First sentence: “When Night looked own, it saw its own eyes staring back at it. “
DNF-ed at page 143 (47%)
Ugh, I never like it when I have to DNF a book. Vassa in the Night had the stuff that had the makings of an awesome book—Russian fairytale retelling, enchanted kingdom of Brooklyn, talking wooden dolls, mysterious motorcycler, and witch’s curse—but something about this book never captivated me. I wanted to be enchanted, but I wasn’t.
- It’s bizarre.
Which can be a good thing. It usually is. I like bizarre books, but Vassa in the Night’s bizarreness didn’t click for me. I guess that’s because I didn’t connect with the characters, and I didn’t feel rooted into this world. The bizarreness ran away from me.
- I had a hard time following the story.
Although the writing was good, the story itself was all over the place. Vassa in the Night retells the Russian folklore called Vasilisa the Beautiful. Vassa lives in an enchanted kingdom of present-day Brooklyn, is treated terribly by her stepmother, has a tiny magical wooden doll named Erg, and gets trapped in Babs Yagg’s convenience store when she’s accused of stealing and has to work off her debt. Everything after that set-up made me question what the hell was going on. I didn’t understand, and I couldn’t process what was going on. It was like I was witnessing a dream.
- It was…dull.
Dull enough that I was dragging my feet. The story seemed like a good idea, but my attention failed to be captured by the bizarreness and the waning plot. Trying to read Vassa in the Night became a chore.
Should you read Vassa in the Night? Uhhh, go for it? What doesn’t work for me may work for you. Maybe you’ll enjoy the bizarre retelling of the Russian fairytale Vassilia the Beautiful with her little inanimate wooden doll; the old lady, Babs Yagg, that runs the creepy convenience story; and the nightwatchman on the motorcycle.