Book Review: Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

y648From Goodreads: Destined to destroy empires, Mia Covere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death. Six years later, the child raised in shadows takes her first steps towards keeping the promise she made on the day that she lost everything. But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, so if she is to have her revenge, Mia must become a weapon without equal. She must prove herself against the deadliest of friends and enemies, and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and demons at the heart of a murder cult.  The Red Church is no Hogwarts, but Mia is no ordinary student.

The shadows love her. And they drink her fear.


Okay so let’s just say that I was going to give up on reading Nevernight. The first 20% or so I hated. But then it picked up really rather fast and I just couldn’t stop reading! And I really enjoyed it. (Well, ‘enjoyed’ might be a strong word but we’ll get onto that in a sec.)

So firstly can I just kinda fangirl over Mia’s power? Basically, she can control the shadows (which obviously everyone has, so hello, cool power alert). She has a cute shadow-cat called Mister Kindly (who I found quite scary but spoilers!) and she is scarily powerful. But her power was just so AWESOME. I won’t go into the epilogue much, but it was such a great scene and I really loved how it was done by Kristoff. I don’t know if shadow powers are used elsewhere but I really enjoyed it.

The back stories were actually a really enjoyable part of the book, too, because they revealed mysteries really slowly and I was always so excited when a section came up with italics because it meant AWESOME BACKSTORY ALERT. (Lots of alerts here.) So yeah, basically back stories well done!

The plot was also very well done. It wasn’t particularly fast paced, but I think if it had been any slower it wouldn’t have been able to show everything in as much detail. I liked all the different settings too.

The characters were a variety, like Hush, Drusilla, Ash, Tric and Solis (okay but THAT SCENE I was gasping to myself because WHAT). I really liked get dynamics between them all and how it created both tension and relaxation in the story. And pretty much all of them had a part to play! Even the ones who had very little time ‘on stage’ as it were still had a part in the story that moved the plot forwards.

The writing style. Ooh the writing style. If you didn’t know, Kristoff co-wrote Illuminae which is a very image-filled piece (and you should totally read it. *cough* Back to Nevernight.). I knew Nevernight was prose but it was very lyrical and description-filled. Not heavy, but beautiful, almost like poetry in prose. Anyway, I enjoyed reading it and the descriptions – even when something ghastly was being shown, it was still described so beautifully I was so entranced I kept on reading behind my gasp.

Now onto why I gave it 4/5, not 5/5. The footnotes. That is IT. The footnotes were horrendous. They were so distracting and I felt like over of them were simply unnecessary. Moreover, the ‘voice’ (the book is omnipresent 3rd person) was COMPLETELY different from the regular narration voice! They just seemed like an unnecessary addition and I nearly put the book down because of them. In the end I just ignored them but it did sometimes seem like cheap world building – like, something was written (like ‘IronFighter’ (fake example!)) and then it was explained in the footnotes instead of the actual text! Grr.

However, as you can tell I did enjoy Nevernight overall. It was a tough choice to choose between 3.5 or 4 stars, but the .5 would’ve been lost for gore and I knew what I was getting into so I felt that was unfair (also the gory scenes were still written beautifully y’know). I may even read a finished copy of Nevernight so that tells you how much I did like it in the end.

I received a book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review – thank you very much!

TITLE: Nevernight
AUTHOR: Jay Kristoff
GENRE: Fantasy
ISBN: 9780008180010
PERSONAL SOURCE: eARC from Netgalley

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