Sunday 15 September 2019

Review: Darkdawn - Jay Kristoff

UK Cover
From bestselling and award-winning author Jay Kristoff comes the thrilling and heart-breaking conclusion to The Nevernight Chronicle.

Mia Corvere, gladiatii, escaped slave and infamous assassin, is on the run.

After the greatest games in Godsgrave’s history ended with the most audacious murders in the history of the Itreyan Republic, Mia finds herself pursued by Blades of the Red Church and soldiers of the Luminatii legion. She may never escape the City of Bridges and Bones alive.

Her mentor Mercurio is now in the clutches of her enemies. Her own family wishes her dead. And her nemesis, Consul Julius Scaeva, stands but a breath from total dominance over the Republic.

But beneath the city, a dark secret awaits. Together with her lover Ashlinn, brother Jonnen and a mysterious benefactor returned from beyond the veil of death, she must undertake a perilous journey across the Republic, seeking the final answer to the riddle of her life. Truedark approaches.

Night is falling on the Republic for perhaps the final time.

The Nevernight Chronicles:

Visit Jay Kristoff's website for more information

I've been shouting about this series from the rooftops since I first read Nevernight in 2016, it's one of my all time favourites and one that I own multiple copies of in various signed limited edition hardbacks. In fact I had preordered 3 different copies of Darkdawn long before it's actual release (US signed first edition as well as the Goldsboro & Waterstones signed editions with sprayed edges) and that's not counting the fact I ended up buying the audiobook too as I'd just finished listening to the first 2 books for the first time and was really impressed with the narrator Holter Graham. Anyway, I was totally expecting this book to be another 5 star read, I went in prepared to love it so I can't tell you how much it pains me to only rate it a 3.

The story actually got off to a great start. It kicks off immediately after the end of Godsgrave with Mia having just killed her two greatest enemies in the middle of the arena and managing to escape with her younger brother Jonnen. She has plans to meet up with Ashlinn and Mercurio so that they can escape the city together but things go downhill very quickly when she realises the extent of the Red Church's betrayal. Instead Mia and Ash are now on the run with a familiar face from their past, Mia is the most wanted criminal in the empire and instead of getting the joyful reunion she wanted with Jonnen she's having to hold him prisoner to stop him running back to his father. I'm not really going to talk much more about the plot than that but it definitely gives us an explosive start to being back in Mia's world.

Unfortunately for me it went downhill from there. I've never been able to forgive Ashlinn for her actions in the first book so I couldn't be less on board with her relationship with Mia. I think if Mia had moved on from Tric with any other character in the series I'd have been sad but I'd have got over it but I just can't find it in myself to root for these two, especially considering what happened at the end of Godsgrave! So much of this story was focused on the romance and to be honest I was bored, it seemed like the rest of the plot revolved around excuses to give Mia and Ash more smut scenes and I honestly never expected to be saying this book had too much sex in it. For a good half of the book I actually found myself getting bored of Mia's story, so much so that I kept falling asleep whenever I tried listening to the audiobook and had to switch over to reading one of my hardbacks instead.

The pace did pick up again towards the end but it really wasn't enough to make up for my boredom in the middle. Darkdawn was completely missing all of the twists from the first two books, everything felt totally predictable and the ending was nothing unexpected or particularly exciting. I'm still a huge fan of Jay Kristoff and he remains an auto-buy author for me but I think it's highly unlikely I'll be reading this particular book again no matter how much I loved the first two instalments.

Source: Purchased

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US Cover
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