Thursday, April 21, 2022

Review: Hotel Magnifique by Emily J. Taylor

Author: Emily J. Taylor
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: April 2022

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.

Hotel Magnifique is a debut YA fantasy novel about orphan two sisters who get jobs at a magical hotel. They hope to earn enough money to return to their homeland.  Once they enter the hotel and sign their contracts, Jani begins to realize things are not as magical as advertised.

I thought this was a fun yet dark YA fantasy.  There is a bit of gore and disturbing body mutilation, so that might be a trigger for some.  There is a romance, but it is a slow burn and does not overshadow the rest of the story.  I liked the magic system and would have loved to read more about it.  I think this is a stand alone book.   While I would have liked to stay in this world longer, I was satisfied with where the story ended.  The book has interesting and colorful characters.  The mystery and action kept me engaged.  There were some twists that I found very clever.  This is a great debut and one I would definitely recommend.

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