Wednesday, 28 December 2016
Review: Nevernight - Jay Kristoff
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 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.
The Nevernight Chronicles:
Titles and release dates for future books in the series are TBC
Visit Jay Kristoff's website for more information
Sometimes you read a book that is so amazing that you find it too intimidating to even attempt to write a review for it because you just know you won't be able to do it justice. That is what has kept me from writing this for such a long time because Nevernight is one of those books. I honestly haven't been this excited for a new series since I first picked up Red Rising and anyone who knows me knows I'm a super fan of those books! Jay Kristoff has totally outdone himself here and there is no doubt in my mind that Nevernight is my top fantasy read of 2016.
Imagine what would happen if Hogwarts was a school for assassins. Now imagine that Voldemort was the headmaster, all the teachers were Death Eaters and all of the students were sorted into Slytherin. Got that picture in your head? Great, that should give you a pretty good idea about what the Red Church is like. This isn't a school for any old wannabe assassin, it's a school for people who are serious about causing death and destruction wherever they go. In fact, you have to prove you've already killed to even enter the building so if you're not completely ruthless you might as well just walk away now. As you can guess a school run by the world's top assassins isn't going to be a walk in the park and not many of the students are expected to survive the year. It's not only the other students that you have to watch out for because you're just as likely to get a knife in the back (or poison in your cup) from one of your teachers.
Mia has spent years honing her skills so that she is ready to attend the Red Church, she is determined to get revenge on the people who destroyed her family and she knows that she'll only be able to do that if she has the best possible training. Everything she has ever wanted depends on her graduating as one of the top four students and she won't let anything get in her way, not even friendship, so she isn't setting out to make allies. I absolutely love Mia and her shadow cat Mister Kindly, I also fell hard for Tric, the boy who is the closest Mia has to a friend in the Red Church. There is just a hint of romance between them which I really enjoyed but you know all along that they're both working towards their own goals and that not even love will get in the way of them achieving what they've set out to do.
You know those YA books where the assassins are more interested in clothes and make up than making a kill? Well Nevernight is nothing like those books and Mia is more than willing to prove it to you. Technically this isn't even a YA book, just because Mia is sixteen at the beginning of the story doesn't mean that it's YA, there are graphic descriptions of violence and sex from the opening chapter and the blood doesn't stop flowing until the last page so it's not one I'd recommend to younger teens but it will have huge crossover appeal between older teens and adults.
Nevernight was everything I could have wanted, it is beautifully written, the characters are fantastic, the world is dark and vicious, the plot is full of twists and deadly turns and I was completely hooked from beginning to end. I still haven't forgiven Jay Kristoff for page 553 though (UK hardback edition, page number may be different in other formats), that was totally brutal and left me utterly heartbroken. The only thing I didn't like about this book is that the rest of the series hasn't been printed yet, it's going to be a long wait until I have the final book in my hands but I guess that gives me plenty of time to fit in a few rereads while I wait.
Source: Received from Harper Voyager in exchange for an honest review
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Hardback / Kindle: