yet, here it most certainly holds true.
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This was my first story by V.E. Schwab.  Which is amazes me while I type this review.  She is such a prolific author, I would've thought by now I would've read something she has written.  

That being said, I highly enjoyed this story.  It did take about 40% of the book for me to get to a point of not wanting to put it down, but the writing style and the plot was fun and enjoyable.  

I went in not knowing what to expect, but while the book was a bit strange and a bit haunted, I very much enjoyed the description and the choices that Schwab made while writing the book.
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I loved this atmospheric story! I immediately took a liking to Olivia and was drawn into the mystery of her family. What happened to her mother? Did she really go crazy? And then of course, all the mysteries of Gallant. The book was darker than I expected, but that’s a good thing. I also appreciated a main character who is mute - not only is this uncommon in literature, but it played well into the story. My only complaint is that I would have loved to learn more about everyone, and even to learn more about the world past the gate. And I would have loved to see Olivia’s relationship with her cousin get a chance to grow, though I guess that just adds to the tragedy of the story. I think this is a standalone novel, which is unfortunate because I think so many stories could be told within this world that Schwab created!
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I received an eARC of this title through NetGalley in return for an honest review. 

The story in general is interesting. It is very much in the YA trope of "orphan who has a destiny", but it works with the story that is set up. Olivia was left by her mom at an all girl's orphanage with only her mother's journal to give her any indication as to why. I think the set up of this story is a little slow for my taste, however the set up is fairly important to understanding Olivia. I liked how the story picked up pace as soon as Olivia gets to her long lost family's mansion. Once this happens, the story goes by pretty quickly. 

I genuinely enjoyed Olivia as a character and how the author portrayed her as a person who cannot speak. The frustration Olivia feels when no one understands her sign language or when people ignore her feels realistic. The representation in this book is important and was weaved well into the story. 

When I first started this book, I was under the impression that it would be a young adult book in a gothic style, which was the initial reason I wanted to read this. However, I would not call this gothic. This book has some elements of gothic fiction, however, I did not feel the writing style matches that genre quite as well. I felt it was more supernatural horror with a dash of attempting to write in the gothic style. With that in mind, I was disappointed in this book which is a big part of the reason I gave this title 3 stars. 

However, setting my reading experience aside, I will say if you are into supernatural young adult horror with fantasy elements, this book is for you. I would just not go into this book thinking it is gothic fiction.
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Gallant was another victory for VE Schwab. Her books are well written and hard to put down. The twist in this story really took my breath away.
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Gallant by V.E. Schwab is a fantastic read.  The artwork throughout is beautiful, too.  I'm a fan of Schwab's work, but this one was particularly noteworthy.  The worldbuilding is expertly done, with compelling characters (albeit a bit trope-y), and I enjoyed the different narratives coming together to form the whole.
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I enjoyed Gallant but it’s definitely not my favorite V.E. Schwab book. I will say it’s an instant classic though. It holds the elements of horror and fantasy that really feels like it could be for any age. It reads like a fairytale (the dark kind) and Olivia is definitely a unique and likable MC.

I definitely enjoyed the cover and styling of the  book since it’s just as beautiful as it’s writing! 

Thank you to Netgalley and V.E. Schwab for the advanced read of Gallent in exchange for an honest review.
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An absolute DREAM of a book. Beautifully written, beautifully executed, and brilliantly ended. V.E. Schwab never disappoints.  

This is an engrossing tale about a mute girl named Olivia who finds herself obsessed with thr last remnants that exist of her mother; a personal journal she has hauntingly written. When Olivia finds herself in the middle of a family affair in a house far away from the orphanage she grew up in, she must make difficult decisions to either save herself,  or her family. 

Highly recommend. 5 stars.
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Old School Ghost Story + Secret Garden + Coraline = Gallant

I loved it!

