Review: Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

26114463In 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?

Rating: ★★★½

At first I wasn’t sure I would be able to finish this book.

The writing wasn’t really my thing, to say the least. I’m not fond of writing styles where to me it seems like the author is trying too hard to be edgy or poetic. It’s not that I don’t like when the writing is beautiful and evocative (of course I do)… I just don’t like when I realize the author is trying to do something like that. Does it make sense?

The first 25% of Nevernight was a chore for me because of that. I just couldn’t deal with how annoying the narrator was (the story is told by someone who knew the protagonist), and the initial scenes almost bored me to tears (literally a sex scene and a murder scene, being told at the same time). The flashbacks were also really annoying, and I wasn’t interested in them.

The footnotes were a really nice idea though, but since I read the e-book they were all at the end of the chapter, and by the end of the chapter I didn’t remember what hell they were referring to anymore. So… useless for ebook readers, I guess?

Thankfully, things got better around the 25-30% mark, or when Mia arrives at the Red Church, but that’s also when I realized this book wouldn’t give much beyond its original world. The plot isn’t strong. To be honest, the middle of Nevernight is just about Mia and the other acolytes trying to stay alive to become Blades of the Red Church, and while some parts of it were very interesting, overall nothing about it was new or groundbreaking.The other characters are nice and I even like Mia and Tric’s relationship, but none managed to feel really alive for me.

I guess I was expecting a lot thanks to the hype and to the world the author created, but the story didn’t deliver. If it wasn’t for the ending the questions it raised, Nevernight would probably get only 2 stars from me. But I am curious now. I want to know what Mia really is, what are Mister Kindly’s (her shadow not-cat) intentions and how she got her powers – or how her powers were created in the first place. I’m not that interested in her revenge or even her future, but I’m a sucker for mysterious stuff, bet it powers or just forgotten history.

I’m going to read the sequel, but I’m not expecting much. 3.5 stars.


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