Review | Nevernight by Jay Kristoff


About the Book: The first in a new fantasy series from the New York Times bestselling author.

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?

The Nevernight Chronicles #1
Adult Fantasy
Thomas Dunne Books | August 9, 2016
amazon2 bn2

2017 Birdie Award Winner

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!


About Birdie

Don’t look for her in any bar, club, crazy raging party, or anywhere there may be a large gathering of strangers. She’s more likely to be found tucked into the corner of the couch watching one of her favorite shows, or preferably under a comforter with her current novel.

19 Responses

  1. Chizurue

    This is in my TBR pile too! I just added it like yesterday. Seriously. I feel like this is a sign to read now. And then Caraval after 🙂


  2. This is another one that has been in my TBR pile for ages and that I hope to get to before the end of the year. I didn’t even realize it was more of an adult fantasy so now I’m even more intrigued. Mia sounds like my kind of character too. Great review!


  3. Nice review!! NEVERNIGHT IS SO AWESOME and I want to make everyone read it gahhhh!! I feel the same way about writing fantasy reviews though, they just feel so hard! How can you encompass all that happens in just one review without spoilers?! Its so difficult! But I really hope everyone reads Nevernight, it deserves all the love!!!


Tell me something!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.