Publisher: St. Marin’s Press
Publication Date: August 9, 2016
My Rating: C
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?
O, gentlfriends, I am here to put thoughts to page of my feelings for Nevernight by Jay Kristoff. I had initially the idea to write it in the same vein as Kristoff put his brain-speech to page, but it seems my simple mind cannot seem to make the words of my review sing like the feathered choir in the sky,
So I’m just going to stop with that.
I think my biggest gripe with the book is the way it’s written. The narrative is, I believe, supposed to be lyrical and humorous, but most of the time came through to me as confusing and slightly juvenile.
“She introduced her boot to his partner’s groin, kicking him hard enough to cripple his unborn children.”
“Tric wondered what the girl was on about. But as she slipped into Chivalry’s pen for another saddling attempt, he heard wails within the garrison tower, please to the Everseeing, and a burst of profanity so colorful you could fling it into the air and call it a rainbow.“
Kristoff overwrites his sentences to the point where I find myself not paying attention because it feels like useless information.
“Tric gave another half-hearted stab, but the beast had forgotten its quarry entirely, great eyes rolling as it flipped over and over, dragging its bulk back below the sand, howling like a dog who’s just returned home from a hard turn’s work to find another hound in his kennel, smoking his cigarillos and in bed with his wife.”
Also, Drinking Game (for those in the 21+ Club): take a shot every time Mr. Kindly is referred to as a “cat that is not a cat.” Go on. I dare you.
The biggest offender in terms of the writing for me, though?
The footnotes in the novel come in two varieties: extensive world-building that took half the page, or useless quips to the story (one literally telling the reader to get their mind out of the gutter after a slightly sexual joke in the narrative).
I will admit: if the footnote was longer than maybe three sentences, I didn’t read it. I appreciate the unique way Kristoff went about the structure of his storytelling, but footnotes belong in textbooks, and I don’t want to feel like I’m reading one.
This resulted in me not really knowing too much about the world, minus the basics.
The characters also fell a little flat for me. Most of them, of course, were throw-away characters that were just put into the story to be killed off. The ones that were developed at all were either lacking in personality (Tric) or neatly packed into their character archetype (Jessamine, Ash).
I will admit to having a soft spot for Ashlinn, as I am a sucker for the sassy thief archetype, but she is the only side character I felt anything for.
The only other character I liked (in fact, I loved this character), is Mia.
I don’t know what I was expecting from her going into this book, but it definitely wasn’t her shooting up to one of my favorite female protagonists of all time.
Mia is badass, smart, and ruthless, but she isn’t without her honor and compassion. You do see her struggling with her morality throughout the book and I’m actually really impressed with the way her character was handled; definitely a character that I want to root for.
I just wish I could say the same about her love interest in this book, Tric. He reminded me of every other meat-head male love interest that writers keep inserting into their books. He has no personality aside from his fragile masculinity. I found it hard to believe Mia got along with him, at all.
It’s a shame, because underneath all of the questionable writing in this book, there is a fun story. I just wish I had been able to appreciate it more.
Will I continue with the series? Yes. I already have a copy of Godsgrave sitting on both my shelf and my Kindle. I just hope the series goes up from here.