- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Tor Teen; Collectible/Signed edition (September 20, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0765380544
- ISBN-13: 978-0765380548
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 67 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #506,705 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Vassa in the Night: A Novel Hardcover – September 20, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Sixteen-year-old Vassa Lisa Lowenstein's mother is dead, and her father is gone. She has a stepmother and two stepsisters. It's an odd living arrangement but no more peculiar than a lot of things in her working-class Brooklyn neighborhood. The nights have been especially strange, growing longer and longer. When her stepsister sends Vassa out in the middle of the night for lightbulbs, the only store that's still open is the local BY's. Everyone knows about BY's, and its owner Babs Yagg, but people do tend to remember a store that dances around on chicken legs and has a habit of decapitating shoplifters. When things don't go as planned in BY's, it will take all of Vassa's wits and her enchanted wooden doll Erg's cunning to escape the store alive and maybe even break whatever curse has been placed on Brooklyn's nights. This stand-alone urban fantasy is inspired by the Russian fairy tale "Vasilisa the Beautiful." Although Vassa is described as incredibly pale, the rest of the book is populated with characters who are realistically diverse for its urban location. Evocative settings and imagery help bring this bizarre corner of Brooklyn to life. Vassa is a cynical, no-nonsense character who is quick to make jokes and take risks with the delightfully sharp-tongued Erg at her side. A deliberate lack of romantic tension makes this a refreshing read, and elements of traditional horror blend well with high-concept fantasy in this surprising and engaging tale. VERDICT A must-have for YA urban fantasy collections.—Emma Carbone, Brooklyn Public Library
“With a deft hand, lovely prose, and an eye for details, Porter reworks the Russian story of Vassilissa the Beautiful, setting it in an industrial Brooklyn where magic seeps into the mundane.... the end result is an ethereal, almost dreamlike fairy tale that generates a magic all its own." ―Booklist, starred review
"In this urban-fantasy take on the Russian folk tale 'Vassilissa the Beautiful,' Porter weaves folk motifs into a beautiful and gripping narrative filled with magic, hope, loss, and triumph." ―Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“[E]lements of traditional horror blend well with high-concept fantasy in this surprising and engaging tale.... A must-have for YA urban fantasy collections."―School Library Journal, starred review
Top customer reviews
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As a child, one of my favorite fairy tale characters was Baba Yaga. So whenever I see that Baba Yaga is part of a story, I pick up a book. A lot of the times, I hurl the book away from me.
This book, I will hold close. It is interesting and unusual and sensitive to the Russian culture and to the Brooklyn one as well. And it is intelligent. And fun!
Of course there is plenty of gritty (sometimes grim) fantasy and related action. With the help of a magic doll from her late mother, Vassa must withstand the machinations of the evil witch Baba Yaga, who runs a 24 hour convenience store and keeps Brooklyn in near-perpetual night.
This book makes suspenseful reading, but can also be understood as a modern retelling of a classic folk myth.
Most recent customer reviews
This was honestly one of the most confusing books I have ever read. The scenes were garbled with flowery writing to make them more fantastic and riveting than...Read more