Review copy provided by Tor Books.
At my house we often complain that urban fantasy is not actually urban, but more sort of vaguely suburban fantasy. Vassa in the Night does not have that problem. In the least. It’s set in a magical all-night convenient store.
Well, not very convenient. Baba Yaga is involved.
Vassa is one of three sisters of highly assorted parentage, grumpy and snarky and not at all sure what she wants out of life other than that this is not it. She has an even grumpier, snarkier magical wooden doll that she keeps secret from even her sisters. And magic is an integral part of her world–no one thinks twice at having to sing an incantation to a convenient store that dances on chicken legs to get it to stop and let a customer in.
Add in a mix of swans, the Night itself, non-human attorneys, and independently functional hands like the worst nightmare of Thing from The Addams Family, and you’ve got a book that is really, really not like your average retold folktale. It’s bloody and strange and headlong, willing to look at the night without flinching but ultimately hopeful. This is the right way to stand out of the teen urban fantasy pack.
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