Please note that before you read this review that I am reviewing this publication for Harper Voyager UK. I received an advanced readers copy of this title in exchange for an honest review. In no way is my opinion influenced by the fact that I received this free of charge. Now on with the review!
Author: Jay Kristoff
Publisher: Harper Voyager UK
Publication Date: July 25th 2016
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
Destined to destroy empires, Mia Covere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death.Known for his deadly collaborations with Amie Kaufman and his original Japanese inspired trilogy, it was of no surprise to me that Jay Kristoff would blow me out of the water with his new assassin focused novel. Kristoff introduces us to a new era with Nevernight, one that is deadly, dark, cunning and yet totally unknown! Nevernight is full of surprises, with each page providing a dark, new twist for the reader to wrap their head around. The novel is focused on the perspective of our main character, Mia Corvere, her darkened past and death-defying present. Woven creatively with clever and witty footnotes to contrast the regular reading experience, (which did take some getting used to) Kristoff enlightens his readers with an insight into the darkest assassin school I've ever read about, The Red Church, where initiates travel through pools of thick, gloopy blood that leaves you almost choking on the very life source that flows through each of our veins.
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.
What I loved about Nevernight was that Jay Kristoff wasn't afraid to go out there in terms of darkness, and I mean really out there! If you get turned off easily by novels that explore the detailed and gory side of assassination and bloody death, then this might not perhaps be the novel for you. If, like me, you don't mind a bit of occasional graphic description, then dive right in! Nevernight is not a novel that sugarcoats anything. It casually drops vulgarity left right and centre, in the form of curse words in their extremities, intense sexual references and generally cuts out all of the filters that would regularly be found in a Young Adult novel - if you could class it as that at all. Kristoff's Nevernight goes beyond the boundaries of YA, even if the main character is a young adult herself. I, however, would definitely class this more as an Adult Fantasy novel. If you're really intrigued by what I mean by how unsurprising a Kristoff novel could be in terms of vulgarity, take a look at the first line:
“People often shit themselves when they die, did you know that?”
Instantaneously, I was enamoured in Kristoff's previous novels by his witty humour and blunt, sarcastic comments. Nevernight doesn't disappoint in this category either. Sarcasm takes its form in the shadowy being of Mr Kindly. Reading some of the dialogue description between Mia and Mr Kindly had me chuckling at times, and definitely brought a light element to shine amongst the darkness of the themes, even if the conversations were of a dark nature themselves. One of the things that attracted me to this novel was the fact that it almost had a Hogwarts element to it. There is something about learning how to be skilled in a novel that instantly draws me to it. Perhaps it's the teacher in me that gets easily thrilled by that, or whether it is just my adoration of the Harry Potter series, like most people my age. However, Kristoff really captured the rawness of learning. It's not always easy to get to where you need to be, and you need to put in blunt hard work - even if that does count for assassination and stealing secrets. Nevertheless, Kristoff explores it effortlessly that flowed really well throughout the novel, even if he did rip my heart into shreds at one point. Page 553 I am looking at you!
Overall, Jay Kristoff invites his readers roam the streets of Godsgrave, where your own enemy could be disguised as your best friend. With lethal turns of events that will leave you clinging in anticipation, Nevernight will not disappoint. On my classification scale, I award Jay Kristoff's Nevernight a full 5 out of 5. Extremely impressed and I cannot wait to see where the adventure takes us next for Mia and Mr Kindly!