What I love most about THE NIGHT COUNTRY is the expansion of world building. THE HAZEL WOOD was beautifully crafted, but there were so many unexplored avenues that THE NIGHT COUNTRY fills in, even though most of the story is set on Earth. With Ellery Finch trying to find a way back to Alice, we also get to see what happened in the Hinterland when Alice left. There’s a good mix of new and returning characters as well.
After Finch and Alice parted at the end of the previous book, I wasn’t expecting such a strong romance between them in the sequel. Through a magic pen, we get some of the sweetest love letters I’ve ever read. I thought I was fine to put my ship for them aside after the events of book 1, but it came sailing right back in after the first letter. I also appreciate that there’s a definite acknowledgment that, even though they’ve gone through Epic Adventures together and apart, they don’t actually know each other very well in the general sense because so much has always been happening around them. One of the things they most yearn for is the chance to explore what could be between them.
I can’t say much about the plot without giving away spoilers, but I enjoyed the pace and build up. Some of the plot lines were a bit confusing at times, but the big picture was explained well.
The final resolution matches the tones of the series expertly: bittersweet, a little messy, and above all, hopeful.