Review: Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Title: Nevernight
(The Nevernight Chronicle #1)
Author: Jay Kristoff
Genre: Fantasy 
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: August 9th 2016
Kindle Edition, 448 pages

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?
*Trigger Warnings: Mentions of rape, violence, murder, graphic sex scenes & torture*

Do you ever DNF a book four separate times, give it a fifth chance and it ends up being a five star read? No, just me? Alright, alright. I am already really iffy with over hyped books to begin with, so the hype for Nevernight made me a little nervous. But then Stephanie @ Ohana Reads kept pushing it on me and we pretty much have the same book tastes. Let's fast forward to when I actually read and finished this book and was shrieking at the end. Jay, you have officially killed me. 

Mia's family was brutally taken and murdered for crimes against the senate when she was only a young girl, but from the moment her father is hung and her mother is locked away she swears that one day she will get vengeance on the men behind her family's downfall. She has spent the years since being trained by Mercurio to become an assassin, but Mia has reached the point in the training where is is time to find the Red Church and become a Blade of the Lady of Blessed Murder. But on her journey she meets the mysterious Tric, who is also looking for the Red Church himself and for his own vengeance. Mia and the acolyte train vicariously for a spot as a blade, but only four will be granted the status, and soon everyone is out for themselves. But when Mia starts making friends her feelings for Tric become complicated and her powers begin to become stronger the others aren't quite sure that The Red Church is where Mia should be. There is also a traitor among them, but who could it be? 




I will admit, the first half of this book was rough to get through and reading it was basically getting to go to the dentist, it was a process. From the first page I knew Jay's writing style was going to be unique and liked how the two scenes in the first chapter melded together, but I was also afraid that was how the whole story was going to be. After the first 100 pages though, it was smooth sailing. This book is 448 pages and after I got past the rough patch I finished the remainder in only a few hours. One Mia gets to the Red Church, lessons start and the introduction to the secondary characters begin I couldn't help but fall in love with Mia Corvere and her story. 

Do we want to talk about a kick ass, cut throat, sassy main characters with serious anger and attitude problems? That is basically Mia. Plus, she has a habit of punching and stabbing things. I loved the character arc through out the entire novel. From page one we see Mia as this cold young girl (she is only sixteen) her only had vengeance and murder on her mind. But after meeting Tric and finding the Red Church she starts to grow. The people she is being pitted against become her friends and some of her peers become enemies. She struggles with her feelings for Tric and as well as the compassion and humanity she is starting to develop. If this is the growth that Mia has come to have so far, I can't wait to see what the next two novels are going to have in store for her. 

Let's talk about Tric for a moment because honestly: He is my new fictional love. Mia and Tric meet in a pub where they are trying to seek passage to the Red Church with no luck, so they decide to team up. At first the duo are weary of each other but eventually they warm up and become friends. As Nevernight goes on and we learn more about Tric and his character, I couldn't help but feel bad. But I don't pity him. He is at the Red Church to become a Blade and get the vengeance that he deserves. ALSO: The sexual/romantic or what ever you want to call it tension between Mia and Him was slow burn as hell and killed me. 


Now, I will forever be flabbergasted by the people who have shelves this book as YA because it is not a YA book at all. Besides the violence, graphic scenes, language and more adult themes, Nevernight contain quite graphic on page sex scenes. Yes, Mia is only sixteen years old, sixteen year olds do have sex though, whether we choose to acknowledged it or not. I thinK the surprise was the explicitness of it. I, for one do not mind on page sex scenes, I am basically trash for smutty scenes in my favorite novels so I was there for this. There is easily 5-10 pages (I read this on my kindle and it didn't give me page numbers) of oral sex alone. Now, I think this was essential to the plot because it pushes their relationship forward. But if you did want to skip this, it isn't going to ruin the rest of the book for you. 

This review is already a mile long BUT I have more to talk about. 

These plot twists. Jay kept me on my toes the entire time. Every time I was finally getting something straight it changed. Characters, settings, events, world building. It was quite amazing. Jay gave us both Mia's and Tric's backstories through out the entire novel, so it wasn't one big section of learning who they were. It progressed through out the novel in places that it was needed for the reader to understand the importance of what was happening. 

Though at first I wasn't the biggest fan of the world building and found it a little confusing the footnotes did help with that. I HIGHLY encourage you not to skip over them. (The kindle version opens them right on top of what you are reading so you just have to click out of them and you are back to the story, which was really convenient.) Some are funny and in there for basic shits and giggles but the others help with the world building and how the society runs, which is a fresh change then how it is usually done in novels. 

Overall I ended up loving Nevernight and I can't wait to dive into Godgrave (which is currently sitting in my kindle waiting for me to start it.) I'm not going to recommend this book to YA audience basically on the content a lone, BUT I do understand that some teenagers are more mature in certain aspects. I'd say 17/18 and older would be a good starting audience for this book, but again, read at your own risk! 

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