REVIEW: Nevernight by Jay Kristoff



Blurb:

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, a sixteen year old Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic ― the Red Church. Treachery and trials await her with the Church’s halls, and to fail is to die. But if she survives to initiation, Mia will be inducted among the chosen of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the only thing she desires.

Revenge.


~Amazon

Review:

I utterly adored Jay Kristoff's Nevernight. Could not put it down. It usually takes me a couple months to complete a novel, but I read the last half of Nevernight while on a vacay last week. It didn't even occur to me that there was a television in the room and that I could watch it. That's how captivated I was by Mia and Tric and the rest of this bloody crew.

Some books are a challenge because I can tell the author thinks in a way that I can barely relate to. This book, the characters, the action, the balance between brutality and sentimentality, the humor, the grit -- I just got. It all resonated with my personality, my likes and dislikes in fiction. Will Nevernight resonate with you?

Thoughts on Influences:

Whether or not Kristoff is/was a gamer or is merely familiar with today's most popular video games (or neither of these), I did pick up on similarities with Skyrim and some other potential influences. Rather than detract from the enjoyment of the tale, I think fans of those games will be thrilled, mainly because they will easily relate to the world and its factions and characters.

Influences also draw heavily from Ancient Rome and Renaissance Venice. As a history buff, this is where I was slightly turned off. Not because, as a history buff, these cultures and time periods are distasteful to me, but because the similarities were so strong that the fantasy element at times grew thin, such as the city of gondolas that celebrates with masquerade balls; Senates and a Republic that are about to suffer a dictatorship under a Caesar-like ruler.

However, it's likely due to my own personal taste that fantasy worlds are somewhat less transparent in the expression of the influences behind their creation.

But make no mistake, these influences do not detract from the tale. Nevernight is a rip-roaring ride, from page 1 to the final paragraph. The momentum is non-stop, like a dagger in flight.

Unique Surprise:

Footnotes! I had never read a novel that featured footnotes. Again, being a history buff who loves the tidbits found at the bottoms of pages, I was instantly charmed when I discovered footnotes lurking like little shadows below the main text.

Don't cheat yourself and skip over these footnotes. I do believe the clues to Nevernight's ending lie in these little asides. At least, I'm pretty sure I've puzzled it out. See if you can.

Best of all, the personality of the narrator telling Mia's story shines in the footnotes, providing glimpses of a sarcastic, jaded sense of humor until the reader must ask, "Who IS this masked narrator?" If you think you've guessed, chances are you're wrong. At least I was. I think. Maybe. There's still room for a twist that will make me right. If I am indeed wrong, then my second choice for the narrator is ... no spoilers.

Conclusion:

Of course, it's how an author uses words themselves that make me fall in love, every time. And much of Nevernight is delightful poetry, alongside the swashbuckling pace. So I will be looking for other works by Kristoff while I desperately await the next installment in the Nevernight series.

I won't soon be forgetting Mia and the rest, so I'm giving Nevernight five magic wands.

5 of 5
Find Nevernight HERE.
Follow Jay Kristoff on his official siteTwitter, and Facebook.

Press Release...


…yes, press release, in a literal sense. Today, February 11, 2016 marks the official launch of Raven Eye Press. Pop goes the cork. Champagne time!

(If the technical details matter, read about the press itself on the About page.)

Why today? Because it has happened:  I’ve re-released the digital versions of the Falcons Saga! I grabbed the polish and the buffing brush and shined them up a bit. Each of the three books has had a few typos fixed and some inconsistencies and phrasings revised. And Blood of the Falcon, volume 2 is now available as Sword of the Falcon, with an all-new cover.



Ain’t that pretty?

Better! If all goes well, Cry of the Falcon will be available for download this weekend. If that’s the case, then I nailed my Valentine’s release date. Woot! "Celebrate good times, c’mon!"

Print versions will be available before the end of the month, I hope. I’m having some trouble with CreateSpace and titling, but maybe we can have that ironed out soon. Crossing fingers. If not, I’ll be ranting and raving, and you’ll hear all about it.

But let’s leave the bad news and muddy shoes at the door. Today I am celebrating the opening of REP, my falcon kings, and my twins. Have some more champagne, on me.