Cover Image: Gallant

Gallant

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This is the delightfully dark and creepy ghost story that I didn’t know I needed in my life. Going through the twists and turns of Gallant was so weirdly comforting and yet completely unsettling at the same time. The main character’s ability to adjust to her found family while searching for answers was such a great turn of words, I loved every minute of it. The illustrations were lovely and echoed feelings of longing and adoration and helped the story along in a surprising way.
Was this review helpful?
This book was delightfully creepy, yet heartwarming. I will buy this for my school library for sure.
Was this review helpful?
One of Schwab's best young adult books yet. The creeping sense of sorrow and loneliness was absolutely delightful. A story you can absolutely come back to.
Was this review helpful?
V.E. Schwab never disappoints this is another great book by this beloved author. This book gave me The Near Witch vibes mixed with a little magic from the Shades of Magic series and a smidgeon of the darkness from the Villans series. This book is set in such a dreary world yet there is resilience and hope. The main character is mute and there is some struggle with her ability to communicate with others. There are a few characters that understand sign language. The spooky elements of this book leave you feeling like there can be a ghoul right in front of you if you put your book down. The artwork throughout the book is beautiful and adds a nice layer to the story. There is so much that I want to say but don't want to spoil anything. This is a great read and I highly recommend it to teens and adults. 
* I received an eARC/e-galley of this book via Netgalley. All opinions in this review are my own.
Was this review helpful?
Are you looking for a fantasy story that is not overly complicated in it's world building, that gives you slightly creepy vibes but does not keep you from sleeping at night? As usual, Schwab has you covered. I typically enjoy Schwab's adult offerings better than her young adult stories, but she never disappoints.. Olivia is the kind of character that you want to stick in your pocket and keep with you, as she's not fully real, but she's a perfect fictional character.
Was this review helpful?
I've never read V.E. Schwab before, but Gallant was the perfect book for me to start with. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: If you describe a book as Gothic in any way, shape, or form, I’m gonna pick it up. And chances are, I’m also gonna love it.

Gallant is a stunning book. Each and every sentence was carefully crafted by an artist’s hand. The way Victoria describes colors and smells and tastes and feelings had me stepping into Olivia’s shoes as though they were made for my feet. Every chapter is a soldier’s march toward solving the mystery of Olivia’s abilities, her mother’s fate, her father’s identity, and her family’s purpose. And though the answers seem impossible, she soon discovers that they’re all too real.

I love the very premise of this book because I, like Victoria, have loved doors my whole life. Or, more specifically, I have loved the keys that have belonged to those doors. Those of us who fell in love with stories like The Secret Garden will find something cut from the same cloth, but perhaps darker, cast in shadow.

One of the highlights was the found family aspect of the story, but truly, if you take anything away from this Gallant book review, let it be this: V.E. Schwab is a master wordsmith who can weave shadows into triumph and heartbreak into hope. Even Death is no match for the poetry she places on the page.
Was this review helpful?
VE Schwab’s newest gave me Secret Garden vibes, but horror and ghosts and ghouls (oh my!). It was a bit slow for my taste, but I really loved her This Savage Song duology, so it’s hard to beat it. 

The choice to have a male audiobook narrator when the MC is female was a bit odd. As was the slight British accent? I guess it was kinda set in the UK, but it wasn’t super obvious, so it seemed a bit superfluous. Like they were trying really hard to create an ambiance that the book should have been bringing to the table.
Was this review helpful?
Absolutely amazing book with strong plot and representation, worth the read for everyone. This author never disapoints.
Was this review helpful?
<i>"Olivia Prior has dreamed of gardens. Every grim gray month at Merilance, she longed for carpets of grass, for riotous blooms, for a world engulfed in color. And here it is. Last night it was a moonlit tangle of hedge and vine. Now it is sun drenched, stunning, a field of green interrupted everywhere by red, gold, violet, white.
[...]
And then, her gaze drifts past it all, beyond the trellised roses and down the soft green slope, to a wall.
Or at least, the remains of one, a ruined stretch of stone, its edges crumbling, its front threaded over with ivy."</i>

TL;DR: A luscious, gorgeous, creepy Gothic story that I genuinely could not put down. (Although I did read it in broad, 85-degree daylight because I am A Wimp, and cannot handle even mildly horrific things.) 
<i><b>I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.</i></b>

Vibes: <i>The Secret Garden</i> + <i>Jane Eyre</i> (or any Gothic hallmark, really) + Persephone & Hades myth

Genre: YA* Gothic Fairy-Tale / Underworld story 
YA, mainly because of age of the protag -- but like most fairy tales/myths, it has a timeless feel to it that transcends age. 

Romance Meter: 🖤 ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡
VERY little romance. 🎉 The love between Olivia's parents is a cornerstone of the story, but it's not the focus. 

Character MVP: "MVP" doesn't really apply here...not because the characters didn't stand out, or were poorly written, because they weren't. It's more that I use "MVP" as a title for my favorite character, maybe not the MC, who stole the scenes they were in and leaped off the page. Here, characters leap off the page, but not really in a fun way...that being said, I thought Schwab's portrayal of the non-verbal Olivia was strong and compelling, and I had a strong sense of who Olivia was even though she didn't "speak."

Verdict: Victoria Schwab is one of those authors who have been on my TBR list for forever, and for whatever reason, I just haven't made it to any of her books. 

So I was really excited when (1) my online book group picked <i>Gallant</i> as the group read for a monthly challenge, and (2) I had an ARC overdue for feedback. 

From the first paragraph, I was hooked. 

