Title / Nevernight
Author / Jay Kristoff
Publication Date / 2016
Overall Star Rating / ★★★
Goodreads synopsis: Destined to destroy empires, Mia Covere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death. 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.
I was lucky enough to win a copy of Nevernight in a Goodreads giveaway. This is getting pretty mixed reviews and I totally understand why. I think this is quite a marmite type of thing – you will either love it or hate it. Having said that, I am about to contradict myself by saying I am somewhere in the middle – oops. Overall I liked it but I definitely had some issues and I totally see why some people don’t like it. I wasn’t blown away by it. So where to start? It took me quite some time to get into this book, mainly due to the writing I think. I found it to be quite overwritten/overly descriptive, as well as being kind of melodramatic . To be honest at times the writing was kind of confusing as well. Too many similes and metaphors are used, some of which I didn’t understand at all. The writing style took abit of getting use to and to be completely honest I am not a huge fan of it. Another issue I had was the repetitive nature of the writing – I do not need to be told Mister Kindly is ‘a cat who is not a cat’ every few pages or chapters. The use of footnotes was abit mixed for me. It is an interesting way to add more detail but perhaps it was done so much that by the end of the book I hadn’t really been paying them much attention. I felt that it was maybe just a lazy way to incorporate world building. By the end of the book I wasn’t reading the footnotes at all and I don’t feel like it detracted from the story. The fact that it is quite dense meant that at time it was a bit tricky to follow the plot. For me the flashbacks also weren’t really my thing. At the start each chapter there is a flashback, then that kind of stops and then the flashbacks come back. I mean I am not a huge fan of flashbacks most of the time but it just felt a bit inconsistent to do it this way. So overall I am not a huge fan of the writing style and I will admit that I did skim read some sections.
The characters were for the most part quite intriguing but overall they were all a bit flat for me. I think they could definitely have done with more depth and a bit more character development. It feels very conventional in terms of the YA genre. I will say that I very much enjoyed Mister Kindly as a character – who doesn’t love a witty, kind of sarcastic cat companion? Anyway the romance was OK but to me it felt unnecessary – it was just kind of there. It was entirely predictable and a bit frustrating. Another thing that frustrated me a little bit was the representation of women. Don’t get me wrong it was fine but I would have liked more fleshed out women in this book and the fact that it was a woman who teaches the initiates the art of seduction and poison, is just so incredibly stereotypical and kind of annoyed me. The girl on girl hate also kind of frustrated me, as it didn’t really add anything to the book in my opinion. Although the plot was pretty conventional in terms of the YA genre and also kind of predictable, for the most part I enjoyed it. The beginning was a bit slow for me as it took me a while to get into the plot and writing, but generally the plot is engaging. However it did drag in places and in my opinion it was too long – it could definitely be shorter.
So overall, would I recommend it? To be completely honest, I am not entirely sure. While I did enjoy it, I definitely also felt that is was a bit problematic and I had some issues with it. I can understand why people may not like this and there are alot of better books to read in my opinion. To me it read like a YA, but with darker themes and bad language so probably not suitable for younger readers ie young teens/tweens. I thought that it was too long and could have done with some more character depth. Let me know what you thought if you’ve read it – I think I am in the minority here and a lot of people are going to love this. Hope you are all having a great day and I will see you next time.