Book Review: Nevernight by Jay Kristoff ★★★

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“You’ll be a rumor. A whisper. The thought that wakes the bastards of this world sweating in the nevernight. The last thing you will ever be, girl, is someone’s hero.”

Wanting the UK hardcovers of this series is causing me such grief. They are so much prettier than the US covers altogether, so much nicer than the UK paperbacks. And. They. Are. Not. Available. Anymore. Ughhhh!!

I figured, though, before I potentially spent an arm and a leg on my favorite editions of this series, I should give it a try and see if it was actually worth all of my money. And honestly??? I don’t know yet. I just finished Nevernight and it took me WAY longer to read than I thought it would and I liked it far less than I expected. Which is a complete bummer, because I thought I would find a new all-time favorite series here. Ultimately, I gave it 3.5 stars. *Spoilers*

I can’t rightly say what it is that turned me off of this story, but I think I have identified a number of things that just didn’t work for me. I think my high expectations were also partly to blame, because this book is BELOVED. By nearly everyone. It is SO many people’s favorite series and I was fully expecting to love it, too.

One of the main issues I had with the book was the writing style. This is my first Jay Kristoff, so I do not know if all of his books are written like this, but I was not a big fan of the way this was written. I knew it had footnotes going into it, so those didn’t take me by surprise, but they were still jarring. It took me a good 30 or so pages to get used to them and to train myself to go down to read the footnote, jump back up to main story, and not forget the scene that I was in. More than a few times I read the footnote and turned the page (because I was at the end of the page!) before realizing that I didn’t finish the actual story on the previous one. Most of the footnotes in the beginning, too, were very info-dumpy about the world and, while, I did find them interesting, they took me out of the story many times. The worldbuilding here was fantastic, though, and I liked learning about the world and its history. The narrator’s voice (who I am guessing is Mister Kindly) is present in the footnotes, as well, and often times they are very funny. They are cheeky and dry. I really enjoyed them, overall, I just feel like they DO take you out of the main story, especially at the beginning. I would not advise skipping them, as some readers choose to.

Another part of Kristoff’s writing that just irked me to all hell was his outrageous use of similes. They were EVERYWHERE! I get that it was all part of the “sassy” and quirky writing style, but some of them were glaringly bad. And they were repeated so many times. That part was annoying, because I don’t see how repeating the same simile or metaphor different times is really aiding anyone’s writing style. If I read “silverware smile,” “suicide beauty,” or “hunter’s eyes” one more time, I was going to DNF, I swear 😅.

In fact, quite a few things in the book were repeated too many times in my opinion. We were drilled over the head with descriptions of people and Mia’s same thoughts again and again. It got pretty tedious to read, honestly. Really, the whole first two thirds of the novel felt pretty tedious to me. I know this is an unpopular opinion, but I was not gripped whatsoever until the last third of the story. The ending is the only reason I gave it 3.5 stars instead of 3 stars, and the only reason I am picking up book two so quickly. I just could not get into the story. Objectively, I could tell that it was interesting and entertaining, well written, if in rather an irritating style, but I could not connect.

I was not connected to the characters either (I’m still not, really). I know we are supposed to love Mia and sympathize with her and root for her and think she is so badass. But I just didn’t really care. Honestly, she seemed pretty cliche to me in the beginning, which was so surprising, because this book was supposed to be so different and so edgy. I was expecting some real deal adult fantasy here and, to be honest, this felt very much like YA with some extra curse words, sex, and blood thrown in for spice. I would definitely consider this more new adult versus adult, because it is still so generic in tone. It’s about a young girl on the quest for revenge so she becomes an assassin. And she’s sassy! And she’s good at everything she does. And she’s not pretty, so don’t think she gets by on her looks. But wait, she’s going to become pretty for reasons. Oh and all she can think about is a boy, even though she’s supposed to be super smart and only care about vengeance. Etc. etc.

I did not connect with Mia. I thought she was pretty generic and predictable as a character. I liked Mister Kindly, but he was also just a tad cliche. I was like the dialogue and the gestures and such, I knew what was coming before it happened. Oh she’s going to flip him off now and ah here comes some deadpan remark from the shadowcat. On and on. It seemed….easy. Nothing shocked me until the end. I didn’t like Tric and I was not a fan of the romance. I love romance in fantasy! But I couldn’t have cared less about this one. I’m sorry! It was so flat and boring. It also happened very quickly. I thought Jess was obnoxious, but I did like Ash. I liked Mouser and Naev. I wanted to see more of Cassius, but…

Anyway, I am not hating on younger-sounding, YA books; I was just expecting a lot more from this one. And really, this girl is no different than Celeana/Aelin (and characters like her), but you don’t hear Jay Kristoff getting flack like Sarah J Maas does 👀. Tea.

Soooo, yeah. This was definitely a very minimum 3 star book for me up until the end. But then it got so much better! I was hoping that the events of the ending (Tric’s death, Mia actually kicking ass and being ruthless) would happen and I was pleasantly surprised at how it all turned out. Hello!!! There was the adult level, actual assassin action I was waiting for! The ending made up for a lot of what I didn’t like throughout the book and I am actually going to read Godsgrave really soon now, to determine more clearly how I feel about the series. There’s hope!!

I’m sorry, but I can’t be your Mister Kindly. Everything scares me 🙀.

So, tell me. Did anyone else feel this way about Nevernight?! I feel like I am the only one that didn’t love it.

Happy reading!

Title: Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicles #1)
Author: Jay Kristoff
Genre: Fantasy | Adult | New/Young Adult | Assassin
Publication Date: August 9th, 2016
Page Count: 429 pages
Buy It: Wordery Book Depository

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