Nevernight – Jay Kristoff
25th July 2016, Harper Voyager
427 pages, 5/5 stars
NEVER FLINCH. NEVER FEAR. NEVER FORGET.
Mia Corvere is the kind of girl I wish I could be. She is intelligent, brave, and deadly. She reminded Caelena Sardothien from Throne of Glass – and then I realised that Mia was overall totally more badass! (I still love Caelena, but she is SOFT compared to Mia.)
There is so much to love about this book that I cannot possibly fit it all into such a small amount of space – I could easily write an essay on the positive points of this book!
I was highly, highly impressed by the FOOTNOTES! I absolutely love footnotes in books – and Jay Kristoff uses them incredibly well for his world-building. I learnt a lot about the culture and history of Itreya. The book is set on a planet with three suns, meaning that the world is very rarely dark. I loved the small detail Jay mentioned about the Guild of Curtain-Makers being one of the wealthiest! Jay had an astronomer friend of his help him with the creation of this world – I love that level of research! Also, the city in which the book is set, has been formed by the bones of a dead God – HOW COOL IS THAT? Are you intrigued yet?
Mia saw her father executed for treason at the tender age of ten. Then her family was ripped apart – her mother and infant brother were sent to a horrifying prison, reminiscent of Azkaban. And it was at ten that Mia first experienced a brush with death – she escaped, and ended up on the doorstep of a veteran assassin. He trained her until she was ready to attempt entry to the Red Church – a sort of Hogwarts for the deathly arts.
As well as having insanely deadly skills, Mia is a darkin. She has an affinity with shadows. It’s a bit magical, but Mia doesn’t understand her skills to any great extent. Mister Kindly, a shadow cat, is her best friend – he also eats her fear. Without fear, Mia can seem a little inhuman, otherworldly, but this is what intrigues me. I like seeing characters who have the ability to put aside their emotions – it makes it even more tense when their emotions do play a role.
This book is insanely quotable. My favourites were all quotes about books. The most wonderful, which I am sure will be featured on much merchandise, is best portrayed in this wonderful graphic:
As I’m sure many of you are wondering – there IS a bit of romance. I really liked how Jay wrote it. Mia hits it off with Tric, a marvellous character who has a very keen sense of smell. However, at a school for assassins, you can’t trust anyone completely. And so the two have a sort of friends with benefits relationship, based more on pleasure and release than emotions. Jay Kristoff does not shy away from the sex scenes – I appreciate that immensely. He writes them well, and they feel very true to real life.
This book is incredible, and I haven’t even touched on many other characters! There are the Masters at the Red Church, who teach subjects such as murder, poisons, theft, and seduction. There is the librarian – read the book, and see why he is my favourite! (Mostly for his quotes about books, to be honest….)
There is so much to this book – I can’t possibly list all its WONDER in the space and time I have here. So click here or on the link at the bottom of this page and buy yourself a copy. You absolutely will not regret this purchase. And it will be a book to read again and again – I’m on my third reading and it’s only just out!
I was lucky enough to do a podcast with Jay through my work – he is absolutely fascinating. I particularly loved hearing him talk about the Hollywood trend of rehashing old franchises – he is angry that fantastic new stories aren’t being produced more often. After speaking with him, I agree! I also freaked out my colleague with my strong assertion that I would happily be an assassin! (I just want their mad skills; I don’t THINK that I have it in me to kill anyone!)
Be advised the pages in your hands speak of a girl who was to murder as maestros are to music.
A girl some called Pale Daughter. Or Kingmaker. Or Crow.
A killer of killers, whose tally of endings only the goddess and I truly know.
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.