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Friday, April 29, 2022

Review: Hotel Magnifique by Emily J. Taylor

Hotel Magnifique
by Emily J. Taylor
Narrated by Suzy Jackson

Thanks so much to PRH Audio for this gifted copy.

Publisher: Penguin House Audio Publishing Group
Publish Date: April 5, 2022
10 hours 39 min
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Decadent and darkly enchanting, this lavish YA fantasy debut follows seventeen-year-old Jani as she uncovers the deeply disturbing secrets of the legendary Hotel Magnifique.

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.

My Review:

It's been a while since I've delved back into YA Fantasy but if I'm gonna do it, it may as well be HOTEL MAGNIFIQUE - the hotel that is well known, moves around all the time... and MAGIC.  Sign me up!  But alas, some of the shiny lost its luster and I found my attention waning and wish I could wave my hands and make it something *more*.  Whether it was my mood, or whether it just didn't quite work for me, I still very much enjoyed the premise and the sister bond between Jani and Zosa.

I love books like these in the fact that we get all this magical fun while chasing the unknown and knowing that there's something sordid behind the walls.  It's this kind of adventure I always find myself drawn to.  I do wish there was something more with the hotel.  I wish the pacing had been more fluent and I wish the ending wasn't as abrupt as it was after everything we went through to get there.

As a debut novel, very impressed.  I will absolutely be reading Taylor's next novel and see if that one works just a bit better for me.  Lots of potential here.


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