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.
I will admit, I was drawn in by the flashiness of this book. Plus, I had seen a whole lot of love and excitement for it online, so that just peaked my interest even more. And it sounded like the kind of flashy that I would enjoy; magic, a mysterious hotel with more to that what is on the surface, a hate-to-love sounding romance.
I enjoyed this book a whole lot more than I thought I was going to. I really ended up loving it. It is just as flashy as it seems, but it also leans into more than just the elaborate magic and striking displays of the hotel.
The secrets behind the hotel, and the hotel itself honestly, was one of my favorite parts of the book. It’s a lot darker than I thought it was going to be. It surprises you, with just how horrific certain actions are. It happens so quickly, and things move so fast, that it seems like a quick sting, only to find dripping blood later. It’s a sneaky kind of dark, and it works really, really well. And the lore behind the hotel and the world only supplement it. They feel so full, so vast, even though most of the book takes place inside the hotel. There is so much to discover, and so many intricates in the characters and the magic system. It’s completely wonderful.
I also ended up loving the characters a whole lot more than I thought I was going to. I will be honest in the fact that I didn’t really love Jani at the beginning. I thought her emotional development felt a bit frazzled and I didn’t quite know where it was going. But, things evened out and I ended up really, really liking where it went. Puzzle pieces starting slotting into place, and more details were uncovered, and Jani began to really dig into what was really going on. And Bel is just adorable. I love him and want to give him a hug. I also love Zosa and everybody else. And I really, really want a [redacted] book. I know this is a standalone, but I want more of some of the side characters, and I think there is so much of this world to still explore.
I will say, that at the beginning, there seems to be a lot thrown out at the same time. There is lots of magic, and lots of dazzling scenery and events. It’s the flashy that this book promised to be. I think that was the point, but it just wasn’t my favorite. But, I can appreciate what Emily did, because she completely nailed the lavish and elaborate magical event that the hotel is.
There’s also a lot more birds in this book than I was expecting! But that’s alright because the birds were awesome.
I adored the ending. It fit so well. It’s not super big or elaborate, but it fits Jani and what she wants. I really, really loved it.
Overall, I loved this book a lot more than I thought it was going to. It’s flashy, but it also a darkness to it that makes it so much more than it seems. It has such a fascinating world and magic system, and I adored the characters. It’s an amazing book.