Author: V.E. Schwab
Publication Date: 1 March 2022
Age Category: Young Adult
Number of Pages: 334
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Everything casts a shadow. Even the world we live in. And as with every shadow, there is a place where it must touch. A seam, where the shadow meets its source.
Olivia Prior has grown up in Merilance School for girls, and all she has of her past is her mother’s journal—which seems to unravel into madness. Then, a letter invites Olivia to come home—to Gallant. Yet when Olivia arrives, no one is expecting her. But Olivia is not about to leave the first place that feels like home, it doesn’t matter if her cousin Matthew is hostile or if she sees half-formed ghouls haunting the hallways.
Olivia knows that Gallant is hiding secrets, and she is determined to uncover them. When she crosses a ruined wall at just the right moment, Oliva finds herself in a place that is Gallant—but not. The manor is crumbling, the ghouls are solid, and a mysterious figure rules over all. Now Olivia sees what has unraveled generations of her family, and where her father may have come from.
Olivia has always wanted to belong somewhere, but will she take her place as a Prior, protecting our world against the Master of the House? Or will she take her place beside him?
I picked up Gallant because it was the book of the month for one of the book clubs that I’m in. I didn’t know very much about it when I picked it up, but I had heard some great things about it, including from one of my best friends who binged it in a day. I’m very glad that I decided to read it because it was just spooky and eerie enough to make it perfect for the Halloween season.
My favourite thing about Gallant was how descriptive the writing was. I thought the author did a great job bringing the world and the setting to life. I liked the use of colour to paint the difference between the settings. I liked that the Merilance School for girls is described as grey and that a flower, or a burst of colour, is a rare sight, meanwhile Gallant has bright gardens and a closet full of yellow, blue, and colourful dresses. I also liked how colour was used to describe the Gallant in our world, the one full of life, and the other Gallant which was grey and ruled by death.
I also liked the idea of this book in general. I liked the idea of parallel worlds that are divided by a wall. I liked the idea of the Gallant in our world and the other Gallant being exact replicas with identical floor plans and layouts. I liked the idea of a whole new, but identical world, being so close but far away. I also liked that Gallant, the house, was almost like a character because it had so much character and backstory.
As far as the characters go, I loved Olivia. Olivia cannot speak, and I enjoyed reading about her different ways of communicating and that communication can take on many different forms. I liked the idea that while she cannot speak, she can still be loud and make her presence known when she wants to. I liked how brave and determined she was. I thought she was clever, and I thought she was a very memorable character.
One issue that I had with this book was that it felt like something was missing. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is, but it felt like it was lacking something. I don’t want to talk too much about the final scenes because I don’t want to spoil anything, but I feel like they could have been expanded upon by a few pages.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. I thought it was just spooky and eerie enough to make it perfect for Halloween. I liked that the book was very close to the YA and Middle Grade border. I also liked that it was a quick read that was very easy to get lost in.
Rating: 3.5 Stars!