Review: Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Posted October 24, 2016 by Lizzie in Review / 2 Comments

Review: Nevernight by Jay KristoffNevernight by Jay Kristoff
Series: The Nevernight Chronicle #1
Published by Thomas Dunne Books on August 9th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 429
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Series Rating: five-stars
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The first in a new fantasy series from the New York Times bestselling author.
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?

At this point, I would read Jay Kristoff’s grocery list.

This is my top book release of 2016, and sitting pretty on my all time favorite’s shelves. I own the ARC, the Us edition, and the UK.

I guess you could say I’m obsessed.

If you’re looking for something that’s blood bath meets Harry Potter, here you go! I don’t even know where to being talking about all the elements of this story, especially talking about it without giving away anything, but here goes!

Our MC, Mia, is a phenomenal, give zero f*cks, kick ass heroine. I loved her so much. Her character arc is probably one of the most uniquely complex that I’ve ever read before, and I so enjoyed how layer upon layer she just kept getting more and more interesting. Her dialogue sequences with any character throughout the novel was amazing. Such rich diction, she was just so funny. I loved how she challenged the normal heroine formula. Her motives were sound, I never felt myself questioning why she wanted to do something or how she came to a conclusion. She was so well rounded, I could practically tell you what she would order for breakfast or what she might want for Christmas. Kristoff painted such an amazing picture in my mind, everything from physical appearance to emotional and metaphysical – she was all there.

The setting of this story is literally an entire world. Kristoff created a whole place, with moons, language, religion, and history that are detailed to you through footnotes during the whole story. I found the footnotes to be so fun, it makes it so each page is definitely dense, but the world becomes so rich with all the added detail. I would gladly had just read the footnotes detailed history and commentary as a separate book and enjoyed it just as much. The narrator was also so cool, Kristoff really leaves the narrator’s role in the story to your imagination. Through the narrator we are given such great foreshadowing and extra detail it felt like the narrator was an additional character itself.

The assassin school that Mia attends was amazing. Kristoff gives you a TON of characters to get to know, and literally takes you training right along with Mia. I cannot express the level of complexity that this book has while also being immensely entertaining. There is mystery, romance, so much humor, and infinite surprises that just kept revealing themselves. This is certainty a much more mature YA read, particularity in the language. Kristoff writes with a lot of prose (basically poetic descriptions) so it could be confusing to navigate if you’re not familiar with unpacking that kind of writing style. I know that Stephanie, our lovely co-admin (Hi Steph!) found this read really hard to follow. The novel opens in an entirely different place and state of mind than the majority of the rest of the plot. It doesn’t unfold traditionally at all, and really demands that you keep small details in mind and remember things for later importance and context. Personally, I am in love with that kind of writing. It’s high fantasy incarnate, very reminiscent to the Name of the Wind series and other “adult” fantasy series.

I say, if the synopsis hooks you, disregard the complexity! Pick it up and see if you can follow. This is one heck of a phenomenal read, the type of book that really challenges the rhetoric and stereotypes that we normally find in YA in such a unique plot. I would do many many things to get my hands on book 2, from the ending it seems like we will continue to be surprised by where this story is going. Fantasy is such a broad genre, I’m curious to see where such a mastermind like Jay Kristoff will take us!


What do you think? Have you read Nevernight? Did you fall in love just like I did? Let me know down in the comments!


2 responses to “Review: Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

  1. I really need to get back to this book. This pregnancy has definitely gotten me off my reading game! 🙂 I hope I love it as much as you, because the first 20 pages when I did start was a little difficult for me.. haha.
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