Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Book Review: Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1)

Release Date: August 9, 2016
Author: Jay Kristoff
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Length: 429 pages
Source: Purchased Book

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?



Protagonist: Mia Corvere lost her family in one night due to her father's failed rebellion, now she needs to get revenge on those that killed her father, but she cannot take on this task without training first. Mia seeks out the Red Church, a school for assassins where she needs to be honed to a razor's edge. I love Mia and all the shades and shadows that make her a great morally gray character. Mia's not a good person, sure she has a bit of a heart, but she won't let anything stop her from getting the revenge she feels she rightly deserves. Mia's a complex character that I just love to read from, she's a bit unpredictable, which always makes for a good time, and she has a lot of something I feel more and more protagonists are lacking and that's common sense. Mia's smart and practically already an assassin when this story begins, yet I never felt like her character development was held back because of that, this is more about honing Mia's skill and her journey to avenge her familia and discover the secrets of what she is.

Romance: One of the things I loved about the romance in this story is that it doesn't infringe on the rest of the story, sure it matters, it has its place in the story, and it's not shoved toward the back or the front, it's just there and how it plays into the rest of the story I felt was brilliantly handled. Mia's not exactly a warm character so it was really interesting to see how she approached the romance she has in this story. There is a bond between the couple and I really enjoyed seeing that explored. Everything felt so natural, I mean, it was almost unreal how natural the two characters feel together and how natural their romance and relationship progresses in the story.

World Building: The world building in this tale is incredible. All over this story are footnotes that give additional information on the world and the mythos of this dark fantasy world. Well, I say dark but really this world hardly sees a truedark, most of the time it's day, and that's only the base surface of this world. I'm a huge sucker for a school or test setting where a group of characters is brought together and only a few will succeed in the task set before them, and this is probably the best version I've ever seen of that trope. Plus there's a murder mystery aspect to the story that blew me away, what else did you expect to happen at a school for assassins? This story is a bit dense towards the beginning, it took me a while to really find my groove with the story but once I got the hang of things, everything went a lot smoother. I will also say that I listened to all of this story as an Audible audiobook and I'd warn if you're thinking about listening to this story as an audiobook, I'd follow along for the first couple of chapters because it goes back and forth in time quite a bit and it's harder to follow on the audiobook at first.

Predictability: I don't think I predicted a single thing in this story, not even joking, there was this one moment where I thought the story was going in one direction, I thought that something pretty tropey was happening, and in the space of a couple seconds everything changed and the story barreled on in a different direction and it was glorious. With some of the twists I'd play around with the truth, but things never truly made sense until minutes before the reveal, if not seconds. Also, I listened to this story in six chapters at a time, so I don't know if it's that or how the story is told but it's so complex that I'll forget about plot points at certain times so I never really had a lot of time to truly consider what would happen when certain things were revealed.

Ending: The end of this tale is glorious. I mean, action scene after action scene, amazing twists, possible foreshadowing to bigger things and a LOT of death, what more could you ask for? I can't even really just talk about the final climax because there were a few different climactic moments toward the end and all of them need to be praised because that is some of, if not the best, action scene writing I've ever read. I was completely sucked into the story, into the carnage and death all around, soaking it in. Then, when the dust settled and losses counted, there was one of my favorite things to see in books, an epilogue, and this epilogue was truly something. It gives a lot of closure on the events of this story and teases what's to come for the next book, or at least I hope it does, and while this story doesn't leave off on a cliffhanger, I'm desperate to know what happens next.


This is by far one of my favorite books of all time, I loved the complex characters, the intricate and detailed world building, a romance that felt just right, and a mystery and path of revenge I cannot wait to continue following!


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