Cover Image: Foul Days

Foul Days

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This was not the kind if fantasy book I was expecting or necessarily wanting to read. This is very much a case where my expectations did not match the book. I wanted an escapist read and found this version of the world way to similar to our own. This book is compared to the Witcher series but I frankly did not understand the comparison.

I requested this one because it might be an upcoming title I would like to review on my Youtube Channel. However, after reading the first several chapters I have determined that this book does not suit my tastes. So I decided to DNF this one.

Was this review helpful?

In this captivating read, the author masterfully weaves a narrative that is both engaging and thought-provoking. Through a blend of richly developed characters and a meticulously crafted plot, the book offers a unique exploration of its central themes, inviting readers to immerse themselves in the story's depth and complexity. The narrative is paced perfectly, balancing moments of intense action with thoughtful reflection, ensuring that readers are hooked from the first page to the last. The author's ability to evoke emotion and create a vivid, immersive world is truly remarkable, making this book a must-read for anyone looking for an exceptional literary experience.

Beyond its compelling storyline, the book stands out for its insightful commentary on the human condition, weaving philosophical questions into the fabric of its narrative. The author's skillful use of language not only enriches the text but also elevates the reader's experience, offering new perspectives on familiar themes. Whether it's the intricate dynamics of relationships, the exploration of identity, or the confrontation with ethical dilemmas, this book tackles complex issues with sensitivity and intelligence. It's a testament to the power of storytelling to illuminate the nuances of life, making it a valuable addition to any book lover's collection. Regardless of genre, this is a work that resonates on multiple levels, affirming the enduring impact of well-crafted literature.

Was this review helpful?

The premise completely grabbed me. Chapter 1 opens so strongly. But then it falls flat, with world-building and exposition dumps, which continue on into chapter 2 (I stopped partway through at 5%). I think this will be a solid three to four stars with five for the right readers.

Thank you to NetGalley and Tor for the ARC.

Was this review helpful?

This book was fun - a good choice for a beach or plane read.

The protagonist is a witch living in a city that is an enclave within a bigger city. The bigger city constructed the wall surrounding the smaller one to contain monsters, and those who were within the enclave now have to just live with the monsters as the wall cannot be crossed easily. A visitor from the outside world persuades her to give him her shadow in exchange for passage, which she agrees to because her ex (the “Tsar of Monsters”) is hunting her. But having no shadow means she has no power, and is going to become a wraith. Recognizing that she was coerced, she seeks to reclaim her shadow, accompanied by a police officer of the outer city.

The blurb said it was for fans of Naomi Novik and the Witcher - Novik because of the Slavic inspiration, and the Witcher because of all the monsters running around. I’d throw in a comparison to China Miéville’s *The City and the City*, for obvious reasons to anyone who’s read that one.

But I call it a beach read because it was fun, but not a book I’m going to be thinking about when my mind wanders. It felt like the author couldn’t quite decide if she wanted to make it a modern urban fantasy or something more Medieval/Renaissance-ish, and ended up sort of splitting the difference in a way that kind of gave me expectations-whiplash. The dialogue felt stilted, at times, and the characters weren’t as developed as they could have been (a LOT of things happened because the protagonist and/or the cop picked up the idiot ball).

The best done parts were the parts with the “Tsar of Monsters.” Not only was he a good and interesting antagonist, but the author did a *great* job of writing about the difficulties of escaping an abusive relationship when your abuser is a literal monster. It was well done enough that I find myself hoping that Dimova wasn’t writing from experience too much, and if she was, good for her for escaping.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you Netgalley, Genoveva Dimova, and Tor Publishing Group/Tor Books for the eARC!

A solid debut. Definite The Witcher vibes--it's fast-paced, solidly written, and absolutely jam-packed with monsters crawling from every corner. I really enjoyed this. Also pleased to hear that the series will be coming sooner rather than later, because this series will be very binge-able for people. My biggest gripe with this book was the lack of emotion. I can't really pinpoint why--maybe the prose? While flashy, dark, and humorous, I didn't connect with any sort of deep-level emotion. I felt it was laid out to me, instead of actually experiencing it myself. That's nitpicky, however, and I thought this was a fantastic start to a promising duology.

Was this review helpful?

I am not always into witch books, but the Slavic folklore aspect to it made be intrigued. This was fast-paced are very atmospheric. I really enjoyed it. Please read if you enjoy books like The Bear and the Nightingale.

Was this review helpful?

This book ended me. I am flat on my back, no thoughts, just monsters and witches and magic and all the delightful, twisty shenanigans that Genoveva Dimova threw at me. FOUL DAYS is my favorite type of fantasy--it's clever and funny and dark in equal measure, breathlessly ambitious and gorgeously atmospheric. It was a delight to navigate the 12 Foul Days with Kosara and I cannot wait to follow this series wherever it goes next.

Five million stars from me.

Was this review helpful?

Sadly this one didn't work for me. It was a lot of telling and very little showing. We are always being told exactly what the narrator is feeling and why, which made her sound very flat and uninteresting. I think overall this novel just lacked complexity for me. I don't want to be told everything, I want to work to figure out the characters and the world, and that was not the case here unfortunately.

Was this review helpful?

I received an ARC of this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I was so excited to be able to read Foul Days early! The Witcher written by Naomi Novik is 100% spot on as a pitch, and it fully lived up to that lofty promise. An unputdownable, confident debut brimming with character, heart, humor, magic -- and, of course, monsters. So. Many. Monsters.

Dimova's knowledge of Bulgarian/Slavic folklore injects the world with vibrancy and depth, creating a setting that feels both fresh and deeply lived-in. Drawing on historical parallels, the walled cities of Chernograd and Belograd are alive enough to be their own characters here.

And 23-year-old Kosara is a fantastic protagonist who's easy to root for--fiercely independent, pragmatic, and nursing deep hurts behind her prickly, witchy armor--up against a truly chilling villain.

Foul Days is a knockout debut and a hell of a way to start a trilogy, and I can't wait to continue Kosara's story.

Was this review helpful?

My thanks to NetGalley for making an eARC of this book available to me.

Great descriptions of Slavic folklore based monsters. The main characters are quite engaging and the plot easily complex enough to keep us well interested. Expect this book to be featured in 2024's awards nominations. And on top of that, we also get a sequel just a few months after the publication of this book!

Was this review helpful?

Kosara is a witch who lives in the walled city of Chernograd where it's the Foul Days. A brief period of time during the year when all types of monsters invade the city and people do their best to stay alive. Unfortunately for Kosara she just lost her shadow, the source of all her power on a bet. To make it worse The Zmey (Tsar of all monsters) is after her. She defied him by leaving and he wants her back. Her only escape is to get over the wall to Belograd, where monsters including The Zmey can’t follow. When she is there she discovers she has been tricked by someone close to her and the shadow sickness is upon her. She has to come back to Chernograd and face The Zmey if she wants to live past the Foul Days. She gets assistance from a suspiciously kind Belograd police officer who is investigating a suspicious death that is linked to the wall. This book was fast paced with the world building happening naturally throughout the story. Kosara is a great character both fierce and vulnerable. I also enjoyed the slow burn friendship/relationship that started developing between Kosara and Asen. I can't wait for the next book in this series. Thank you #NetGalley for my arc. #fouldays

Was this review helpful?