Okay, confession time.
I had a lot on my TBR that I was supposed to read before this, but somehow I downloaded the audiobook immediately after reading Nevernight and finished this a couple days later.
It was an accident, I swear.
Godsgrave is a damn fun ride. For a setting based on ancient Rome, most of the previous book took place inside a remote school for the world’s deadliest assassins. In book two, we’re treated to Mia stepping into Kristoff’s interpretation of the Colosseum. There are probably easier ways for a trained assassin to kill public figures than selling yourself into slavery and fighting to the death on a regular basis, but let’s be honest: it doesn’t get much more badass than that.
Kristoff starts off this book with a scene that intentionally doesn’t make sense. We’ve skipped ahead in time to see Mia approaching the endgame of her plan for revenge, but we don’t know how she got there. Much like the parallel timelines in Scott Lynch’s Gentleman Bastard series or Mark Lawrence’s Broken Empire trilogy, Kristoff weaves together two stories that converge for an exciting climax.
Which reminds me… I hope you enjoyed the sex scenes from book one, because they are back in all their glory. Mia might even learn to master the deadliest weapon in her assassin’s toolkit: the threesome.
The addition of Eclipse as Mia’s next shadow companion offers an interesting contrast to the snark of Mr. Kindly. The two creatures are constantly bickering with each other and their banter is great.
Some worldbuilding elements introduced in Nevernight seem to be forgotten in Godsgrave. Where are the mechatronic fighting machines briefly mentioned? Are sand krakens and sea drakes really the only creatures “perverted” by a magical event in the past? If I’m being honest, though, I didn’t mind. Everything I’ve seen so far keeps the Rule of Cool firmly in mind and I have faith in the author to pull everything together in the last book. There’s been enough teases about the dead god whose bones form Godsgrave and the end goal of Mia’s magical powers to convince me that the finale will be more than worth it.
And of course, Holter Graham continues to amaze with his narration of the audiobook. His jaded older mentor voice is perfect and the use of whispering to portray Mr. Kindly and Eclipse is a nice touch. Plus, Graham was born to read snarky footnotes and over-the-top descriptions. I can see how some readers may find parts of this series info-dumpy or full of full of overwrought prose, but when the lines are read aloud they work brilliantly.
I can’t get enough of the epic fights, the constant snark, and sheer bingeability of these books. The Nevernight Chronicle is easily the most fun I’ve had reading in ages, and I can’t wait for the final book to release.