Book of Night Holly Black: A Realistic Gritty Urban Fantasy

#1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black makes her stunning adult debut with Book of Night, a modern dark fantasy of shadowy thieves and secret societies in the vein of Ninth House and The Night Circus

We’re no stranger to Holly Black, and we hope you aren’t either! With bestselling series stemming from the hit sensation The Cruel Prince – it comes to the delight of her fans that Book of Night Holly Black is her new adult debut. Did you binge her other young adult series and need more? Keep reading to find out all about Book of Night Holly Black.

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About Book of Night

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Book of Night – Holly Black

Charlie Hall has never found a lock she couldn’t pick, a book she couldn’t steal, or a bad decision she wouldn’t make.

She’s spent half her life working for gloamists, magicians who manipulate shadows to peer into locked rooms, strangle people in their beds, or worse. Gloamists guard their secrets greedily, creating an underground economy of grimoires. And to rob their fellow magicians, they need Charlie Hall.

Now, she’s trying to distance herself from past mistakes, but getting out isn’t easy. Bartending at a dive, she’s still entirely too close to the corrupt underbelly of the Berkshires. Not to mention that her sister Posey is desperate for magic, and that Charlie’s shadowless, and possibly soulless, boyfriend has been hiding things from her. When a terrible figure from her past returns, Charlie descends into a maelstrom of murder and lies.

Determined to survive, she’s up against a cast of doppelgangers, mercurial billionaires, gloamists, and the people she loves best in the world—all trying to steal a secret that will give them vast and terrible power.



As the story opens, we meet Charlie Hall, a former thief who specializes in stealing for and from gloamists. In this world, magic users can control shadows and make them come to life by using their blood. It’s a hard and untrustworthy life.

Charlie used to make a living dishonestly, being hired to acquire rare and magical documents prized by gloamists. She’s turning a new lead and wants to leave her dishonest past life behind her. To live honestly is much less lucrative. When a once-in-a-lifetime job lands in her lap, she has no choice but to go back to her old life of trying to survive in the underworld of dangerous magic.

Charlie’s relationship with her boyfriend Vince follows a path of resistance. Their nuanced characters balance on a difficult emotional journey. Charlie finds the morass of her psyche mirrored in the strange and dangerous people around her.

Our Review

It’s so releving to read a Holly Black book which moves away from teenage and young adult romances. Not that we don’t love her YA stuff, but it’s refreshing when a beloved author switches it up!

Black held back no punches. With an intricate world and complex magic systems, this feels like the perfect foundation for another hit series, akin to The Cruel Prince series.

Charlie is nuanced and complicated. She’s a little prickly and has a tendency to lean towards self-destruction, yet we felt so drawn to her. It feels like she matches her dark and twisted environment perfectly.

We have to praise the overall writing style of Holly Black in her Book of Night. Sandwiched between various flashbacks, typically such pacing of a novel would feel slow and sluggish but these flashbacks gave perfect context to the characters in the world.

This is a rarity in the urban fantasy genre. It’s gripping, and most of all it’s realistic. We see not only the horrors of the magic system, but also the struggles of living with a dead-end job and struggling with low-income.

We really appreciate the new turn this novel takes on the genre and we’re on the edge of our seats waiting for the (yet unannounced) sequel.

Our Rating: ★★★★★

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Holly Black Book of Night have romance?

True to Holly Black fashion, the Book of Night does indeed have romance! The characters are heavily flawed and their relationship isn’t quite so straightforward, but that’s to be expected from Holly Black.

Is the Book of Night by Holly Black a standalone?

The Book of Night ends in a huge cliffhanger. It’s heavily suggested that it isn’t a standalone novel, and we’re expecting a sequel sometime in 2024! We’ll keep you updated.

What order should I read Holly Black books?

We’ve compiled all Holly Black books for your convenience here! The Folk of Air series is hugely popular – if you like fantasy then it will be right up your street.

Are you excited for the sequel? Let us know!

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