Sunday, August 7, 2016

Review: Nevernight by Jay Kristoff


The Nevernight Chronicle #1
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Publication Date: August 9th, 2016
Rating: 4 Stars
Source: Netgalley
Format: eARC
Pages: 448

Summary (from Goodreads):

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?

Nevernight is a story about Mia Corvere and how she started out her life as an assassin. At a young age, her entire family was destroyed and she is hellbent on revenge against the people she holds responsible for that destruction. So she seeks to join the Red Church to train to become a lethal assassin.

Mia doesn't necessarily feel like an assassin to me. I mean, she definitely is, but while reading this book and thinking of the assassins, the picture that came to my mind was heartless murder machines. Mia is definitely an animal when it comes to murdering people, but she murders people for... good... reason. Good is probably not the word I want, but it's the best I've got right now.

She shows a kindness that the other Acolytes seem to lack. She doesn't let her training kill that in her. She cares what happens to her fellow assassins. She cares when one of them is killed in training. I love that she's not just a cold killer. This kind of makes her sound like some sweet thing amongst bloodthirsty barbarians and that is not the case. She is still cold and she wants to excel and beat the other students to gain one of the four Blade spots, but she isn't going to just stomp on someone else to get it necessarily.

She is also very studious, taking her classes seriously because she wants one of the four coveted Blade titles. She is fearless. She is brave. She is just kind of awesome!

On her way to find the Red Church, Mia meets and joins up with a Dweymeri boy named Tric who is also looking to become an assassin. They develop a bit of a romance (if you can call it that) in this book. I think that they had feelings for each other that they refused to admit, but the romance mostly felt like lust to me. I did like them together though.

The Red Church is such a cool setting. It's an assassin school that is reminiscent of Hogwarts. It has a very dark feeling to it. There are lots of winding staircases and things inside it feel like they move around. The Sky Altar definitely had a very Great Hall feeling to it. The classes Mia and the other Acolytes take are very interesting. There's Songs where they learn to fight with swords and other weapons. Pockets is where they learn thievery and other such talents. Truths teaches them vemoncraft. And Masks is where they learn the arts of seduction and the like.

The only complaints I have are very minor. For some reason, I just had such a hard time getting into the first chapter. It was very interesting to read, I think the writing might have just gone over my head a little bit. It got a lot better from there!

The other thing that I didn't love were the footnotes. It was a pain to flip back and forth between the pages in the eARC so I just skipped reading any of them. This is going to be a book that I end up buying someday so when I do, I'll just read the footnotes then.

Overall, I loved this book. I loved Mia and the setting and all the violence. I hope there is more graphic stuff in the next book. I will definitely be continuing this series and reading more of Jay's work, starting with Illuminae one of these days.

***I see a lot of people classifying this book as young adult. Just because a book is ABOUT young adults, doesn't necessarily mean it is FOR young adults. This book contains rather graphic violence and sex so if that's not something you're into, you'd best move along.***

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