'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 10 February 2020

Review: The Night Country

The highly anticipated sequel to The Hazel Wood has finally arrived. If you thought, you could escape the clutches of the past then you were terribly wrong – just ask Alice.

After spending two twisted years in the hinterland, Alice thinks she has escaped into a normal, ordinary life. Washing up in New York City, Alice give or take a fairy tale century is 18 years old. 

Her new life sees her firmly ensconced in high school, with a new mother, Ella who has claimed her even though she knows exactly who Alice is, an ex-story with a troublesome past.

Alice is not the only escapee from the strange, pitch-dark fairy tale world known as the hinterland. 

Fighting hard to forge a new normal life, Alice along with her ex-story survivors try to acclimatise to the mundane everyday life everyone else has. Alice loves boring, but not all the survivors agree – even meeting up in a support group in a dingy psychic’s shop to keep in touch.

Everything seems normal, until Hansa the traveller is brutally murdered. This news sends shivers through the displaced stories and no one feels safe. It’s enough to make Alice, former fairy tale princess wish her powers would return – once upon a time she was able to tip ice into a person’s veins.

Alice still feels the guilt, for everyone’s predicament. She caused the death of hinterland by breaking the fairy tale story she was a part of, it tipped the story world askew and allowed the other characters to escape.

In her quest to find the killer, Alice meets up with Ellery Finch who unknown to her, they have a past. Finch introduces Alice to an alternate world, known as the Night Country. He is the spinner of stories, the one who weaves the magic. Together they could save the world but is Finch willing to save Alice or will he kill her by shutting the door permanently on her world?

Author Melissa Albert does not disappoint in this creepy, evil and terribly twisted fairy tale. Crisp and engaging characters, Finch and Alice shine, but will they get their fairy tale ending, or will it remain an elusive dream?

Title: The Night Country
Author: Melissa Albert
Publisher: Penguin Random House, $16.99
Publication Date: 7 January 2020
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780241370285
For ages: 14+
Type: Young Adult Fiction