The brighter the light, the deeper the shadow.
Nevernight is the first book by Jay Kristoff I’ve read. I did read Illuminae, but it doesn’t count because it was a collaboration. Nevernight is the first book solely by Jay Kristoff I’ve read. It was one of those series I’d pause and look at, over and over at the bookstore, but I always chose something else instead. I love fantasy, for any age. It’s probably my favorite genre. It’s just that adult fantasy is so epic and sweeping I feel like it takes me so much longer to read. Does that sound horrible? I feel like I’m so busy these days that I’m better suited to the shorter faster reads. I’m so glad I finally bought this book though, because it was worth every second of the week it took me to finish!
Reviewing fantasy is so hard. Even when I look back on my old reviews, it’s a genre that I’ve never written the most fluid reviews for. So much of my emotions and thoughts are wrapped up in specific events, so it’s hard to talk about how I felt when I can’t talk about why I felt that way. I’m going to do my best at describing why I loved Nevernight without giving away any spoilers, so please bear with me.
The main character Mia was the heart of the story. Obviously that’s what the main character should be, but it’s really easy to not like the character you’re reading about. I loved Mia, thankfully. I loved her character when she was on her own, but I especially loved Mia’s interactions with the people she meets. Jay Kristoff never lost her character to the story, even as she adapted and built new connections. I didn’t think he ever compromised.
It wasn’t just Mia either. I loved so many of the secondary characters, and since this is one of those gray areas I’m going to stop talking about it now. If you’ve read this, and you want me to elaborate on my favorites. One of them starts with a T and the other one starts with an H. I kinda liked A too… (Those of you who haven’t read this, aren’t you so curious??!)
Normally I don’t like when a story flips from the past to the present. Generally I find it too jarring when I’m ripped out of a story for a time jump. Surprisingly in Nevernight I felt like Mia’s flashbacks only made her seem stronger. It was really clever the way Mia’s present day story unfolded at the same time as we’re getting the secrets from Mia’s past. I wasn’t surprised by the reveals, but I wasn’t unhappy to find out I was right. Having guessed the twists ahead of time didn’t make me feel disappointed. It made me feel heartbroken for Mia. I dreaded reading what I knew was coming. I wanted Mia’s revenge.
‘Iron or glass?’ they’d ask. She was neither. She was steel.
Finally, Nevernight was brutal and violent. I should have known going in, since it’s about assassins, but for some reason I expected something tamer. Maybe it’s because the book is about a 16 year old, part of me thought it would read more like a YA. (VE Schwab Shades of Magic is in the adult section, but it feels more like an adult/YA crossover.) I was very wrong. Nevernight is not YA. It’s bloody and gory. There’s sex and a lot of cursing. It’s 100% for the older readers. So, if any of this appeals to you, definitely pick it up. It truly is worth all the hype!