Tuesday, March 15, 2016

ARC Review: A Drop of Night

About the Book:

A Drop of NightTitle: A Drop of Night
Author: Stefan Bachmann
Pub. Date: March 15, 2016
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pages: 464

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Horror
Rating: 2/5 stars


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 soon find themselves embroiled in a game far more sinister, and dangerous, than they could possibly have imagined. An evil spanning centuries is waiting for them in the depths. . .

A genre-bending thriller from Stefan Bachmann for fans of The Maze Runner and Joss Whedon’s The Cabin in the Woods.

You cannot escape the palace.

You cannot guess its secrets.


This is a difficult book for me to review because I had to change my thinking after a bit because it was nowhere near what I had originally expected. After I changed my way of thinking (to give the book a fair shot), I still didn't know how I really felt about the novel once I was finished. On one hand, it was weird (not in a good way), filled with holes, and almost read like a first draft. On the other hand, it wasn't terrible, and the action was kind of exciting. Ultimately though, this book couldn't drum up enough excitement for me once I had finished reading, and that is why I am giving it 2 stars.

“A man is standing in the corner. Bleeding. Watching us.” 

Initially from the synopsis, I had thought this was going to be a thriller/contemporary adventure story...an Indiana Jones with a twist type thing. But that is definitely not what I got. Instead, this turned out to be a horror/fantasy novel. I don't hold this against the book itself, but this jarred me at first because I went in expecting one thing and got another. I wish the synopsis of this novel would have been a bit more clear in what could be expected because I either wouldn't have read it, or at least proceeded with caution while reading. However, I can also understand why the synopsis wasn't super clear because then it would virtually give away the twist of the story. This being said, I still think the synopsis could have been done in a way that prevented the twist from being revealed, and been more clear about the true genre of this novel. So this is why I said that I needed to change my way of thinking once I got to the "twist" part of this book. Even though this wasn't what I originally expected, I wanted to still give the book the opportunity to be great! The beginning was actually pretty promising, so I had high hopes by the "twist" part.

"I don't believe in the whole "people are basically good deep down notion. 
I think deep down is where people are the worst."

I do want to make it clear that I actually really enjoyed the creative plot created by Mr. Bachmann. I thought it was very unique and I could tell that he spent a lot of time crafting a rich history and backstory. But the problem ended up being that the majority of this amazing history was lost while reading. Although the story alternates between the past and the present, the past perspective wasn't that interesting since the majority of the time nothing happened (except at the beginning), and the present perspective almost served no purpose except to show the characters running around trying to get out of the underground palace. Throughout the book, I felt that the same scene played out again and again, just in a different room. The ending was almost anti-climactic as well, and it didn't seem that well thought out. I did understand the reasons behind why the characters were there, but there almost didn't seem to be a point in the end. The end left me with more questions: Why did the results of the end happen with these characters and not previous people who were taken to the underground palace? What would have happened if the plan would have actually worked?


The characters were also something that bothered me while reading this novel as I never connected to any of them. There wasn't a lot of information given about the other characters besides Anouk, and even after reading I still don't feel like I know Anouk that well besides the couple of things (albeit tragic things) she told the other characters later on in the story. There was a bit of background sharing between the characters, but it wasn't enough for me. I did enjoy how their friendship grew over the course of the story, but I also didn't think it was very believable. I mean it was kind of a given that they had to bond/join together to get out of the situation they were in.

Overall, this novel just wasn't for me. I do think it will appeal to a variety of readers because the plot, while a bit confusing at times, is actually very interesting. I can honestly say I have never read anything like this before. Perhaps if I knew going in how this story would turn out, I would have felt differently in the end. However, with a little more time and editing, I do think this novel could be something great. After I was finished reading, I realized that this would make a pretty awesome movie...it's just not so great as a book.


Happy reading :)



  1. Sorry this one wasn't for you! It sure does look good though so I may still give it a chance at some point. :)

    1. This definitely could be a hit for some people! So definitely give it a shot if you are interested :)


  2. Sorry you didn't like this one. You're the second person to give it a low review. I wanted to read it, but I might skip it.

  3. Yikes! Sounds like a total miss. Thanks for sharing this review!

    1. It definitely was a total miss! I really wanted to love this book, but it just let me down.