All her life, Jani has dreamed of Elsewhere. Just barely scraping by with her job at a tannery, she’s resigned to a dreary life in the port town of Durc, caring for her younger sister Zosa. That is, until the Hotel Magnifique comes to town.
The hotel is legendary not only for its whimsical enchantments, but also for its ability to travel—appearing in a different destination every morning. While Jani and Zosa can’t afford the exorbitant costs of a guest’s stay, they can interview to join the staff, and are soon whisked away on the greatest adventure of their lives. But once inside, Jani quickly discovers their contracts are unbreakable and that beneath the marvelous glamour, the hotel is hiding dangerous secrets.
With the vexingly handsome doorman Bel as her only ally, Jani embarks on a mission to unravel the mystery of the magic at the heart of the hotel and free Zosa—and the other staff—from the cruelty of the ruthless maître d’hôtel. To succeed, she’ll have to risk everything she loves, but failure would mean a fate far worse than never returning home.
Thoughts and Themes: The cover of this book kept calling to me so I finally had to read it. I got an advanced copy of this book on NetGalley and then I finished it on audiobook. I’m so glad that I decided to read this one because of how much I enjoyed so many parts of this. People compared it to The Night Circus and Caravel but I haven’t read those two so I wouldn’t know. If it is in fact similar to those then I have to get my hands on those books now too.
I tend to stay away from fantasy books because they take me a while to understand and get invested. In this book, though that was quite different, I was invested right from the first few pages, and because the magic system is slowly revealed I was able to keep up with the story and not get lost. There were little bits of explanation throughout the story which is what helped move the story along as it didn’t feel like there were moments where I was getting information without the story moving forward.
I loved when things unravel and you find out so much information closer to the end of the book as I didn’t see any of those things coming. I really enjoyed the world-building in this book and how we slowly find out more about the magic as our main character learns.
Characters: There are several characters that you get introduced to through their interactions with our main character, Jani. You get to meet several Summinaires who are staying at the hotel, her sister, and some others in towns that they visit.
There was so much that I really enjoyed about the characters and their relationships with Jani. I really liked how we learn more about each of the characters throughout the story and how we get their background slowly. I felt so bad for so many of the characters even the ones that you barely get to know. I even felt bad for some of the characters who are distant from Jani or who kept getting her into trouble.
I really enjoyed the relationship that develops between Jani and Bel. I loved how these two seem to hate each other from the minute that they meet. I loved that Bel has his reasons for trying to keep his distance from Jani and we only learn his reasons later in the story. I liked how their relationship is a slow burn and how their relationship isn’t the main point in the book.
Writing Style: This story is written in the first person from the perspective of Jani. I really enjoyed that everything was from her perspective as we learned things along with her. I also enjoyed this because we don’t know what is happening with the other main characters because she doesn’t know what happened to them. I liked only being able to see things as they happened in front of Jani especially when it came to her learning more about herself. I liked all of those things being a mystery to you as the reader because you could guess things. For me, I wasn’t sure of anything and I didn’t put many of the pieces together and was shocked when Jani learned things.
Emily was born and raised in California and has since refused to stay put. She’s lived in four states and two continents, all of which have conveniently given her an endless amount of story fodder. She currently works as a creative director in Minneapolis, where she spends the long winters dreaming up glittering worlds to spin into dark tales.
Follow Emily on Instagram @emilycanwrite