AUTHOR: Jay Kristoff
TRIGGER WARNING: Racism, Death.
WHERE DID I RECEIVE THIS?: HarperCollinsNZ sent this to me in exchange for an honest review!
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 the 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 loves her. And they drink her fear.
This is a book I do honestly feel guilty about loving so much. I originally never intended to read nevernight after witnessing some drama that made me both upset and uncomfortable (I will not be explaining it, feel free to google it if you wish) but when offered with the opportunity to review this book, I decided to give it a go and it managed to worm its way into my heart.
Nevernight is a fantasy novel that follows a main character called Mia from her young life to her initiation in the red church as an assassin. A darkin (someone who can control shadows & darkness) she has an ability no other initiate has and yet, they’re all just as good as er as they fight for one of four places to become a blade and assassinate people for their lady god of blood, Niah.
This book was fast paced and full of action, it never slowed to a boring point and there was always something intriguing that kept you turning the page long after you meant to put the book down. I found one of my favourite parts of this book was the banter that was so beautifully crafted. From the wit of some characters to the lack of in others there was often reasons to crack a smile while reading this novel.
The main character, Mia, was a treat. While I went in expecting a murdering machine of a girl, I found a girl who wanted vengeance, who had given her life and happiness to avenge one thing in her life, and that she was alone more so than any other because she was Darkin (of course, she was never REALLY alone, am I the only person who ADORED Mr Kindly?) Mia often tried to show empathy and emotion, and to hold onto it while she went through brutal trials and I think that showed her character beautifully, she is definitely one of my favourite main characters.
I will point out that many POC have been offended by the representation in this book and even to me the representation was bad (most of the bad guys were POC and the only good guy? Got murdered) so please be careful going into this book. With the backlash that occurred because of this, Im hoping the second book, godsgrave will be better in this regard.
This book was bloody, and no character was pure, they were all shades of morally gray, driven to kill for different reasons. While this is a plot based book (the story constantly revolves around Mia slowly becoming ready to avenge something) the characters were really a highlight, from the librarian, to tric, and even to hush, I found myself falling in love with many of these characters.
Personally, I find it hard to explain what makes a book a 5 star rating, let alone a novel that I would almost throw into contendership for favourite of the year. I find while reading I have a heavy feeling in my heart, and I’m quicker to laugh or cry at the words I see, but nothing concrete specifically gives it its rating. In this case I think it’s a combination of poetic writing, amazing characters, a plot twist I didn’t expect, and the fact that I lost myself in these pages.
*Thanks to HarperCollinsNZ for sending me a review copy of this book!*
Until next time,