Monday, August 8, 2016

Review: Nevernight - Jay Kristoff

Jay Kristoff
Series: The Nevernight Chronicle, #1
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Thanks to Thomas Dunne Books for the eARC I received via NetGalley!

After reading and absolutely loving Illuminae and Gemina, I was really excited to get approved for Nevernight. Jay Kristoff, once again, did not disappoint with this one!

Nevernight follows Mia Corvere, an orphan who wants nothing more than to avenge her family's murder. The book begins as Mia sets off for the Red Church, a school of assassins, in hopes to become a Blade of the Lady of Blessed Murder. While the acolytes navigate the brutal lessons in swordplay, poisons, seduction, and theft, someone in the Church is murdering the acolytes.

I really loved the world that Jay Kristoff built in Nevernight. The title comes from the fact that this world has three suns and almost no night time as we know it - all three suns only set about every three years. It was so interesting to read about a world like this, seeing how it changed the dynamic of the world and even the terminology. The suns are also deeply rooted in the religion of this world, and I really enjoyed how detailed all the myths were in the book. Hearing the myths in Nevernight was reminiscent of how I feel reading Greek mythology tidbits in Percy Jackson books - it felt like such a real thing that a society could be built around, especially with the main god feeling so threatened by having sons.

In terms of the style of Nevernight, it definitely gave me some Game of Thrones vibes (I've only watched the show, so I can't speak to the actual writing of the ASOIAF series). When I started reading Nevernight, I couldn't help but have Arya Stark feels towards Mia - a young girl navigating a city on her own, learning to be brutal every step of the way. Of course the story itself is completely different, but I think that it would appeal to a similar audience.

I've seen some people saying they felt like the writing of Nevernight was dense, but I really enjoyed the writing style. It had such a fantasy feeling, and I particularly loved the voice of the footnotes. The voice of the footnotes reminded me of the introduction to the Haunted Mansion ride at Disney - you're in a room filled with pleasant portraits, and as the room descends, the portraits extend into macabre portraits of death with this creepy foreboding voice signaling your doom. The other thing I really enjoyed about the footnotes was the way it made the book feel like the chronicling of a legend rather than a novel; as if Mia's adventures were so noteworthy to be worth eternalizing in print - and this was only the beginning.

As for Mia, I absolutely LOVED her! Mia is fierce, snarky, cunning, and calculating, but she is also compassionate, kind, and fiercely loyal. While this book is about Mia training to be a deadly assassin, Mia is still a damaged and unsure young woman. Mia struggles with her feelings towards other people, trying to remain brutal and ruthless even though maybe she isn't those things. With a sidekick called Mister Kindly, there's just something so charming about Mia. Finally there is a rival with Celaena Sardothien for my favorite assassin.

There has been some debate about whether or not this book is YA, so I figured I'd put my two cents in on the subject. The main character of the book is technically a young adult - Mia is 16-years-old. There is a lot of mature content in this book, which is why many people feel like it is more of an adult novel; however, I feel like there's a certain coming of age story built into this that could be meaningful for a young adult audience. I would say, in general, that if you feel comfortable watching Game of Thrones (or you feel comfortable letting your child watch Game of Thrones for parents), then this book will be ok for you in terms of content.

Honestly, I can't even believe Nevernight - it was SO GOOD! I'm so excited to see where this series goes and to read even more from Mr. Kristoff. I highly recommend this new series to all fantasy fans - especially fans of Throne of Glass, Game of Thrones, and A Girl of Fire and Thorns!

I seriously need to check out The Lotus War series now. I NEED MORE JAY KRISTOFF BOOKS IN MY LIFE.

Also, some shameless self promotion of my Nevernight bookstagram picture:

- Kiersten

Who is your favorite fierce heroine?
Let us know in the comments!


  1. Gosh. I still don't know if I want to read this one. At first I was like HECK YES but then I've seen so many mixed reviews and I just don't know D: Great review though!

    Molly @ Molly's Book Nook

    1. A good option might be doing the preview option on Amazon (or looking at it at a bookstore) to see if you like the writing style before buying it. I think the writing eases up as the story goes on, but you can definitely get a taste for it after the second chapter (the first chapter is formatted differently from the others).

    2. That's a good idea! I actually never thought about doing that. Thank you :D