Narrator: Holter Graham
Series: The Nevernight Chronicle #1
Published by Thomas Dunne Books on August 9th 2016
Genres: Epic Fantasy
The first in a new fantasy series from the New York Times bestselling author.
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?
Nevernight was a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed most of it. Basically, it’s the story of how Mia (the main character) becomes a badass assassin. It’s also about her learning about what she is and how her powers work.
Mia has a SPECTACULAR sense of humor.
Seriously, she made this book all on her own. I loved her. Most of the time.
Though she knew she should probably be frightened at the sight, instead Mia took a deep breath, combed her fingers through her air, and stepped out of the alley, right into a slop pile of what she hoped was mud.*
* It was not mud. Alas.
All right, so a lot of the humor was the narrator’s. But isn’t that even better?
Just so you know, if it comes down to cannibalism, you get eaten first.
She’s blunt, and to the point.
The gaze of Daniio’s slow cousin eye seemed to be wandering off, as if distracted by pretty flowers, or perhaps a rainbow.
There were so many good comments that just made me chuckle, but a lot of them need context. So these are all you get 🙂
There is a cat in just about every scene.
He is a cat-who-is-not-a-cat and I want one. And he has a wry sense of humor. I want him. ‘Nuff said.
The worldbuilding is beautiful.
It draws on history, which is one of my favorite things in the world. Definitely inspired by the Roman Republic / Empire. Straight down to random cultural facts, which was fun to be able to catch.
The magic in this book was fun and, actually somewhat unique. And so much of it was so very subtle, which made me happy.
And The Red Church. Oh, the structure of the Red Church was awesome. I love the idea of it basically being a school for assassins. And questions about the ethics of a church that worships through murder kept being addressed and … agh, I loved it!
As strange as it seems, one of my favorite parts about Nevernight was an aspect that didn’t come up all that much. The library was cool.
I mean, first and foremost, the librarian was just awesome. And he was funny. And maybe a bit dark. And … not entirely alive? But he also just straight up had some awesome quotes. Like this one:
The books we love, they love us back. And just as we mark our places in the pages, those pages leave their marks on us. I can see it in you, sure as I see it in me. You’re a daughter of the words. A girl with a story to tell.
Also. The bookworms. Seriously awesome. I have no words, and I don’t want to spoil the surprise if you haven’t read it yet. Sorry!
There is a huge emphasis on beauty.
Seriously, the Red Church makes its assassins beautiful. I get the idea of needing them to be unrecognizable — the “girl next door” kind of pretty — but there are pages and pages of comments on Mia’s newly acquired boobs. No, not all clumped together, but if you add all the bits from throughout the book, I’d bet there’s at least one page worth of them.
Sex is a really big deal in Nevernight.
Yeah, ok. I remember being a teenager. And sex was a really big deal. It can be life changing. But there were times I kind of wanted to be like “Oh my god nobody cares about you being horny!” I actually kind of felt that it really pushed the limit of the “Young Adult” genre. It just had moments of being inappropriately distraction from the plot. As in, Mia was inappropriately distracted but not distracted? I don’t know — it was weird.
An awful lot of things are awfully convenient.
I could (and have done) rant for hours about this one. I thoroughly enjoyed the plot — don’t get me wrong. But SO MUCH was just SO CONVENIENT. And if it had been one or two things here or there, then sure. But there was a LOT. Just a couple of (exceedingly toned down) examples:
- In the beginning, we have an action scene that seems completely random and pointless, then turns out to be some serious foreshadowing. And because she learned something at that point, she had a perfect plan later in the book.
- She makes a decision that’s pretty much out of character for her, and it results in her being in just the wrong place at the right time. Which results in her conveniently being the only one who can “save the day.”
I found the beginning a bit confusing.
It took me WAY longer than it should have to actually understand what Mia was trying to do, or why she decided to “team up” with Tric. Part of that might have been that I was in the middle of NaNoWriMo and bemoaning the fact that there were way too many parallels between this assassin story and the assassin story I was already working on. Mostly, though, I think there was just too much information being thrown at me all at once for me to process the actual plot.