Reader Review: Nevernight #1 – Jay Kristoff

Nevernight: ★★★★

Despite being familiar with Jay Kristoff’s work on the Illumanie Files series (which I’m a big fan of), I actually hadn’t heard of this book until my mother sent it to me thinking that it sounded like it was my kind of premise. Before reading the book, I had rather high hopes for it due to my appreciation of the fore-mentioned Illumanie Series, and, upon completing the book, I have immense thanks for my mother for thinking to introduce it to me.

The storyline follows Mia Covere – a girl who witnessed her fathers execution at a young age and, from then on, has been on the path of vengeance. She is appointed a place at a specific ‘school for assassins’ which helps them hone their skills and develop their talents until they’re put through a series of tests – only three of them being awarded the title of a ‘Blade’. However, clearly the life of being a killer isn’t one without issues – friendships and relationships are formed and broken, wills are tested, and the characters are made to question their own strength and how far they will go to achieve the ultimate status to achieve their personal ultimate goals.

From the very beginning of the book, it throws you into it straight away and it’s clear that it’s evidently made for older readers. One of the biggest things that took me by surprise when I began reading was the overall tone and writing style of the book. The style makes you think and it’s refreshing because it’s different from what you’d expect. The narrator is introduced in a dynamic and intriguing way – I definitely enjoyed the use of the tone that they set for the overall premise of the story and having the narrator talk to the reader makes it all the more immersive. The footnotes and snippets of information offer a lot more insight to the reader and engages them. The narrator has such a specific tone and this causes the book to be an amusing read – it’s fun to learn about the world and the little details being provided, I found myself laughing and learning at the same time.  There’s obviously a lot of information and details that are to yet be uncovered, which is definitely vastly appealing for the audience as they want to read more to explore more. 

The world is vastly developed, the action is riveting and well written, the visualisation is outstanding and the characters have depth and personality. I especially like Mia – there’s a lot of interest and personification to her that I want to explore to a further extent even having finished the book. The storyline and details are very interesting and I love how the descriptions flow so nicely. The world and the characters are expired in depth so that the readers can get closer to the story and they become more involved at a quicker rate – which gets them closer to the world and the cast directly. 

Looking at the characters further, I love the dynamic that the different personalities through the cast creates. I bonded with the characters because I was able to get to know and visualise them as real people rather than just cardboard ‘cut-outs’, so I found them largely investing. I like the way that the friendships are formed throughout the plot, and the character interaction is very immersive and entertaining for the audience as well because it’s well-written and captivating. The relationship dynamic between Mia and Tric is also diverse and has been progressed at a realistic pace – their personalities are different than each other, which makes them an interesting pair, but it’s nice to see how their bond expands over time and it doesn’t feel forced.

As the plot continues, it’s continuously riveting because the plot twists are unpredictable and surprising – they take the audience completely off guard and rather throw everything they expected out the window. Because it’s unpredictable but paced in such a good way, it’s interesting all the way through and causes the reader to be glued to the story as they want to find out more and want to explore what’s going to be happening next.

However, the book wasn’t without it’s few flaws. Some bits of the book are difficult to get into when first reading it because they require a lot of attention. I believe this is due to the sheer amount of development that the world and characters have gone through – the world is so built up and there’s so much information to take in that occasionally it gets confused. The audience might find themselves having to backtrack and re-read certain parts of the book due to this, which can throw the reader off balance occasionally.

Though, when it comes to the end of the book, the story definitely leaves a lot more to be revealed. You want to explore the world, the history, and the stories further, so there’s a lot of incentive for the audience to keep following the series as they want to get to know more. The world and the environment, along with the characters and the plot, feel special and important, which makes it memorable for the readers as well. 

To put it simply; I absolutely adored this book. From the character and world building to the tone of the narrator and the witty dialogue, I completely found the read an entertaining, amusing, and riveting one. It’s so well developed and well-written, though it maintains a certain tone that is refreshing compared to books of a similar genre. Occasionally it’s hard to follow, though that’s due to how extensive it’s been developed and that may also depend on the reader directly. Though, overall, the book was a hit for me.

Thanks for reading this short review, I’ll be waiting for the continuation of this series, and I’ll write you later.

If you’re interested in amusing, diverse, witty, interesting, and well-explored characters, definitely give this book a go for at least the friendship and relationship dynamics.

If you’re a fan of vastly developed fantasy worlds and have an interest in following characters being trained to be master assassins, then this book is right up your street and I’d grab the first copy you can spy.

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2 thoughts on “Reader Review: Nevernight #1 – Jay Kristoff”

  • Great review, sounds like an intriguing book. Sometimes when a book is struggle to get into, it gets deeper inside your head, it sounds like that happened with this one.

    • I definitely also think that was the case. Because I had to go over certain bits and re-read them, I found myself considering the information and the narrative to a much deeper extent. It’s a great read, however, it just requires the right mindset to ensure you can take in the amount of detail provided. I’d definitely recommend it though!

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