Series: The Nevernight Chronicles #1
Genre: High Fantasy, Young Adult
Published by Thomas Dunne Books (8.9.2016)
ARC, 448 pages
Source: From Publisher
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?
WARNING: This book is ADULT book. Do not make the mistake of thinking it is YA, because it is positively, unequivocally, NOT. It contains explicit sexual content, strong language, and loooots of violence. #stabstabstab
Never flinch. Never fear. Never forget.
Honestly, I don’t think any words I could say could ever do this book justice. But I will try my best! This book absolutely BLEW. ME. AWAY. (Just like I knew it was going to.) If you didn’t already know, Jay’s Lotus Wars trilogy is my favorite EVARR. I recommend it to everyone I can and shamelessly bookpush it on anyone and everyone. So when I first heard about Nevernight, I was DESPERATE to get my hands on it. I was beside myself when the pub responded and said they were sending a copy! (THANK YOU St. Martin’s Press & Thomas Dunne books!!!)
The verdict? It was everything I’d ever hoped for and more! It was SO EPIC, you guys! Words cannot express how epic this book was. Jay is absolutely brilliant! He never fails to entertain, and his world building is out of this world! (No pun intended, haha) I was so amazed by how intricate the world was, and I am beyond impressed by how much Jay put into it. The world felt so real! It’s a tad confusing at first, because you’re kind of thrown into a back and forth between Mia’s present and Mia’s past. I love how Jay wove them together, using almost the exact same passage to describe two very different scenes. It was beautifully done, and I haven’t read anything like it before. I also loved how dark and violent it was!
Okay, let’s take a short break from that to talk about the most important part of this book: MISTER KINDLY. OH MY GAWD HOW I LOVE HIM. He was the best! I love him so much I can’t even. I want my own Mister Kindly! I love that he was always there for Mia no matter what – all the times where he said she was never alone, he’d be with her always, to hold on to him, and all the other meaningful scenes between them gave me ALL THE FEELS – and it was totally epic that he literally fed off of fear! He was SO FREAKING AWESOME YOU GUYS. *flails* (Also did I mention that he was sarcastic too? It’s a bit like Buruu all over again, maybe that’s why I love him so much!) View Spoiler »The part where Mister Kindly disappeared temporarily, as well as the part where he was trying to vouch for Mia and told her that she used to trust him more, BROKE MY HEART. Ow feels. Ow. « Hide Spoiler
Warning: There is cat killing in this book. If you know me well enough, you’ll know that I detest this above anything else. (And if you’re like me, and have a bleeding heart for cats – or any animal – it’s going to be hard to bear.) But somehow, with Jay, it’s tolerable. (And does Jay have some sort of issue with cats, anyway?!) But it still hurt like hell. I was fucking bawling when Captain Puddles died, even though I saw it coming from a mile away. But he kind of became Mister Kindly, so it makes up for it. Sorta.
The concept of everything was just so cool! I loved that it’s pretty much a school for assassins. I also loved the concept of Darkin and Mia’s ability to call the shadows! This book is unlike anything I’ve ever read before. I loved everything about it, and I wanted to simultaneously devour it all immediately and take my time to drink in every little detail. It’s the kind of book that you have to take your time with, because there’s SO much to it. The footnotes were awesome, they had me cracking up! I loved those little side snippets of info, they brought so much more to the story. (Like I said, Jay is brilliant.)
Jay’s prose is stunning. There’s something magical about the way he strings words together that makes this book stand above just about everything else I’ve ever read. (Actually, after reading this book I had trouble finding anything that could even remotely compare!) The way he describes certain things is uncanny, and it was very cool how he spoke to the reader directly, kind of like a book’s version of breaking the fourth wall. It’s hard to explain…it’s something you just have to experience for yourself.
“You’ll be a rumor. A whisper. The thought that wakes the bastards of this world sweating in the nevernight. The last thing you will ever be in this world, girl, is someone’s hero. But you will be a girl heroes fear.”
Holy shit, Mia was a BAD. ASS. I mean, part of it may be the fact that Mister Kindly drinks up every last drop of her fear, but STILL. I think I also loved her so much because she isn’t perfect. And I’m not talking minor imperfections, she killed people. Mia was an antihero. She had darkness in her, and I think that made her more real somehow. But she still had redeeming qualities. She still did good things.
The brighter the light, the deeper the shadows.
I’ve seen several complaints about pacing. Yes, it does start off a bit slow, as Jay is setting up the world and Mia’s perspective, but for me it was never slow. There was never a moment in this book where I was bored. I was hooked from page one!
Can we please talk about how disturbing some of the things in this book were?! View Spoiler »The cannibalistic spiders, Seven Flavors brothel (“boy, girl, man, woman, pig, horse, and if sufficient notice and coin was given, corpse”), priests that cut out their tongues, the sand krakens, a monarch scrotum being removed to prove he did indeed have 3 balls, pretty much any scene with Adonai and Marielle, the Blood Walk, blood scourging…. « Hide Spoiler
Sooo…speaking of explicit sexual content. Let me make this clear, first off: I do not like romance. Or erotica. I’m not a fan of reading about sex at all. But as Jay is the master of everything and the universe, of course he wrote the best sex scenes ever. It wasn’t awkward, or gag-worthy, and it didn’t make me roll my eyes. There was none of that “stroked his throbbing member” nonsense. It was written in a way that put you there, in the scene (like everything he writes), experiencing it right along with Mia. And whew!! It was pretty freakin’ steamy! I was needing a cold shower after reading those couple of scenes… View Spoiler »Foreplay has never been so sexy *eyebrow waggle* « Hide Spoiler
As always, Jay doesn’t pull punches. I love that he never spares his characters (or his readers *sobs*). View Spoiler »I was totally broadsided by Ash killing Tric! Like WTF?! I never even saw that coming! It’s quite a shame, really, since I loved Ash :( « Hide Spoiler
Side note: The bookworms were AWESOME!
I already know that this book will be my favorite book of 2016. In fact, I loved it so much that I pre-ordered it in THREE different editions and made a mask inspired by the cover!
Keep an eye out for a tutorial coming soon!
“I warned you about the smart-arsery.”
“…as if one sun had warned another that it was shining too bright…”
“Nothing is where you start. Own nothing. Know nothing. Be nothing.”
“Why would I want to do that?”
“Because then you can do anything.”
O, yes, cats speak gentlefriend, doubt it not – if you own more than one and can’t see them at this particular moment, chances are they’re off in a corner somewhere lamenting the fact that their owner seems to spend all their time reading silly books rather than paying them the attention they so richly deserve.
She was pretty as a field of sunflowers…if sunflowers knotted their hair in warbraids and stole anything that wasn’t nailed to the floor, that is…
Honestly I could quote almost this entire book, the writing was so beautiful. I used DOZENS of tabs on this book, it’s bristling with them!
Writing Style: 5+/5
World Building: 5+/5
Overall Rating: 5+/5