*We received this book in exchange for an honest review.*
Instead of going to college like her peers, Sophie Spark leaves Germany to work as an intern in Switzerland. Welcome to the Castle in the Clouds, a magical hotel in the Swiss Alps.
It’s the holiday season, the first one that Sophie is away from her family. She prepares for a hotel full of wealthy guests from around the world, all eagerly anticipating the New Year’s Eve ball.
With a fully occupied hotel comes drama and secrets. First, items go missing around the hotel. Sophie’s first suspect is the mysterious British guy, Tristan, who has a knack of just showing up. Sophie’s not sure if she can trust him. Neither does fellow hotel employee Ben, who might have ulterior motives of keeping Sophie away from the cute hotel guest.
Besides just worrying about her relationship status, problems seem to get worse. While on babysitting duty, two of the kids go missing…when they are found, they are dazed and confused. Sophie begins to think there is a larger plot going on in the hotel. But who can she trust?
Ben and Sophie have a connection, but will he believe her? Tristan says all the right things, but something is off about him. With so many guests and staff, Sophie accidentally falls straight into an international scheme much larger than anyone could anticipate. Anyone could be in on it.
It’s been years since we’ve read a book by Gier. We loved the Precious Stone trilogy. While this book was released in the United States in January 2020, it came out in Germany back in 2017.
Unfortunately, this book did not have the same flare as the others. First of all, there were so many characters and they were introduced all at once. We found ourselves looking back to remember them all.
Also, the real plot wasn’t introduced until about halfway through. The first half was just details about Sophie and everyone she interacts with. The reader doesn’t know about the heart of the mystery until the last quarter. We will say that once the real plot was introduced, the pace sped up and had us nervous for Sophie and her friends.
We wish the rest of the book could of been closer to the last few chapters. It ended on a solid note with everything resolved. But, the entire book could have been just as exciting with more clues dropped.
Another focal point was the romance. We did enjoy it, but sometimes it felt overlooked. Sophie and Ben had amazing chemistry. We found ourselves cheering Ben on, even when he was jealous over Tristan.
Overall, we thought some characters and description could have been cut. We also wish there were more hints about the potential mystery near the beginning of the book. Gier could have done more to show the reader why something was off in this hotel. However, one thing we loved was the beautiful setting. We’re excited to see Switzerland represented.