The Night Country is the chilling sequel to Melissa Albert’s The Hazel Wood. After returning to New York City from the Hinterland, Alice, an ex-Story, attempts to live a normal, human life. Even though Hinterland citizens are still trickling into New York, Alice vows to leave her past behind. However, she quickly learns that escaping the Hinterland was far from the end — Hinterland characters are being slaughtered, one after another. Something sinister lies behind the murders, and Alice is running out of time to find the killer. Tick, tock, tick, tock. Can you hear the hidden clock?
Like its predecessor, The Night Country was delightfully twisted and dark. Melissa Albert’s characters are compelling as always, and the story encompasses a perfect combination of mystery and turmoil. However, although it was magical and intriguing in its own way, for me it didn’t quite stand up to the first novel. I loved the dark whimsicality and fantastical setting of the Hinterland in the first novel, but the second novel felt more subdued and leaned towards the standard mystery genre, which wasn’t for me. Nonetheless, The Night Country is a fantastic novel and is definitely worth reading.