Review by Kara, teen reviewer
A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston
A retelling of A Thousand and One Nights, the classic story of how Shahrazad escaped death by weaving and sculpting stories for her homicidal husband. There is not much deviation from the original tale. The setting is very similar (if not the same), the king is still killing his wives, and stories are still being told. The only twist being that the king is possessed by a demon who feeds off of the fear of his people and the death of his wives.
The narration for A Thousand Nights is pretty cool. The narrator (she’s annoyingly never given a name) tells her story in a way that makes you feel like you’re all sitting around a campfire. The author gives the demon a few turns to narrate, making the story quite a bit creepier. The predator and his prey are given a voice. Throughout the book, the narrator also gives anecdotes, giving us some insight as to why she is so attached to her sister or why she thinks a certain way.
The characters, while unique, sometimes act in ways that aren’t believable. Although the narrator always claims to absolutely adore her sister, there wasn’t very much justification for it, despite her various anecdotes. The fact that I don’t know how to how to empathize with a demon who likes to kidnap people and kill them might also contributes to the detachment.
The book is a lot of slow build up. The big confrontation comes after a bunch of much smaller confrontations that don’t really get dissolved. This is not to say that the book is slow. The entire story was intriguing, making it so that you could barely wait for the big battle. I, for one, ended up reading A Thousand Nights instead of studying for finals.
Overall, this is a book for someone who wants a book that has the feeling of a dark fairy tale, but not for those who are looking for a thriller. 4 stars. –Kara, teen reviewer
Thank you to the publisher for providing an Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.
Find this book in our library: A Thousand Nights