ARC Review: A Castle in the Clouds by Kerstin Gier
If you are looking for a character-driven contemporary story with the feelings of boarding school, light romance, and a mystery that will have you suspicious of even yourself, A Castle in the Clouds is a book you won’t want to miss!
About the Book
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company | Release Date: January 28, 2020 | Pages: 336
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery | Format: eBook | Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Way up in the Swiss mountains, there’s an old grand hotel steeped in tradition and faded splendor. Once a year, when the famous New Year’s Eve Ball takes place and guests from all over the world arrive, excitement returns to the vast hallways.
Sophie, who works at the hotel as an intern, is busy making sure that everything goes according to plan. But unexpected problems keep arising, and some of the guests are not who they pretend to be. Very soon, Sophie finds herself right in the middle of a perilous adventure–and at risk of losing not only her job, but also her heart.
This post uses affiliate links and I may receive a small commission for purchases made through my links at no additional cost to you. Click here for more info.
A Castle in the Clouds was an impulse download on Edelweiss because I’d been experiencing SFF burnout, and I am so glad that I picked this book up. It’s funny and smart with a dash of cute, and I adored my time reading it!
“Legend had it that the hotel was haunted, and I could well believe it.”
Originally released in German back in 2017, this US edition was translated by Romy Fursland and is a fast-paced and engaging read. Told in Sophie’s perspective, we follow her life as a new intern at a secluded old hotel in the Swiss mountains. She’s quit school and is embarking on her own, trying to find her path and hoping that this year-long post will provide some of that clarity.
While there is an overall plot that comes to develop, I’d say that the book largely is about Sophie’s day-to-day. Her tasks at the hotel, her budding friendships with the other staff members, the mysterious and dreamy guest, and the hotel owner’s son. It’s a character-driven story and love that all the characters feel like people.
But there’s more to the plot than romance and babysitting woes. There’s a mystery afoot and we know from the prologue of the book something is going to happen. I love books that start with a portion of the end and I love seeing what transpires to bring that ending about. All the twists and turns, I didn’t really know who to trust (which made for an anxious reading experience because I loved everyone). I saw a few of the twists coming because of really good plotting on the part of Gier, but did find myself surprised by a couple of them!
Overall, I found this to be a positively delightful read. The mystery component provides more depth to an already enjoyable contemporary romance, although I do wish there was a bit more of the paranormal stuff woven in. But I’d definitely recommend this book to fans of character-driven contemporaries and those who enjoy a good slow-burn.
Thank you to the publisher for providing me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. Quotations are taken from an unfinished proof and are subject to change upon final publication.
Have you read A Castle in the Clouds yet, or is it on your TBR? Do you have any recommendations for similar books?