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I Belong

Review: A Drop of Night by Stefan Bachmann

A Drop of NightTitle: A Drop Of Night

Author: Stefan Bachmann

Genre: YA Mystery/Thriller

Series: N/A

Publication Date: March 15, 2016

Format: Hardcover, 464 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062289926 (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0062289926 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Roxanne


Seventeen-year-old Anouk has finally caught the break she’s been looking for?she’s been selected out of hundreds of other candidates to fly to France and help with the excavation of a vast, underground palace buried a hundred feet below the suburbs of Paris. Built in the 1780’s to hide an aristocratic family and a mad duke during the French Revolution, the palace has lain hidden and forgotten ever since. Anouk, along with several other gifted teenagers, will be the first to set foot in it in over two centuries.

Or so she thought.

But nothing is as it seems, and the teens?bitter, iron-hearted Anouk, gentle Will, bubbly Lilly, and crazy Jules?soon find themselves trapped in a game far more sinister, and dangerous, than they could possibly have imagined.

Quick & DirtyFive teenagers on a trip to explore an underground palace, when everything begins to go crazy, will they make it out alive?

Opening Sentence: “We are fleeing along the upper gallery when the windows explode.”

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Anouk feels like she has won a chance of a life time when she gets picked to go on an expedition to excavate the Palais du Papillon. She arrives at the airport to meet the other teenagers picked: Hayden, Will, Jules and Lilly. Anouk is initially aloof, because she has her own secrets to keep, and she doesn’t want the other teens to find them out. When they arrive in France and at the villa they are staying at, she begins to suspect something is off, and questions the leader of the expedition. When he hands out pills after dinner, Anouk is the only one who doesn’t want to take them and attempts to hide that from the adults.

When she wakes underground, she gets the other kids up except for Hayden who won’t wake, and they take off into the palace underground. From there everything begins to go crazy, and as they run through the twisted traps and killing rooms, Anouk wonders if they will ever make it out alive? It becomes clear almost instantly that this palace is going to challenge them mentally and physically. While they try to avoid traps, something/someone is hunting them, and they are trying to figure out who all is locked down in this palace. Anouk knows that no one is looking for them and they will have to push themselves to their limits in order to survive.

I am kind of wavering on whether I outright love this, or just really like it. I was sucked in and read the entire book in one sitting. I had to know what was going on. I was literally on the edge of my seat trying to figure things out and by the end I was totally blown away. A pure mixture of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. I really enjoyed how the characters evolved. Anouk was a total aloof brat at the beginning of the book, but those same qualities are kind of what helps the teens in the end. Because she is so jaded and mistrustful, she doesn’t willingly go along with taking the mystery pill, and that makes all the difference. She is also extremely gifted with languages and the other teens all seem to have special skills, and they quickly start bonding and figuring things out as a team.

I said I was wavering on the love or strongly like of this book, but only because I just haven’t quite processed how I feel. On the hand this is a brilliant mind game type of a book, the answers are so out there and shocking that it feels like a roller coaster ride by the end. I think I am leaning towards love, but that’s because this book is right up my alley. I adore that combination of horror and fantasy with major twists and so much darkness. A Drop of Night delivers that and so much more, it is a page turning thriller and just when you think you have something figured out, you find that you are totally wrong.

I saw the comparison of I Know What You Did Last Summer meets Frankenstein. I am not sure I agree with those comparisons. At least the I Know What You Sid Last Summer, that kind of implies the teens have done something bad and covered it up, and then try to survive a killer. Only one of those things really applies to this story, I will not disagree with the Frankenstein aspect, because I think that kind of suits this book. All in all, this book is great and it will definitely appeal to those who love horror and dark books.

Notable Scene:

“Jules is frowning, probably wondering what the odds are that everyone on this team is an asocial freak.”

“It turns out having medical reasons to be mean and angry doesn’t actually help you become less mean and angry.”

“An underground palace as large as the  Sun King’s Court but buried 100 feet down was probably too ridiculous and excessive luxury to even consider.”

“I don’t know what it is, but something feels wrong.”

“I close my eyes and hope he didn’t notice me in the dimness.”

“Perdu’s tied up at the end of the panic room like a psychotic freaking Smeagol.”


FTC Advisory: Greenwillow/HarperTeen provided me with a copy of A Drop Of Night. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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