ARC Review: Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

8 Aug 2016

Book Title: Nevernight
Author: Jay Kristoff
Series: The Nevernight Chronicles #1
Release Date: August 11th, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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.

OMG you guys, this book is a sheer brilliant masterpiece! I'm shaking in excitement now as I try to piece all my thoughts together after putting down this one. Having read Illuminae which was co-written by Jay Kristoff and which I LOVED, I knew I had to scout down his other works. So when St Martin's Press (god bless you lovely people!) offered me an ARC for his upcoming work, Nevernight which is an assassin story (my all time fav trope YES PLZ) - I nearly had a coronary attack.

Let this be clear that this is pretty much an ADULT fantasy read. Yes, the heroine is around her late teen years and yes, majority of the student assassins are of the same age. However, this isn't your usual generic or formulaic YA fantasy read where assassin-like characters run around killing people and getting involved in love triangles. 

Instead you'll get an uncensored YA version of murder, graphic violence, cursory language and *gasp* sex scenes. This is dark edge fantasy at its very best, it is brutal, unforgiving and at some points, it is decadently dark and sexy.    

Now despite me singing high praises for this book, I will admit that I struggled a lot when I first picked this read up. As a matter of fact, it took me almost a week to get through the first 3 to 5 chapters. It was a little confusing in the start, there were italics and non-italics that didn't quite tell what they were supposed to mean. I wasn't sure if they were snippets or past memories or sub-conscious words by another person. 

This is where I tell you to HANG IN THERE and just read on. It'll all be mostly fuzzy in the start, you're not quite sure what exactly you're reading but stay on! I promise you, it gets much better when Mia and her newfound companion, Tric starts making their way to the Red Church (the prestigious school of assassins). From that point on, I was hooked onto the read.

I don't even know where to start on the characterisation but all I can say is wow wow WOW. Mia, I loved her. She's a fighter, she kills out of vengeance but not necessarily evil. She has the ability to call out the shadows and use them at her disposal as weapons. There is also Tric, whom had a lot more going on, he's got rough edges but has a soft spot inside of him. And then, the masters/teachers of The Red Church; all wielding different skillsets and which the students must compete in each skillset to be bestowed with the honor of being a Blade (aka graduating as a full-fledged assassin). 

My personal favorite teacher is Spiderkiller. LAWD DO I LOVE HER. She reminds me of a female version of Snape. She's the Poisons expert and she's snarky.

Overall this was an absolutely brilliant work of art brought to you by Jay Kristoff. I loved how this was such a different take of the assassins trope in a fantasy setting, it also has the snark humor that I've come to love from this author. A fun fact to share about this book is that it has footnotes in each chapter, explaining certain details of a particular dialogue. How cool is that?!

All I can say is READ THIS BOOK. I'm literally dying here for the next one already and lawd knows it'll be another year till we see the daylight of the sequel. At least I can look forward to Gemina coming soon this fall yay!

Advanced review copy received by St Martin's Press via Netgalley 
in exchange for an honest review.

Jay Kristoff

Jay Kristoff is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of THE LOTUS WAR, THE ILLUMINAE FILES and THE NEVERNIGHT CHRONICLE. He is the winner of two Aurealis Awards, an ABIA, nominee for the David Gemmell Morningstar and Legend awards, named multiple times in the Kirkus and Amazon Best Teen Books list and published in over twenty-five countries, most of which he has never visited. He is as surprised about all of this as you are. He is 6’7 and has approximately 13030 days to live. He abides in Melbourne with his secret agent kung-fu assassin wife, and the world’s laziest Jack Russell.

He does not believe in happy endings.

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