You know when you’re in such a bad reading slump, that nothing is catching your attention, and every book seems boring? I felt the exact same way recently.
I couldn’t relate to the main character, I didn’t care for the storyline, I didn’t like the writing style. The list of problems was endless, I just could not make my way through an entire book.
And then I found Nevernight.
My God, Nevernight by Jay Kristoff knocked the slump right out of me, blew me away, and has fast become one of my favourite books. It’s currently contending for my book of the year, which is an incredible feat, considering I’ve read some fantastic books so far this year.
Let’s start by talking about what Nevernight is all about, shall we?
Nevernight follows the story of Mia, a girl who grew up in Godsgrave (funnily enough, the title of the second book in this series), and her quest to become an assassin. Yes, this book is about assassins. Can you tell why I was sold immediately?
Mia’s entire family was killed when she was a child, and now she wants revenge on the officials who sanctioned their murders. To do that, she must train under the Red Church, to learn the tricks of the assassin trade so she can exact revenge.
There’s only one problem, there are 27 other people training with her, and there’s only space for 4 new ‘Blades.’ Those who don’t graduate, but survive training, become ‘Hands,’ the servants of the Red Church and its Blades. And Hands don’t get to avenge their dead.
Full of twists and turns, and leaving behind several questions that need answering in the next two in the Nevernight Chronicles trilogy, Nevernight is a fantastic book to read. I loved finding out about the Church, the magic of the world, and about Mia herself. She was a headstrong, cocky, but intelligent character, who didn’t fall into the ‘strong female character because she hits things’ trope. Mia shows intelligence and wit, a strong moral code, despite her chosen profession, and a deep sense of the plight of others. I loved watching her story unfold in front of me.
Favourite parts of this book:
- Mia, to start with. As I said above, she was a strong female character, without being exceptionally strong, she was strong in her intelligence, her moral code, and her sympathetic nature. She had her mission, but she still had time for mischief, making friends, and falling in love. I loved her.
- The flashbacks. Mia’s past is slowly revealed through flashbacks throughout the book, which was far better than giving it to the reader immediately from the off. The flashbacks were also really clearly marked, so it was impossible to get lost between the two timelines. Also, it really helped to humanise Mia further and give the reader a better explanation as to why Mia was on this mission in the first place.
- The plot twists. I won’t reveal any, but let’s just say that there were one or two that gave me whiplash as I read. I haven’t been hit like that in a long time, and very rarely have I been hit with a plot twist that good in a book.
- The magic. Nevernight wasn’t a book steeped in magic, it was more that some characters had some level of magic inside them, and nearly all of it was twisted. From people who can change a person’s face from beautiful to horrifyingly ugly, to others who can transport others across the country through pools of blood, magic was seen as fascinating, but something to be feared.
- Nobody was ever slut-shamed. There’s a lot of sex in this, and it’s not skimmed over either. And yet, nobody was ever slut-shamed, or shamed at all for sleeping with anybody else. The teachers of the Church don’t want anybody out after the ninth bell, but that’s for a completely different reason. Women sleep with men, and nobody is ever told that they are lesser for it. Hell, every acolyte takes a class in seduction! This is a completely free-from- shaming zone, and I loved that.
That’s just a few things I liked about this book, I just generally really, really loved it! I had very few cons, and it was for very small things, such as:
- I sometimes got lost in fight scenes. But I nearly always do in books, for some reason, I can never properly get my head wrapped around fight scenes. In that sense, I’m definitely a visual person.
- I wanted a bit more of an explanation and backstory to the bad guy. It didn’t feel like it was just ‘chucked in,’ it had very clearly been mapped out and hinted at throughout the story. But I had just wanted a bit more information on them. Maybe I’ll get it in the sequel, I hope so.
But other than that, I genuinely adored this book. It was exactly what I needed to read right now.
Nevernight is a fast paced, action packed, thrill ride of a book. If you love books about assassins, magic and revenge, and don’t mind a lot of swearing, violence and bloodshed, I would not hesitate to run out and buy this book!
I have to thank Clara, from Clara Reads Books, for recommending this book so much I had to pick it up. It’s brought me out of my horrendous reading slump and given me a new favourite author.
5/5 stars, I cannot wait for the second book!