Publisher: Greenwillow Books (2016)
Hardcover (439 pages)
Reading Challenges: Read 2016
Seventeen-year-old Anouk has finally caught the break she’s been looking for—she's been selected out of hundreds of other candidates to fly to France and help with the excavation of a vast, underground palace buried a hundred feet below the suburbs of Paris. Built in the 1780's to hide an aristocratic family and a mad duke during the French Revolution, the palace has lain hidden and forgotten ever since. Anouk, along with several other gifted teenagers, will be the first to set foot in it in over two centuries.
Or so she thought.
But nothing is as it seems, and the teens soon find themselves embroiled in a game far more sinister, and dangerous, than they could possibly have imagined. An evil spanning centuries is waiting for them in the depths. . .
A genre-bending thriller from Stefan Bachmann for fans of The Maze Runner and Joss Whedon’s The Cabin in the Woods.
You cannot escape the palace.
You cannot guess its secrets.
I should probably preface this review by saying that I usually don’t read this type of book. The mention of the French Revolution and a subterranean palace intrigued me and so I purchased this book on a whim.
I really liked the amount of suspense in this book. I honestly had no idea if anyone would survive the creepy, underground palace. Seriously, anything could have happened down there. The suspense was real!
Maybe, because of the aforementioned suspensefulness, I was super-confused. I was rather unsure of what was going on most of the time and the conclusion just confused me more. WHAT WAS HAPPENING?!
Then there were the characters. They all seemed pretty similar and more one-dimensional. I didn’t really care about any of them, especially the boys whose names I couldn’t keep straight. But, then again, I still didn’t want any of them to die, so I guess I cared a little bit.
There was also a bit of suspension of belief at the beginning. Who, in their right mind, would think that teenagers are the best you can find for an archaeological investigation? And what parent isn’t going to think this is weird and yet still sign a permission form and let their kid go? The characters themselves acknowledge this as they are on their way to France.
This, on top of the confusion and the characters, was a bit much. I loved the historical aspect, though, and the suspense was great. In all, this was a good book but not one I could really get into.