By: Jay Kristoff
Release Date: August 9th 2016
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Format: Print ARC
This book has mature sexual content and violence.
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?
This was my first of Kristoff’s books to read (minus his co-authorship with Amie Kaufman with the Illuminae Files). I was really impressed with his writing, descriptions and character growth. Overall this book was a slowish read taking me a couple of weeks. I chose to take it slow because the writing was a bit dense and the world complex. For me, this was not a negative in the slightest. I love being fully immersed and really getting a lot of background and insight into all the characters.
Mia, our main character, was nothing short of bad-a**. She suffered through an awful event in her childhood and so she sought nothing more than revenge. I loved her drive (haha) and yet even with her complete dedication to revenge those that hurt her family she was still likeable, relatable and had heart. I wasn’t ever exactly sure what she’d do in a situation which made her unpredictable and honestly fun to read.
The secondary characters were amazing as well. Even those that barely made an appearance in the book *coughs* Lord Cassius *coughs* had me enthralled. I wanted to know MORE and this kept me reading. I was so impressed with the backstory we got for various characters- especially Tric. My goodness, I loved how detailed and yes, brutal, it all was. And brutal this book was- there was LOTS of gore, violence and blood. So much blood in fact there was an actual pool of it.
The story itself was so detailed and not predictable in the slightest. The pacing varied some with the start being a tad slower than the ending. I found that the build up and world building were so worth it in the end but those that are eager for a faster paced story might find their interest lagging. Kristoff added footnotes that were so clever and added little, insignificant at times, details about the world and society. I found them such a great touch.
As I mentioned above this book was geared to an older audience. There are sex scenes that are rather detailed so I’d put this in the adult fantasy category myself. I think my favorite aspect of this book was that nothing felt unused- the details and little bits we learned along the way all sort of tied in to really immerse me into this world. It became real to me. I got very emotionally wrapped up in the characters and I honestly got a bit rattled at a couple of scenes. I was also surprised by various things that occurred as well.
Nevernight was an intense book that build such a realistic world and characters I was completely immersed. Kristoff had the ability to shock me and really created a novel with incredible depth. I can’t wait to find out what happens in the sequel. With the mature content, detailed descriptions, violence and length this book reads like an adult book so YA fans be aware of this. Have you seen the UK cover?
Which cover do you prefer? I really can’t say because the US fits the story so well but I’m so partial to crows. So- I must own both.