For someone who has read most of V.E. Schwab’s books and loved them, I am never quite sure what to expect next. She seems to be one of those authors who always outdoes herself with the next book, then the next, and it seems to be the case here as well.
GALLANT is one of the best, eeriest books I have read in recent times. Imagine The Haunting of Hill House meets Stephen King meets V.E. Schwab’s magical gentle touch, and you’ll understand what you’re in for with this book. There is always darkness in her books, but this time I believe the darkness spilled over quite a lot, which is not a bad thing, of course. I personally love dark reads the most.
This story is not just very dark, but also very emotional. It is a story of an orphan in constant search for home, for parents, for blood, for what it means not to be alone. Olivia is young and stubborn and a fighter, and she is a lovely protagonist. She’s grown up in an orphanage and if that’s not bad enough, she can’t speak up, and the only thing that brings her comfort is her mother’s old journal. It’s the thing that connects her to her family. The next thing that gets her closer to her heritage is a mysterious place called GALLANT, a truly creepy house (if you like that trope, then this book is for you), which holds many more questions than answers for her, and the journey of finding the truth is spectacular.
What I loved most about this book, however, was the fact that it started normally enough, so much so I wasn’t sure I would actually enjoy it, but then little by little it turned into something strange, something eerie, and something unexpected. For the first half of the book I did not know where the author was taking me, which boiled my blood and made my heart jump. I was held prisoner by this story and had to read it in two sittings, in two days, because there’s no other way to read this.
Somewhere around the middle you begin to understand what is happening and begin to fall in love with the subtle, hidden love story in this book. The tragic love story.
GALLANT is a story about family, about legacy, and mostly, about Death, and the cycle of life that goes around. It’s about shadows and ghosts and monsters. It’s about mirror images and bad dreams and people who hold you together, who keep you alive.
This is the latest book by V.E. Schwab, who is truly a master of magic, of the supernatural, and of pulling the strings of readers’ hearts. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves the author, who loves stories about Death and ghosts, and who loves to cry several times reading a book.
You won’t be able to put it down. As it should be.