I think that most people have either read this, have read reviews about this, or have heard of it at the very least, so I’m a bit late to the party (don’t worry if you haven’t actually heard of this…you have now 🙂 ). This novel took me a bit longer to get through that I had planned because I picked up a whole bunch of other books along the way (story of my life). But I finally decided to dedicate my undivided attention to it during my holiday in Jordan and boy was it worth it!
First and foremost: I bloody loved this novel! I was hooked right from the first page (in hindsight, I’m annoyed that I let other books distract me in the first place) and once I committed myself to reading this, and only this, I flew through it. The fantasy genre is one of my favourites to read. In order to be a success, a fantasy novel, for me, has to contain three main elements: an engaging world, fascinating characters, and a killer plot (pun intended).
Kristoff is brilliant at world building. He constructs the ‘Nevernight’ world with ease and finesse, ensuring that readers can picture his creation. I enjoyed the uniqueness of this world – the three suns, the fact that it’s almost “never night”, the assassin school, the special powers gifted to the few…perfect!
His characters are also amazing. The protagonist – Mia Corvere – is fierce and strong and brave. Even though she does kill quite a few people (she is a trainee assassin after all), I spent the whole novel in awe of her and with a strong urge to emulate her (without all the killing of course!). She spends the novel working hard to be an assassin and attempting to battle the demons from her past. My second favourite character was Tric. Like Mia, he also has a tragic past and a wounded heart, and he’s so absolutely lovable (wouldn’t say that to his face though). Plus, the banter between him and Mia is simply hilarious.
The plot was thrilling and literally page turning. Mia joins the Red Church (essentially a school for murders) with the dream of becoming a top class assassin so that she can avenge the brutal and degrading death of her family. She is one of the few people who have been gifted with the ability to control shadows, which proves to be an added advantage (most of the time). At assassin school, Mia has to prove herself, she makes friends, she makes enemies, and she is instrumental in foiling a plot to bring down the Red Church. With all that going on, it makes sense to say that the plot moves along rapidly. As well as the plot itself, the writing style is also entertaining. There are numerous asides in the form of humorous footnotes. These asides add to the world building since they explain and clarify certain details about the ‘nevernight’ world, which I found to be helpful and also gave me a more enriched reading experience.
Even though this is to be the first novel in a series, the ending was not a proper cliffhanger, in my opinion, and for that I am eternally grateful. I am an outspoken hater of cliffhangers because I often think that they’re unnecessary, and the following book is almost never as good as the first one (this disappointment always chips away at my soul). Kristoff does introduce some more ‘nevernight’ world mythology, and he does set up some unanswered questions that we can assume will be explored in subsequent novels, but he doesn’t end in what I would call a frustrating cliffhanger. I am very much looking forward to reading Kristoff’s next instalment because I want to immerse myself in the ‘nevernight’ world again, and I want to hang out with Mia some more (seriously, she’s so cool!).
So, to conclude, Kristoff’s Nevernight is pretty amazing and I now need to go out and read all the books he’s ever published (she says as her TBR pile looms menacingly in the corner).
Final comment before I leave you to get a hold of a copy for yourself: there is a lot of violence, sex, and bad language in this. So if you’re someone who prefers not to read about these kinda things, this book is probably not for you. I think that it’s probably these three elements that made me love this novel even more though. Does that tell you about the kind of person I am, I wonder 😛
*Thanks to NetGalley for sending me a Kindle ARC copy to review.