Book Title:
A Drop of Night
Book Author:
Stefan Bachmann
Page Count:
Publishing Date:
March 15th, 2016
Greenwillow Books
Date Read:
March 18th, 2016
eARC from publisher via Edelweiss - Thank you!


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.

My Review

This book was a tad bit…difficult for me to review.  On one hand, I enjoyed it – the mystery, the creepy aspects of it, the way everything seemed to wrap up neatly.  On the other hand, I spent the majority of it absolutely confused out of my mind, and no amount of backtracking (sometimes I miss things when I’m tired), re-reading, or explanations that this book had to offer were satisfying enough to help me figure out what the heck was going on. 

Alright, let’s talk about the plot (and I’m going to try my hardest not to spoil anything for you, because I think that was the best part of the book – the absolute weird surprises at the end).

Anouk is a seventeen year old girl who has some family issues at home, so when she is selected to participate in the excavation of the palace that has been found underground in France, and was built during the French Revolution to protect the family.  When she gets to the airport and meets the other four teenagers she will be with – Lilly, Hayden, Will, and Jules, she immediately tries to hate them, because she’s bitter and angry at everyone.

However, at dinner that night, the professor who invited them tries to poison them, and they wake up underground and run – into the palace.  However, one of them isn’t so lucky to get away.

During the course of the few days they are in the palace, they are avoiding trap rooms, running for their lives, and hiding from whatever frightening things are lurking below the surface (and trust me, there’s some creepy factor here).

A Drop of Night is told in two different timelines – present day, with Anouk and the other teenagers, and there are also some chapters told from the point of view of one of the daughters of the man who built the palace, back in the 1700’s.  This is actually pretty cool, and I found myself really enjoying the past timeline over the present day one.  It eventually goes on to do a little bit of explanation as to what is going on in the present day, so these chapters are really important.

The ending of this book left me wanting more…I was kind of surprised and…honestly, really trying to wrap my mind around what I had just read.  It was just…absolutely bizarre.


I had a difficult time connecting to the present day timeline characters…especially Anouk.  While you don’t really find out why she is horribly depressed and miserable to everyone she comes in contact with until almost the end of the book, her attitude just irked me and I found myself not really able to stand her.  I didn’t really have any feelings one way or the other for the other characters in that timeline, but I did enjoy those from the past timeline, especially Aurélie, because she was a fearless, independent heroine that I really loved reading about.

The way the settings in this book were described – the rooms of the palace, the way things were set up, even the creepy little details – were amazing.  The author clearly worked hard to make the reader able to see what the inside of the palace looked like, and I can’t help but give tons of praise that aspect of the book.

In the end, I really did enjoy this book for the most part, but there were some parts (especially at the end) that I just…kind of wished were different.  If you like thrillers or horror, and you have some time to really sit down and concentrate, pick this one up and give it a go!

Note: I received an ARC copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

3.5 stars
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4 Responses to A Drop of Night of Stefan Bachmann

  1. I requested this one for review before I really knew what it was about. I’m so glad you enjoyed it, even though it was confusing as heck with the different timelines and everything, but the detail of the world sounds like it was done really well. Lovely review!
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Why I Didn’t Love The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee AhdiehMy Profile

    • Kelly says:

      Thank you! If you have a lot of patience for the whole back and forth thing (and to see what’s actually going on), it isn’t a bad book…it’s actually kind of interesting. If you read it, I hope you enjoy it, too!

  2. GAH YES!!! I agree with you so much! The past characters were awesome, and I was super invested in the story- but those chapters were short, and I had to deal with Anouk’s cranky ass for the whole book. Ugh, she irked me. And yeah, her parents were awful but like, come ON dude. Especially because we don’t know the extent of it, she just seems like a whiny kid. And the other characters could have all been named like… Taylor. That’s gender neutral. Because all the Taylors were the same. There was one Taylor from the midwest and then some other Taylors who were boys. That is seriously ALL I knew about them.

    Bizarre is really the best word for it. You nailed it! (And are more generous than I am bwhaha) Great review! Sorry you were lost too!

    • Kelly says:

      Haha, Anouk was such an annoying character…she was so miserable I kind of wish she would have gotten eaten by something while she was down there. None of the other characters seem to have had much personality either…love how you named them all Taylor, haha.

      Seriously though, I’ve seen so many good reviews for this book, and it just makes me scratch my head and wonder if I just missed something or if it really was confusing as hell. But apparently I’m not alone, so I’m thankful to see you had similar problems with this one!

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