Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

I picked up this book based on glowing recommendations from some of my fellow bloggers. They’re audiobook enthusiasts and wouldn’t stop talking about how great the narrator of Nevernight was.

They were right… and then some. I’m sorry it took me so long to get around to this book, because it’s a hell of a lot of fun.

Mia Corvere saw her father hanged as a traitor as a young child. Her mother forced her to watch, urging her to never forget the injustice against her familia. In the six years since, she’s honed her skills as a thief and killer to gain entrance into the legendary Red Church of assassins. Will her ability to call the dark and manipulate shadows allow her to graduate into the ranks of legendary killers? Or will an untraceable murderer and insidious plot against the Red Church destroy her before she can enact her vengeance?

Nevernight captivated my imagination right from the start. Imagine reading Harry Potter, but where Hogwarts trains its students in the arts of poison, theft, seduction, and murder. Now picture that the students are having healthy amounts of graphicly-depicted sex and the narrator of the story is a snarky bastard who makes witty jokes and occasionally breaks the fourth wall.

Pretty great, neh?

Mia grew up on the streets of Godsgrave, a city built among the bones of a gargantuan dead god. The three suns that circle the world orbit in a pattern that results in actual night—Truedark—occurring only every 2.5 years. Every regular “night” results in a slight dimming of the suns’ light, hence the titular Nevernight.

In a school for assassins, competition is fierce. Mia has a small group of close friends and a few dangerous enemies. Some of these are more memorable than others. And then there’s Mr. Kindly, Mia’s not-cat made of darkness itself that devours her fear and mocks her with exactly as much sass as you’d expect from your average house cat.

Overall, Nevernight is just plain fun. The in-text narrator constantly cracks jokes in the footnotes, turning what could be blatant info dumps into one of my favorite parts of the story. The audiobook is narrated by Holter Graham, who is incredible. The voices he gives each character are distinct and enjoyable, he’s skilled at dialing up the humor or severity of a scene, and his portrayal of Mr. Kindly should really win an award.

Plus, there’s literal book wyrms that can tear you apart for trespassing in the library without ever disturbing one of their beloved tomes.

It took me far too long to pick up this book, but I’m not making the same mistake twice. I was still listening to the end credits of the audiobook when I started downloading the sequel, which I’ve been enjoying the hell out of. The final book of the trilogy is supposed to come out in September 2019 and it can’t come soon enough.


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