“The brighter the light, the deeper the shadows.”
I don’t even know exactly what to say about this book because there is so much I want to say about it! Mostly I just want to shove it into people’s hands and say “READ THIS.” I’ve found that isn’t usually received well, though. Oh, well. That’s what this review is for!
Nevernight is not for the faint of heart. This epic fantasy world follows Mia Corvere, a young girl who has vowed to avenge the brutal death of her family. To do that, she finds her way to The Red Church, an establishment that has been training the most deadly and dedicated servants to carry out assassinations. Sounds light and fluffy, right? This book is like…if Divergent and Assassin’s Creed had a baby and then that baby wanted to go to Murder Hogwarts; it’s fantastic!
Nevernight follows Mia all the way through her search for revenge, through her training with her peers in the Church, through some insane and tough decisions, and then…to what comes next. (I’m not just gonna tell you, obviously.) I loved that Nevernight took the time, and length, to follow Mia all the way through what turned out to be a physical, moral, and philosophical journey. It’s a book that’s meandering in the best way: dipping in and out of moments that are shocking, delicious, and deeply complex. It’s a long book that doesn’t feel long at all, which I consider to be a crowning achievement.
I loved so much about this world that it’s hard to list it all, but the most compelling aspect of it all has to be the characters. While I personally wish Mia had been somewhat older, she is a powerhouse of a character, fierce, feminine, and focused. I love how Kristoff makes it a point of showing how different Mia is from other girls her age but also how she’s similar too. She felt whole and real and I delighted in just about everything she did, including murder! Tric, who I would call the “love interest” of this book except that he’s much more than that as a character, gained a special place in my heart too.
This fantasy world is dark, beautiful, hypnotic, and wholly, wonderfully original. Kristoff embraces horror and beauty in the same breath and shows us exactly how fine of a line it is between the two. Nevernight is blood and sex and death and does not flinch or shy away from the brutality, ugliness, and elegance of each of its moments. I was drawn in immediately to this world and it never let me go, I just want more. Especially after that killer ending.
I wouldn’t recommend this to everybody. Is it fantastic? Yes. Do I want to recommend it to everyone? Absolutely. But it’s just- not for everyone. Nevernight is not a gentle or soft book in any way, nor is it a happy, relaxing story for you to slip into, its…an epic, bloody battle. If you haven’t seen the brilliant marketing campaign they’re using for Nevernight, which features angry letters from (mostly) parents, it’s very telling of what kind of audience this book seeks. It will not apologize if you try it out and don’t like it. Nevernight, and Mia for that matter, does not care if you don’t like it, and— that’s what I loved most.
I knew that I would love and continue this series within the first chapter of this book and I am so excited to have fallen so deeply in love. Kristoff has done it again. If this sounds like a fun challenge to you, I highly recommend signing up for the ride. Nevernight will snatch you into its dark corners so fast and never let you go. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Check out the guest review I hosted for this book right here!
See you tomorrow! x