And I say that as someone who has ZERO tolerance for horror/creepy things. Gothic is just about my limit, mainly because it's more spooky than out-and-out horror, and I'd say that this book came right up to that line (for me. Others, who have a higher spooky tolerance, would probably laugh at me and find this quaint and cute). 

I loved Schwab's writing style, I loved the way she drew on the Gothic tropes for world building -- the run-down girl's <s>boarding school</s> orphanage dusted with soot and coal smoke, the mysterious old house, inhabited by only a few people, the beautiful garden with the out-of-place stone wall, the whispers of something not quite right -- it was all very Mr-Rochesters-secret-wife-hidden-in-the-attic-if-Bertha-Mason-was-a-personification-of-Death. I loved the <i>Secret Garden</i> vibes, and the reason for the Shadow World. 

This isn't the most substantive review then, but I will be moving Schwab's books up on my TBR.
Was this review helpful?
In the beginning, I was intrigued. The girl in a girls’ home, who has a mysterious past, and also doesn’t speak…usually can make for a good book. As soon as Olivia was at Gallant, things started going downhill for me. Highly predictable. The one thing that I actually enjoyed however, was the descriptiveness. I loved how you can truly picture everything from the house, the gardens, and the walls especially. Fair book, however it’s unlikely I’ll end up reading it a second time or adding it to my personal library. 

This review is after receiving an arc through NetGalley.
This review is after receiving an arc through NetGalley.
Was this review helpful?
From the characters to the plot to the horrifying setting, I was pulled in by this story that never let go. Olivia's journey from finding her family to learning about the truths of their morbid existence kept me intrigued throughout, and I finished it feeling dizzy from everything she endures and overcomes. Gallant is heartbreaking and spooky, and has a similar feel to many Neil Gaiman stories.
Was this review helpful?
I absolutely loved this atmospheric and gorgeously written story. V.E. Schwab never disappoints; her stories are always so richly told and her characters are so unique and well written. This is the perfect magical story to read in a single rainy afternoon!
Was this review helpful?
Hauntingly great story. Another wonderful tale from the very talented V.E. Schwab.  Always ready for another!
Was this review helpful?
Hauntingly beautiful. I’ve always been a fan of Victoria’s writing and this did not disappoint. The prose were beautiful. You can feel the inspiration she draws from Neil Gaiman but weaves it as a unique version of her very own. I never have to worry about whether or not her stories will have atmosphere because they always drip with it. Her characters are lovable and her villains absolutely villainous. 

My one critique is that I would not give this to a child to read. YA, sure. Adult, yes. Some of the themes I would not want a MG kiddo to read just yet. 

Otherwise, fantastic.
Was this review helpful?
I love VE Schwabs adult books but this was my first YA of hers. It was really good! I enjoyed the story and the writing. It was a little slow at some parts, but overall I liked it. I wrote a staff pick for it to put on display.
Was this review helpful?
This was my first foray into V.E. Schwab despite so many friends telling me I NEEDED to read her. I wish I'd read her earlier! Schwab's writing is atmosphere and vivid. I felt like I was in the world she built. She balanced elements of horror and adventure perfectly. This book has so much crossover appeal, I know I'll be able to recommend it to a wide variety of folks.
Was this review helpful?
This was an eerie and quick read! VE Schwab has such a way of making stories so atmospheric and engaging. I do hope she continues this spooky style of writing! The entire story was immersive. I loved the characters, the house, even the ghouls. It takes a lot of talent to put so much into such a small book but this author nailed it.
Was this review helpful?
Delightfully spooky and atmospheric, this may have been one of the creepiest books for young readers I've read! With hints of The Secret Garden and Coraline, an orphan explores a newfound relative's gloomy and seemingly haunted estate is lured to a hidden door and discover a dark secret about herself and her family. Suspenseful, creepy, gory - I loved it! An absolute page-turner, I'd say it's perfect for upper middle grade readers aging out of Schwab's City of Ghosts series, looking for a scary read that's not TOO scary.
Was this review helpful?
V.E. Schwab is quickly becoming a favorite author in terms of how beautiful I find her writing style. Her work with Gallant was no different. The imagery was vivid and did a wonderful job of setting the scene for this spooky story. I have seen some folks tag this book as 'horror' but it didn't quite hit that category for me. I would say this has a mysterious Crimson Peak-esque vibe instead. 

The story follows Olivia, an orphan living in a girls' home. She is outcasted from her peers largely due to the fact that she is nonverbal. Olivia finds solace in the only possession she has inherited from her mother - a journal that appears to chronicle her mother's descent into madness. One day, a letter arrives and calls Olivia home to a family she did not know existed. She finds herself traveling to Gallant, the ancestral home of the Priors, and the one place her mother warned about in the journal. At Gallant, Olivia finds clues about her parents and the secret generations of Priors have kept. 

Gallant feels like V.E. Schwab carefully curated each word. This was definitely what I enjoyed most, but unfortunately, the book left me feeling like it was mostly vibes and less plot-driven. It could just be me - I am finding that Y.A. books tend to frustrate me more than it used to in general. I still think fans of V.E. Schwab will enjoy Gallant overall.
Was this review helpful?
Gallant is a YA horror/mystery with simple yet captivating world-building and gothic and eerie vibes. The artwork and cover of the book are stunning and really capture the mood of the story. It started quite strong, however the slow pace made it difficult at times to connect with the story. I felt the secondary characters and some plot points weren't as well fleshed out and the ending a bit rushed. However, Schwab's writing is as always beautifully descriptive, emotional and lyrical. If you are a fan of her writing and love a spooky read, you will enjoy a visit to Gallant!
Was this review helpful?