Gallant is a great horror book for young adults. It has serious creep factor and no romance to contend with.  Olivia is an orphan living in a group home. She is non-verbal and see ghouls.  Then her family finds her.

Upon her arrival they know her but clearly did not call her home to the family estate, Gallant.  In short order she knows she belongs but there are strong reasons the family tries to get her to leave. 

The pace was perfect. The story seems simple because it does not devolve into side stories and supporting character growth. Instead, it is focused and succinct.  A true gem.
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A haunted house full of family secrets and death. A beautiful journey from start to finish. A perfect blend of secret garden meet Crimson Peak.
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Overall, I really enjoyed Gallant, but I didn't love it. It was a fast read and was the moody, gothic-style book I gravitate towards. Overall, it just didn't feel that complex to me although I did appreciate Schwab including a mute female protagonist. I was initially disappointed that she never explains where the muteness comes from because I thought it was going to be connected to her family history, but in retrospect, I like that it isn't ever explained - it's just part of who Olivia is. 

Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC of this book.
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Described as “The Secret Garden meets Crimson Peak” by author V.E. Schwab, Gallant (Greenwillow Books), her 21st book, whisks readers into a quietly haunting tale.

Olivia Prior knows hardly anything about her family or where she came from. Raised at the Merilance School for Independent Girls, the only link she has to anyone outside its walls is her mother’s journal — a slim, worn volume that offers very few answers as she watches her mother’s words, and the series of strange ink drawings between them, seemingly devolve into madness with the turn of every page. More peculiar is the final entry, a rather lucid letter addressed to Olivia that ends, “you will be safe as long as you stay away from Gallant.”

AN INVITATION TO DARKER HORIZONS

She’s read the journal backwards and forwards thousands of times over the years but can make neither heads nor tails of her mother’s warning … until a new letter arrives. An uncle she never knew existed has summoned her home to the Prior family estate, summoned her home to Gallant. The elation of discovering family becomes mixed up in the caution her mother’s journal implores her to take. Nevertheless, she has little choice but to go. When she arrives, she finds no uncle. The estate is in disrepair, and no one, not the paltry staff nor her disgruntled cousin Matthew, had been expecting her. 

Now a somewhat unwelcome guest, Olivia is determined to uncover the secrets Gallant is concealing, even if Matthew continues to insist on her leaving. And if the estate’s few living souls refuse to grant her the answers she seeks, perhaps the ghouls that haunt this place can point her in the right direction — to a small, crumbling wall at the back of the grounds, the purpose of which is a mystery, as is the locked door at its center. 

Schwab’s latest feels like a fairy tale dressed in irresistible black, like the glittering surface of dark water that draws you to its sheen but makes you wary of what might lurk beneath. Gallant possesses all the magic and mystery readers have come to expect from Schwab along with a gently ominous atmosphere and a poignant meditation on home and belonging. 

READERS HOLD THE KEY, SCHWAB DARES THEM TO FIND THE LOCK

Oh, and for all you bibliophiles who prefer your books with a side of book, Gallant is one of those special tomes that boasts another within its pages. As the story moves along, readers discover passages from Olivia’s mother’s journal, featuring the gorgeous and haunting illustrations of Manuel Šumberac. The novel becomes a puzzle of sorts as Olivia (and the reader) attempts to piece together the clues concealed within the journal. And as soon as you’ve seen the complete picture, the only sensible decision is to start all over again, delighting in the details you missed on your first read-through.

But perhaps the most exciting aspect of this novel is that it can be enjoyed by anyone. I’d wager that every reader, be they middle-schooler or middle-aged, will leave Gallant powerfully affected by Schwab’s storytelling. For me, her words don’t just describe magic, they create magic, they are magic — keeping my own “creative door propped open,” as Schwab herself likes to say, and beckoning me to explore stranger worlds.
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Another wonderful novel by V.E. Schwab!  I am so thankful for the chance to preview this for our store.  Our customers have been sweeping this book of our shelves and the cover art is stunning!
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