Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle, #1) by Jay Kristoff

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“The last thing you will ever be in this world, girl, is someone’s hero. But you will be a girl heroes fear.”

I feel like this book is extremely polarizing but if you love it, you will love it completely and whole heartedly. If you love it, you won’t be able to put it down. If you love it, you will probably consider it one of the best book you’ll read all year. And I loved it. I loved it so much. Even though, when I look through my friends’ reviews, I feel like I’m in the minority. But for me, Nevernight is worth all of the hype.

I will say that I personally feel like this is an adult fantasy novel, not a YA fantasy novel, despite the characters age. There is sex, a lot of sex, and violence, a whole lot of violence, and gore, don’t forget all of the gore! So please go into this book knowing this, and knowing that this is a very mature book in general.

Also, before I get into my review, I want to address the problematic, hurtful, and harmful representation of the Māori people (the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand) that Jay Kristoff was inspired to base the Dweymeri race in this book from. Jay has stated, “the tatts aren’t based off Māori designs” but it still feels a little bad while you’re reading this story, even if the Dweymeri are not direct representatives of the Māori. I just think it’s important to bring this discussion up and I want everyone to know about this controversy surrounding the portrayal of this culture. I, also, do not want anyone to think that I’m making excuses for it, because I am definitely not even though I did love this book. Cultural appropriation and reinforcing stereotypes will never be okay and I truly wish this element was not a part of this book, but it is, and I’m not going to not bring it to your attention whether you believe it is or not.

Nevernight is a story about a sixteen-year-old girl named Mia Corvere, who is on a mission for vengeance and to right the wrong that has been done to her family in the only way she knows how: killing everyone. Mia find her way into the Red Church, who worship the Goddess of murder, where she is training to become one of the deadliest assassins of all time. Also, Mia has an affinity for the shadows, which not only grants her the only companion she has ever known, but also sends her on a quest to discover more about her powers and who she really is.

“The brighter the light, the deeper the shadows”

This story reads like a dark version of Harry Potter, to me. From the boarding school aspect, to the magic, to how they travel through the world, to the professors and their different classes, so much of this book reminds me of the wizarding world.

And even though this is a series, there is no real cliffhanger (even though you will be left wanting more), this is a full standing book that has an amazing story and that you could just read on its own. I’m not sure the last time I read a book in a fantasy series that did that.

This book is so sex positive, and the opening chapter of this book was so beautifully done. It is one of my favorite first chapters of all time, and I think Jay Kristoff is nothing short of a genius to have been able to write a juxtaposition that well. I mean, Jay’s writing is lyrical and beautiful, too, but it’s so damn smart that I can’t help but be in awe of this story he has crafted.

And Mia’s bisexuality is so beautifully on display. Like, all I want in my reading life is girl assassins loving each other and saving the world, and this book doesn’t disappoint, even though the main “love” story is hetero. We need more stories with queer main protagonists that are normalized and just having their adventures and story told without a coming out story or an explanation on why they feel the way they do. Again, Jay Kristoff gets all the kudos and credit.

I always pride myself in being able to see the twists coming, and I was completely blindsided by the end reveal of Nevernight! Also, for those of you who have finished, I will go down with that hate to love ship. I. WILL. GO. DOWN. WITH. THAT. SHIP.

And finally, if you find yourself loving this series and wanting more, I can’t recommend Mark Lawrence’s Red Sister enough! It’s a very reminiscent story, with perhaps more violence, but with definitely less sex, and both star queer assassin nun-like characters who study at a church.

Nevernight was everything that I never knew I wanted, and it is totally just as amazing as some of the most popular and highly acclaimed adult fantasy series out there. This novel meant so very much to me, and I cannot wait to start Godsgrave as soon as humanly possible! Happy reading, everyone!

“The books we love, they love us back. And just as we mark our places in the pages, those pages leave their marks on us. I can see it in you, sure as I see it in me. You’re a daughter of words. A girl with a story to tell.”

 


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Buddy read with Katherine, Jules, & Paloma! ❤

37 thoughts on “Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle, #1) by Jay Kristoff

  1. Ha, there’s definitely some similarities between this and Red Sister! I read this first and when I was reading RS months later I kept thinking they were similar, both awesome, both different but definitely some similar aspects.

    Glad you addressed it’s adult and not YA to you, it’s NOT YA. I have a tweet from Kristoff saying it’s not YA and people only thought and think that due to him writing other YA books.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my gosh, Drew, I bet that was super fun reading them both so close together. Haha. I can’t imagine. But both are uniquely awesome, so that’s cool.

      And yeah, you totally sold me on telling me it was adult, by the way! Haha. But I’m so confused how so many people dislike the writing style or think it’s hard to understand! I’m like… they just must not be used to adult fantasy or something? I don’t know.

      But thank you for giving me the push to read it. Seriously! 💗

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not sure about the writing style either! I really like it, it’s different but I don’t get why people don’t like it and complain that it’s flowery, etc. Nah, it’s good and makes the book different to others. It’s definitely not hard to understand though, especially compared to lots of other adult fantasy, you just can’t please all the people all of the time! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Fantastic review Melanie! YES! So many of my friends hate this while I love it. And you are going to REALLY like Godsgrave. And by like I mean LOVE. More than this one. WAY more than this one. Ok, I think I made my point 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. fantastic review!! I loved Nevernight and Godsgrave soso much, can’t wait to hear what you think of the second one 🙂

    Also: thanks for bringing up the issue with Maori rep! I hadn’t heard anything about that in any other reviews, but it def seems like an important aspect to point out. Do you happen to know of any posts that discuss the problem in more detail?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Emma! 💗

      And, sadly, no! I had just remembered a few people taking about it when it first came out, and when I tried to look them up (and all my friends that link the woman’s review) her blog is down 😭. But I’ll try to look again tomorrow and see if I can find anything!

      Happy reading, love! 💗

      Liked by 1 person

      1. yeah, I was just looking it up and I found a few reviews that seemed to be linking to another post that was taken down :/ I’ll def keep these issues in mind when discussing the series in the future, though!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Awesome review, Melanie! I’m so glad you finally read this book and loved it! I can’t wait for you to read Godsgrave! It’s freaking amazing! The twists in the second one will definitely blow your mind away. I hope you get to read it soon! I would love to hear your thoughts on it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yaaaay!! I’m so glad you loved it! This book was seriously epic and I’m currently reading Godsgrave, it’s moooore awesome!! Loved your review!!

    Liked by 1 person

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