Friday, August 5, 2016

Book Review: Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

I received a free ecopy of this book from Netgalley and Thomas Dunne Books in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Nevernight
Author: Jay Kristoff
Series: The Nevernight Chronicle #1
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Publication Date: August 9, 2016
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Length: 448 pages
Source: Netgalley

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 assassin's 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 ot bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves. 

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

My Thoughts: 
Mia Corvere's father was hanged as a traitor, her mother locked away. Mia escapes her own cruel fate, determined to avenge her family. She is pulled off the streets by a man who trains her and then sends her off to the Red Church to further learn how to be the perfect assassin. On her way there, she runs into a tattooed boy named Tric,, who just happens to be looking for the same place as she is. Within the Red Church, they are trained in the arts of sword fighting, pick-pocketing, and more.

Will Mia make it through the grueling tests that the Church set forth for the acolytes? Will she be able to exact her revenge on her father's murderer?

Nevernight was a unique take on the assassin trope with interesting characters, lots of death, blood, and gore, as well as an ending that I really wasn't expecting. It took me a while to get used to the writing style but once I did, I was pretty hooked. There were a few things that I really didn't like about this book but when all was said and done, I ended up really enjoying it nonetheless. 

What I liked:

I loved the worldbuilding. A world with 3 suns is just as interesting as it sounds, although I thought the story could have played into that idea a little more instead of the characters being locked away inside for almost the entire novel. It was hard to picture a bright world with no night when the story itself was so dark. 

The characters were great. 
Mia is a 'darkin' and has the ability to wrap herself in shadow. She has a daemon shadow cat that is always with her and basically feeds off of her fear and anxieties so she doesn't have to deal with them. I really enjoyed how unpredictable she seemed to be.
I also really enjoyed Tric as a character and a few of the other acolytes.
There were a few characters that I wish we could have had a little more of  (Lord Cassius and Naev to be specific.)

I loved the whole 'assassin school' aspect of this story, and it was a huge part of this book. The 'teachers' were some of the most interesting I've come across in the 'school setting' types of stories. They all had some pretty awesome abilities, from controlling blood to changing appearances and they were all pretty interesting. 

The library. Where whole wings are yet to be discovered, this library rivals many other libraries I've read about. And there are actual BOOKWORMS! Giant, man-eating bookworms. How cool is that?

What I didn't like:

I was originally under the assumption that this is a YA novel, but it isn't.  This is an adult novel with a teenage protagonist. That's not what I didn't like about it, though. This book is way too sexually graphic to be a YA book but Goodreads users keep shelving it as such.  I've read adult romance novels with less erotica. There are some seriously pornographic scenes in this book.  I enjoy foul language and mauling and blood and gore (all of which Nevernight has in abundance) but I'm not really into erotica. 
I do think that this would have been a pretty awesome YA novel if it weren't for those R rated scenes. In all honesty, this book doesn't really scream 'adult' otherwise. I kind of felt like this book was having an identity crisis. It's a sex-addicted teenager trying to live in an adult world.

The writing style took me a while to get used to. The first part of the story didn't flow quite as well as the rest of the book. I was determined to continue reading but I really struggled with the first 30% or so of it. It ended up taking me almost 3 weeks to read this book, mostly because the beginning was really hard to get into. I started out really wanting to love it but didn't at first. Luckily, I ended up being pretty much in love with the story, the world, and the characters. 

I'm not sure if these will be in the bound copies but I kind of really hated the footnotes. A lot of them were long and lost my attention. Others felt like they would have done perfectly fine as part of the story instead of as a footnote. Others seemed really pointless. In ebook format, they were all at the very end of each chapter so I either needed to skip ahead or wait until I got to the end and hope I knew what they were talking about by then. It was a little frustrating, to be honest. 

My Rating:  4 stars

1 comment:

  1. I'm currently reading Nevernight and I agree that it took me a while to get past the 30% mark. It's very wordy! But I'm about half way now and I'm really enjoying it so far and I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed it too.

    Lauren @ My Expanding Bookshelf