The City in the Middle of the Night – Charlie Jane Anders

Releases: 2.12.19.

Synopsis: Set on a planet that has fully definitive, never-changing zones of day and night, with ensuing extreme climates of endless, frigid darkness and blinding, relentless light, humankind has somehow continued apace — though the perils outside the built cities are rife with danger as much as the streets below.

But in a world where time means only what the ruling government proclaims, and the levels of light available are artificially imposed to great consequence, lost souls and disappeared bodies are shadow-bound and savage, and as common as grains of sand. And one such pariah, sacrificed to the night, but borne up by time and a mysterious bond with an enigmatic beast, will rise to take on the entire planet–before it can crumble beneath the weight of human existence.

“I close my eyes and imagine that when I open them again I will have outgrown all of my feelings. Sometimes I clasp my eyelids until I almost see sparks.”

Well.. fuck.

I’m a quick reader, this book isn’t that long to begin with.. yet it derailed some of my TBR plans because it was seemingly endless. It just felt like a fucking slog to get through at times!

Unfortunately, this feels like an incredibly ambitious story that just didn’t come together fully. It wasn’t given enough room to breathe. It’s certainly well-written & the premise is rad as hell, but nothing grabbed me by the throat & resonated with me. The characters were unbearably dull & even though there were two f/f relationships which I was wicked excited for, they were lacking any genuine connection. There was no passion or chemistry.

Listen.

I truly do not like writing less than stellar book reviews. I am not about shitting all over something. However, I believe in being honest & sharing my own personal thoughts. I like to believe that I’m transparent in that sense. If I’m promoting a book, it’s because I fucking loved it! I’m not doing it because I was given a free copy or I dig the author. I’m still salty about an off-screen death from my beloved Joe Abercrombie & I WILL TELL YOU AS MUCH!!

Oof.

I’m rambling. Again.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is, no one is perfect. It’s healthy to have a critical eye when it comes to things. The good & bad parts. As much as I adore CJA (her old columns on io9 were EVERYTHING) I just.. didn’t love The City in the Middle of the Night. Even though I desperately wanted to.

I was talking to my friend Beth (give her blog a follow!) about this book since she was also reading it. We both felt incredibly similar. We are huge fans of Charlie Jane Anders & were stupid pumped for this book, wanting it to be incredibly successful for her because she is such a rad individual.. yet it was just lacking something.

The City in the Middle of the Night is one that SO MANY people, especially YA readers, will love. But it just wasn’t for me.

-Holly

(Thanks to Tor Books for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!)

**The quotes above were taken from an ARC & are subject to change upon publication**

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