Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.
Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.
Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.
Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?
The idea behind Nevernight is a strong one. After a girl’s family is murdered she vows to seek revenge by attending a school for assassins to hone her skills and kill those who made her an orphan. The problem with Nevernight, and it’s a big one, is the writing. It’s dense, overwritten, and full of weird and useless metaphors. The writing is truly a disservice to the plot.
It’s also worth noting that Nevernight is an adult book with very adult language, sexual scenes, and violence.
The first 150 pages are so boring and hard to read I had to force myself through them because countless reviews said that once the main character, Mia, makes it to the school the story picks up and doesn’t let go. This is true, however it’s unfortunate how many pages it takes before the story truly starts to engage with the reader. I’ve seen the school compared to Hogwarts and it’s an apt comparison. It has a welcoming atmosphere despite what’s being taught and the very dire consequences for not learning quickly enough. The writing starts to get better in that it’s not as over written once you pass the halfway mark, or maybe I just got used to it.
This book is written as if someone is recounting Mia’s life. There are footnotes throughout the novel that irked me to no end. The footnotes provide so much information about the world that isn’t directly relevant to what’s currently happening in the novel. The footnotes are a copout in terms of world building. You can’t just put an asterisk next to the name of a bridge and then recount the historical significance of said bridge in the footnote and count it as clever world building. That’s not good world building. It’s lazy writing, maybe not lazy in this case since Kristoff was too focused on his weird metaphors to incorporate world building in the actual text. So, after about 50 pages of footnotes, I stopped reading them.
There are a few good characters and moments between those characters, but it wasn’t enough to save the novel. Mia is a decent protagonist. The first page of the novel tells the reader directly how much of a badass she is, but it isn’t until the last 30 pages that her skill is on full display and at that point I didn’t care.
I really enjoyed Tric. He humanized Mia to a point where I was able to better connect with her.
Not a cat is an interesting concept and I truly enjoyed its presence, but after saying it’s not a cat but is a cat three times I didn’t need to read it again fifty more times.
Overall, Nevernight has an interesting premise that is bogged down by overwritten writing that makes it almost impossible to appreciate the plot.