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?
Description taken from Goodreads. I received an advance copy of this book, to be released August 9th, 2016, in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own.
I love Jay Kristoff. I really do. I was super enthusiastic (perhaps a little too enthusiastic) about Stormdancer and I really enjoyed Illuminae, but I didn’t love it. As I stated in my review, there were a lot of things about the book that were love-worthy, but the format was not one of them. Granted, it did make some parts truly shine. It made the incredible ending of the book what it is.
Unfortunately, Nevernight is the same way, and not in a good way.
To be frank, I wish Kristoff would go back to writing stories the way he used to. No frills, just great storytelling. I don’t need the dual-POV italics/non-italics fanciness. Sure, it made some scenes greater. It added characters that I was completely not expecting, and it made the book unique.
But it could’ve done without it, and I wish it did. The dual POV was cool for the first ten pages, maybe not even that. Afterwards, it got sucked into this pace-slowing, repetitive narration that became a bother to read. At certain points, I wasn’t reading the footnotes (some of which were hilarious and some of which were just long/unnecessary) or the italicized versions. In essence, I was only reading about 60% of each page.
While I’m here, I should probably say that this is an adult dark fantasy novel. I didn’t know that at the beginning. Mia is sixteen, and Kristoff usually writes YA, so I figured it was YA. It is not YA, and has a few intense violence and sex scenes. I’ll leave it at that, but if you want a list of the themes and plot events in this novel, check Goodreads.
For the record, its genre was also part of why I was only reading parts of each page. If you don’t usually read adult literature, you may not want to pick up this one.
The general consensus among the reviews I’ve read is that the beginning is hard to get into (for whatever reason), the characters are amazing, the overall plot is excellent, and Kristoff is still an amazing writer. These are all true things. For me, the narration did me in. I couldn’t quite get into it.
But the characters were smart and fierce and I loved getting to know them. There’s also some great banter between Tric, one of the supporting characters who becomes a love interest, and Mia that mimics some of the humor seen in Illuminae and Stormdancer. I loved the story in general, but it’s not one that I’ll be recommending to YA readers. 3 stars.
pg count for the hardback: 448