Nevernight

(The Nevernight Chronicle #1, By: Jay Kristoff)

SUMMARY:

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?

Published August 2016 by St. Martin's Press

REVIEW:

I gave this book 4.5 stars, and to say that I am surprised to have ended at this rating is an understatement. While I could tell that this was a unique, well written book from the first page, the beginning was hard for me to get through (I considered not even finishing it). Overall, it was a slow burn - but after I got through the first section (~100pgs in) I found myself completely hooked and absolutely loving every page until the end.

Kristoff's voice shined through from the start, and I really enjoyed his wit and the personality he brought to the characters. However, especially at the beginning, the story was constantly interrupted with tangents in the form of footnotes. While some footnotes were helpful for backstory, I found a lot of them to be overkill. They were inspired and often humorous but they simply slowed the pacing down too much. Thankfully, once I got past the first section "Book 1", these notes greatly decreased and I was able to really invest in and enjoy the remainder of the book. 

Initially, I also struggled with the third person narration. This is a personal preference, but in general, third person POV makes me feel more distant from the characters, and it just doesn't read well. As the story progressed I found that the narrator seemed to fade more into the background. I'm not sure if I just got used to the voice, or if it was intentional, but either way it allowed me to feel more connected to the characters and their stories, and I no longer minded it. 

Once I adjusted to the writing style and POV - I was able to fully appreciate this story. I absolutely loved the quirky attributes that were given to characters, the bizarre and creepy aspects of the world and the outright brutal honesty with which it was all described. Kristoff doesn't shy away from anything - from cussing, to sex, or violence - and he does it all with a baseline of twisted humor. Personally, I loved this and it is why my rating skyrocketed (after my lousy first impression). Keep in mind, this style may not be for everyone; this story will likely be a love or hate relationship for most readers - and definitely blurs the lines between Young and New Adult genres. 

That all being said, I was easily entertained throughout the book. The world is INSANELY unique and filled with depth and history and the plot lives up to the world beautifully. The conflict throughout the plot kept me on my toes, and I ended up burning through the end, needing to know what would happen. 

Please excuse me while I go buy the second book and binge read it...


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