The Night Country

The Night Country

Book - 2020
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"Alice Proserpine dives back into a menacing, mesmerizing world of dark fairy tales and hidden doors. Follow her and Ellery Finch as they learn The Hazel Wood was just the beginning, and that worlds die not with a whimper, but a bang. With Finch's help, Alice escaped the Hinterland and her reclusive grandmother's dark legacy. Now she and the rest of the dregs of the fairy tale world have washed up in New York City, where Alice is trying to make a new, unmagical life. But something is stalking the Hinterland's survivors--and she suspects their deaths may have a darker purpose. Meanwhile, in the winking out world of the Hinterland, Finch seeks his own adventure, and--if he can find it--a way back home.."--
Publisher: New York : Flatiron Books, 2020, ©2019
Edition: First U.S. edition
ISBN: 9781250246073
Branch Call Number: YA ALBERT 2020
Characteristics: 330 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Tierney, Jim


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PimaLib_ChristineR Sep 11, 2020

The Hazel Wood ends with Alice leaving the Hinterland world of fairy tales and leaving behind Ellery Finch to live the life he's dreamed of since he first read Tales from the Hinterland; a Story in the human world and a Human in the story world. The Night Country begins two years later in New York City. Alice has a part time job, lives with her mom, Ella, and is graduating from high school. Her only friend is an ex-Story like herself, Sophia, but they haven't been close as Sophia's world is still wrapped up in the ex-Stories of the Hinterland, while Alice has settled into something close to human normalcy.

Interestingly, The Night Country, while a sequel, stands on its own and is dark in its own fascinating way. It's not necessary to know the stories from the first novel to know that the characters who have lived these dark and bloody tales are having trouble adjusting to life in the human world, and wondering if they should even try.

The Night Country is much closer to a traditional mystery than the first novel. Alice gets pulled back into the world of the Stories because someone is killing the Stories and everyone thinks it is Alice. As Alice gets closer to the answer, Finch is closer to finding her. Their independent journeys are as dark, and as magical as any fairy tale. And like any good fairy tale, there may be a happy ending but not without sacrifice.

If you loved the first novel, or even if you just love a fast-paced dark and moody story, you won't be disappointed in The Night Country.

Jul 10, 2020

A strong second book for The Hazel Wood series! Albert's twisted characters and lyrical writing is up my alley. I kind of liked how the first book ended -- where Finch wasn't her person and they parted ways. But, I also found myself missing their chemistry so did eventually come around to them pining again for each other (I don't think that's a spoiler). I love how brooding and dark Alice is, and the sequel did not disappoint. It was a compelling story with lots of twists. For my book club, we need to consider - does this book stand alone? I don't think it does. But a strong sequel to the series.

lgmosher Jun 14, 2020

The mist claimed Lev. It wicked him into itself like a sponge taking in water. mischief managed.

One of the most eery sentences I've read. Made the hairs on the back on my neck stand up.

In the hazel wood we got a slight showing of some rather.... Grim tales (pun intended) but in night country.

Oh. My. Good. Googly. Moogely.
(My brain can't function much beyond that at the moment. Tune in later)


In night country we get a bad-A world traveler, FINCH!!!! And some real messed up magic murder mystery crud.
But one thing stays true about Albert's writing.
It is addicting and no matter how gruesome you just can't stop yourself for diving in.

Even across galaxies and in other worlds Ellery Finch holds my heart!
His nervous babble (even in note form) and his thoughtfulness. The way you just know his head is slightly nodding and his eyes a scrunched as he writes.
Absolutely in love with Mr. Finch!

"Be patient with me, okay? When I see you and my tongue tangles up. Be patient"

Okay Finch!
I will be.
When you start sputtering and you turn into your cute shy boy self I'll just press my lips to yours and our tongues can do a different kind of talking.

Love is not a strong nor deep enough word for my feelings towards Mr. Ellery Finch!

It was a wonderful, satisfying, simplistic, realistic ending to a not so fairy fairytale.

Feb 24, 2020

I have to say, I was surprised to see a sequel to The Hazel Wood. Perhaps it's because I felt the first book wrapped up everything so well, so I was skeptical going into The Night Country. Turns out I was wrong about the need for a sequel -- so very wrong in fact.

Melissa Albert knows how to weave a story. Whether you enjoyed The Hazel Wood or not, I think there is something to be said about writing that has the ability to make you feel discomfort. One element I loved from The Hazel Wood that is very present in this sequel, is how sinister the world feelings, the disjointedness of how everything is collapsing in on itself, and Albert's ability to make the reader feel uncomfortable and lost.

Alice is still as frustrating as ever, but I think it's why she is a good protagonist for stories that feature disjointed world-building. She questions things, she is curious, she is angry, and most of all, she has a will to change things for better or worse. The new characters in the book are fairly fascinating as well, and how they play into the world's transformation feels very original and something out of video game.

There is so much I can't talk about with this being a sequel, but I feel like if you enjoyed the first book, this one starts immediately after the first book, so rereading or quickly checking a summary is a good plan before hopping into this book. The twist and turns in this sequel are fantastic, the world building is top notch, and there is just so much mystery and intrigue to keep the reader pushing forward. I really enjoyed this sequel, and I'm happy it exists in the world.

sjpl_rebekah Feb 22, 2020

This book had a great start and then...stalled out. I ripped through the first few chapters, and then found myself losing steam as nothing really seemed to happen. The first book in this series, The Hazel Wood, was positively magical. I found myself wrapped up in the numerous fairytales and in the overarching storyline. I was hoping for much of the same in the follow up, and although there were some similarities, it wasn't nearly as engaging as it's predecessor. It was still dark and twisted, but there were less stories and it focused on a mystery that dragged on before ending abruptly. In the interim of time that has passed between Alice and Finch's last meeting, Finch has been traveling between worlds. Sadly the reader sees almost none of that. Similarly, years have passed for Alice, but we still have no idea what she is doing aside from moping around. As with many sequels for books I loved, I just expected more than what I got. I am unclear if this is a duology or a series because the ending seemed to be rather definitive. I can't imagine where the story would go from here, but maybe Albert will surprise me.

Jan 11, 2020

While an abundance of clichés ensured that it was not quite as good as the first book, the dark atmosphere and Alice's struggle to overcome her inner demons (literally) was a amazing as ever. The writing was still gorgeous, and the ending insane the right word? I just wish that Ella had figured more heavily, since her relationship with Alice was such a major part of book one. At the same time, though, I get it. Alice is growing up, and it's time for her to figure out who she is, darkness and all, and her connection with Finch is going to take priority, now that she doesn't need her mother as much anymore. In some ways, this is a coming of age story, just with blood, guts, and some seriously messed-up fairy tales.


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PimaLib_ChristineR Sep 11, 2020

Falling for someone makes you say &*%$ that would've made you vomit, back before you were toast.

PimaLib_ChristineR Sep 11, 2020

Good thing I'd had a goth period. Or maybe I was a goth period. At any rate, I could still dredge up some Poe.

PimaLib_ChristineR Sep 11, 2020

But he remembered something he'd read once, about the door to the kingdom of Heaven being so low you had to enter it kneeling. This didn't like that. It felt like the Spinner being petty, making them crawl their asses out through a doggy door.

PimaLib_ChristineR Sep 11, 2020

The long windows were bare and moonlight poured through, casting everyone in silver. Pockets of candles lined the sills and clustered like mushrooms on the ground; if we ended the night not dead in a fire, that'd be ten points for Slytherin.


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