I received Vassa in the Night as part of my September FairyLoot box (featured at the end of this blog post for anyone interested!). While this may not have been a book I would have purchased for myself (likely I would have borrowed it from the library as a light read this summer), I still found myself intrigued enough to pick it up shortly after receiving it. And to be quite frank, I was not overly impressed. I walked into Vassa in the Night blind, and walked out disappointed in the experience, and still slightly confused.
In the enchanted kingdom of Brooklyn, the fashionable people put on cute shoes, go to parties in warehouses, drink on rooftops at sunset, and tell themselves they’ve arrived. A whole lot of Brooklyn is like that now-but not Vassa’s working-class neighborhood.In Vassa’s neighborhood, where she lives with her stepmother and bickering stepsisters, one might stumble onto magic, but stumbling out again could become an issue. Babs Yagg, the owner of the local convenience store, has a policy of beheading shoplifters-and sometimes innocent shoppers as well. So when Vassa’s stepsister sends her out for light bulbs in the middle of night, she knows it could easily become a suicide mission. But Vassa has a bit of luck hidden in her pocket, a gift from her dead mother. Erg is a tough-talking wooden doll with sticky fingers, a bottomless stomach, and a ferocious cunning. With Erg’s help, Vassa just might be able to break the witch’s curse and free her Brooklyn neighborhood. But Babs won’t be playing fair….
What I Liked:
- Vassa was a very intriguing protagonist with a tangled up background and quite an attitude.
- The fairy-tale feel of this novel (from time to time) was very interesting to read and made for a unique feeling story.
What I Didn’t Like:
- The storytelling. I can imagine what Porter was aiming for here, but Vassa in the Night fell far short of the mark. The storytelling was all over the place, with jarring mood shifts and even more disconcerting aloofness.
- It was hard to get into the story, which should have probably been serious (but wasn’t because no one seemed to actually care about the seriousness of the situation.
- The entire story was also very confusing. The plot seemed to jump from one point to the other without much flow or precedence, leaving the reader feeling confused by the disjointedness of the story.
- Vassa in the Night literally made no sense to me for about 3/4 of the book, mostly because of the above discussed issues in storytelling. In the last 1/4 of the book things started coming together, but it was far too late for redemption at that point.
- The conclusion of this novel felt wholly underwhelming. After a confusing, jam-packed and utterly ridiculous precedence, I was expecting something truly spectacular from the resolution of this book, and I was thoroughyl let down by what can’t be described by anything other than a forgettable finale.
I would not read Vassa in the Night again, nor would I be likely to recommend it to a friend (unfortunately). I went into reading this novel without many expectations, and I still felt let down by the quality of this novel. While it had a very interesting premise, I was let down by the lack of follow through and disconcerted by the disconnect between mood and story. Overall, Vassa in the Night wasn’t what it could have been due to several key problems.
If you want to check out the September FairyLoot box, be sure to continue reading below!
The September FairyLoot box theme was “Magic and Mayhem” and featured a whole bunch of awesome book stuff, including lots of Grisha Trilogy and Six of Crows Duology loot! This is exactly what the box included:
- Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter
- Signed bookplate, personalised letter, postcard
- Exclusive Grisha Order candle (Castle of Fables)
- Grisha Second Army Poster (Goodnight Kittens)
- Exclusive Felix Felicis sticker (Bookotter)
- Exclusive Grisha notebook (Literary Emporium)
- Exclusive Vassa in the Night bookmark (Behind The Pages)
- Exclusive Shades of Magic buttons (Bookotter)
- Exclusive Russian Doll necklace (Pastel Clouds)
- Bonus item: Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom postcards