By Emily J. Taylor
Published April 2022
For the majority of my reviews, I know how I’m going to rate the book before I finish the third chapter. But sometimes they surprise me and my internal star meter rises the more I read. This was one of those books.
Here’s the blurb: Seventeen-year-old Jani and her younger sister Zosa are orphans, barely scraping by. When the Hotel Magnifique shows up in their town, a magical hotel that only appears about once every decade, Jani and her sister make sure they’re on hand. Jani doesn’t want to win one of the coveted invitations for a two-week stay, she wants to land a job for both of them. When Zosa is hired to entertain the guests, Jani also finagles her way in. But it doesn’t take long for her to realize that the Hotel isn’t all that it seems. Rather than being a safe place for suminaires to practice their magic, the maȋtre of Hotel Magnifique has his own agenda, which doesn’t bode well for anyone.
This was one of the few fiction books that I bought this month. I’m pretty selective, since I drop a lot of coin on non-fiction books and I rarely read fiction more than once. However, this was comped to The Night Circus and I adored that novel, so I took a chance. It turned out to be money well spent.
The story line and magical system that the author built around not only the Hotel but also the fictional countries where the Hotel traveled to every night was engrossing and enjoyable. The plot ran smoothly and I actually set aside another book to finish this one. So, all good. It wasn’t until about 75% of the way through the novel that I realized just how well planned the world building was. There is almost nothing that happens in this novel in the first half that doesn’t have some bearing on a discovery in the second half. I’m always happy for one “a ha” moment, but they kept coming. The amount of detail necessary to create this world astounded me. There were no throw-aways, not a single random event that didn’t play into the reveal. A reveal, I might add, that kept me engaged for several chapters.
Add to that a cast of characters where again, nothing was wasted. Everyone played a part in both the plot and the world building, and I really liked them. If I’d read this as a teenager, I’d probably want to be Jani.
I started with a good story and finished with a novel that was so immersive, I’m still thinking about it. I have to give this one five stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Final thought is that I’d love to see this book adapted to the screen.
I’ll be keeping an eye out for more by this author. I’m officially a fan.
Until next time, thank you for visiting.
Want to check out Hotel Magnifique?