Review: Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff (UK edition)

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff (UK edition)

Title: Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicles, 1)
Author: Jay Kristoff
Genre: Fantasy, Sword & Sorcery, Young Adult
Publisher: Harper Voyager (11th August 2016)
Blurb:

From bestselling author, Jay Kristoff, comes a dangerous new world and a heroine born in darkness.

Destined to destroy empires, Mia Corvere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death.

Six years later, the child raised in shadows takes her first steps towards keeping the promise she made on the day that she lost everything.

But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, so if she is to have her revenge, Mia must become a weapon without equal. She must prove herself against the deadliest of friends and enemies, and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars, and daemons at the heart of a murder cult.

The Red Church is no ordinary school, but Mia is no ordinary student. The shadows love her. And they drink her fear.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

NEVERNIGHT is the first book in a delightfully dark fantasy trilogy by Jay Kristoff. In this book we are introduced to Mia Corvere who was ten years old when she was given her first lesson in death. She is sixteen when the book starts, and is ready to take the first steps on the path to keeping the promise she made on the day she got her first lesson in death. This book introduces Mia and her world, and shows us the beginning of her story – when she attends the Red Church, which is no ordinary school.

The first thing I want to say, because it deserves to be commented on, is that my edition of NEVERNIGHT is gorgeous – from the cover, to the paper on the inside, to the actual hardback. The story itself was deliciously dark and twisted, with definite elements of horror woven into the fantasy. The narrative voice was well done and quite lyrical – although there were times when it did grate on me a bit – and helped to make the book. This book has perhaps one of my favourite narrators. Kristoff also provides additional information via footnotes which are on the whole quite entertaining.

I really enjoyed the way that Kristoff wove the story of this book; without even realising it this complicated and nuanced world unfolded before me, with interesting politics and characters and customs and beliefs. It felt real and believable. And at no point did I feel that Kristoff was spoon-feeding me the information, despite the fact that the footnotes do exactly that – although there were a couple of times I did wonder what they added to the story (but to be honest, I’m not really a fan of footnotes in fiction books). Kristoff kept me guessing with the overall plot of the book; there were a lot of twists and turns that I just didn’t see coming, and the ending of the book was a surprise.

Mia Corvere is an interesting character; Kristoff has created a character that is complex, believable, compelling and who walks in shades of grey rather than black and white. Some of the things she does and the way she reacts to things may not be the nicest thing she could do, but she seems genuinely kind and you find yourself rooting for her. Her companion Mister Kindly is delightfully creepy, and I really enjoyed the way Kristoff wrote their relationship. Mia also has a good cast of friends she meets on her journey, and it was interesting to see the friendships change and evolve.

If you are looking for a new young adult dark fantasy then look no further than NEVERNIGHT. Mia Corvere is marked by an event in her past, and determined to keep the promise she made because of it. Jay Kristoff weaves a rich tale of magic and mystery, and life and death. This book is not for those who like their heroes to fit in nice, neat, boxes. If you like heroes that walk through shadows and who are pragmatic, but still want to do the right thing then this might very well be the book for you. NEVERNIGHT marks the beginning of what promises to be a very compelling trilogy.

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