Review: Nevernight by Jay Kristoff (The Nevernight Chronicle #1)

Rating: 6.5/10

Synopsis

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?

Review

Hmmm….this is an interesting one for me to review.  Nevernight is such a well known and loved book among the fantasy community. I was so excited to read this trilogy that I actually bought all three books. Although that may have also been due to the gorgeous covers. It actually took me a good 100 pages to get invested into this one and I’m actually surprised I kept at it. I am of course glad that I did. I’ll talk about the reasons for my initial dislike which led into me into really enjoying this novel.

The writing in Nevernight was one of the most glaring problems for me. While the writing was fantastic, I did not like the narrative style (not limited just to Nevernight). It was the type of writing that made it difficult to be immersed in. Despite this, about 100 pages into the book I stopped noticing the narrative style of writing. It almost felt like the style changed…or maybe I just got used to it. Either way it did not impede the rest of the book.  The writing itself is also very descriptive and I will warn people, this book is pretty graphically written with every swear word you can come up with. Personally, I love a good lude read filled with profanity.

The story…well the story while very enjoyable, was not mind blowing or unique. This book hugely reminded me of a recent coming of age assassin novel(s). Even the premise felt very familiar with quite a few tropes. Despite this, Nevernight still added some interesting new quirks to this already established genre. Kristoff also just somehow took current tropes and made them feel fresh and new. And hey…who doesn’t love a good revenge story.

You’re probably wondering: this review doesn’t sound very positive, why did I continue reading? Well…to answer that – the characters. I became heavily invested in the characters, who each felt unique, interesting and whose character development matured throughout the story. I also loved the interactions between the characters, especially Mia and Tric who had a very bantery sexual chemistry. Even some of the more dislikeable characters like Jessamine were so dislikeable they became likeable. Mia’s journey and reason for revenge, although not unique was interesting. Seeing her development from a parentless child to becoming a deadly assassin was definitely something to behold.

This is still a book I would recommend, especially for fans of assassin type stories, however be prepared that this is not a mind-blowing new genre. I will definitely be continuing this trilogy as I do like the characters and would like to know where they are going.

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