Tag Archives: The Nevernight Chronicle

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Nevernight – Book 1 of The Nevernight Chronicle by Jay Kristoff

Standard

I really liked the premise for this and was fortunate enough to have my request accepted via NetGalley for an arc in return for an honest review.

nevernightIn 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.

I really enjoyed Mia’s character – the backstory that steadily emerges during her time at assassins’ school is compelling that had me engrossed and thoroughly on her side. I’m a sucker for coming of age stories set in training establishments, anyway – though Hogwarts it ain’t. The world is very effectively depicted and we get to meet a number of vivid supporting characters, who are all chilling in a world where dishonesty, cunning and trickery are prized over love, compassion and empathy – indeed the latter are regarded as weaknesses. I enjoyed the way that Kristoff demonstrates the cumulative dehumanising process of the assassins’ school as Mia continues to master the necessary skills.

This book is firmly in the grimdark section of fantasy – though in common with a number of other books with plenty of visceral violence and a cynical immorality, there is a fair amount of grindark humour running through it. I enjoyed most of it, although during the first section there were a number of apparently humorous footnotes I could have done without. It didn’t help that they thoroughly messed with the formatting of the Kindle ebook, so kept cropping up in the middle of the text in completely the wrong place. Besides, after the late, great Pratchett’s ownership of the device, I do feel other authors should give them a very wide berth. That said, they weren’t dealbreakers and I was relieved to note they disappeared in the second half of the book.

The plotting is well judged and despite a number of flashbacks and interruptions in the narrative flow, I was never yanked out of the story or confused (other than when the aforementioned footnotes made an appearance). There were several enjoyable plot twists I didn’t see coming – especially the doozy before the climactic end section which is really well done. I simply didn’t want to put the book down for the finale, having no idea how it was all going to end. All in all, a really enjoyable read.

However, I do have concern. This book has been categorised as a YA read – presumably because the protagonist is a teen and the book features her at ‘school’. I’m aware that many YA books deal with difficult issues, such as underage sex, internet porn, drugs and family breakup. In an ideal world youngsters shouldn’t have to confront these problems while grappling with the tricky business of growing up – but they do, so their fiction should also address these subjects. However, this book’s dark, amoral treatment of violence, family breakup and the very explicit sex scenes means that if you are in the habit of providing YA books for the youngsters in your life, I strongly advise you to vet this one first.

That said, I found it a blast and will be definitely looking out for the next in this series.
8/10

Sunday Post – 7th August

Standard

Sunday Post

This is part of the weekly meme over at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer, where book bloggers can share the books and blogs they have written.

Oscar has been staying with me this week. I don’t normally have a chance to spend long periods of time with him alone as he is the younger grandchild, so it has been a treat. He is a bright six-year-old who loves games, so as the weather has kept us indoors and we haven’t been able to have the car, we have been playing Dobble and Junior Scrabble and I have also begun teaching him the chess moves – he has picked them all up very fast, except for the pawns, which he finds very frustrating as they won’t do what he wants them to do! We went to see Finding Dory on Thursday and botfindingdoryh thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved the beautiful underwater scenes and strong characterisation. The only grizzle I have is that Nemo’s bent fin – such an issue in the first film – now seems to be absolutely fine, which is a bit disappointing continuity-wise.

Yesterday afternoon, Oscar and I went to see Tim perform in Jungle Book, playing the part of Shere Khan at the Alexandra Theatre in Bognor Regis. He was a wonderfully convincing baddie, growling and snarling his way through the show – and to think that just over a year ago, he wouldn’t consider playing anyone who was ‘nasty’ or ‘unhappy’. The speed he is progressing is amazing – it was wonderful seeing him on the stage enjoying himself and giving such a very strong performance.

This week I’ve managed to read:
The Dark Dream – Book 4 of The Beaver Towers series by Nigel Hinton
thedarkdreamIn this fourth BEAVER TOWERS adventure, Philip and old Mr Edgar set off on their travels so that Philip can learn how to use his powers to fight evil. But while they are away, the island itself is under threat from a strange creature named Retson. This time it is up to Baby B, the little beaver and Nick, the hedgehog, to save the day.
This is the final book in the series and once more, Hinton manages to up the stakes with one of the main protagonists putting the community of Beaver Towers in danger due to his own silly behaviour. While the Dark Lord is always more than willing to take advantage of any weakness. I shall be reviewing this book in due course.

 

Nevernight – Book 1 of The Nevernight Chronicle by Jay Kristoff
In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking nevernightvengeance 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.

Another gem from NetGalley, I have thoroughly enjoyed this one. Think of a very dark dystopian version of Hogwarts and you come slightly close to the atmosphere at the assassins’ school in the Red Church – please ignore the YA classification and keep this out of the hands of your younger teens before you have at least vetted it. This non-YA reader loved it…

 

The Steal – Book 3 of Star Wars Adventures in Wild Space by Cavan Scott
thestealStill on the hunt for their kidnapped parents, Milo and Lina Graf head to Lothal in search of an ally. But when something precious is stolen from them, they have to embark on their most dangerous mission yet. Will they succeed in THE STEAL?
Another children’s read – this is yet another slice in the ongoing travails endured by poor Milo and Lina in the desperate hunt for their parents. And this one leaves the pair on the real cliffhanger making me very glad I’ve got the next book for us to move onto.

 

 

Spiderlight by Adrian Tchaikovsky
The Church of Armes of the Light has battled the forces of Darkness for as long as anyone can spiderlightremember. The great prophecy has foretold that a band of misfits, led by a high priestess will defeat the Dark Lord Darvezian, armed with their wits, the blessing of the Light and an artifact stolen from the merciless Spider Queen. Their journey will be long, hard and fraught with danger. Allies will become enemies; enemies will become allies. And the Dark Lord will be waiting, always waiting…

This is a joy. Tchaikovsky has taken some of the main tropes in epic fantasy – the struggle between Dark and Light; religious intolerance and infighting; a prophesy about a chosen one – and put his own unique spin on them. He is an intelligent, accomplished writer who also assumes his readers can keep up. So far 2016 has proved to be an amazing year – I can’t recall reading so many books of such quality – and this is yet another.

My posts last week:
Sunday Post – 31st July

Review of After You Book 2 of the Me Before You series by JoJo Moyes

Teaser Tuesday – featuring Nevernight – Book 1 of The Nevernight Chronicle by Jay Kristoff

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of An Accident of Stars – Book 1 of The Manifold Worlds by Foz Meadows

Review of Solar Express by L.E. Modesitt Jr

Friday Faceoff – The First Men in the Moon featuring the book by H.G. Wells

Shoot for the Moon Challenge 2016 – July Roundup

Other interesting/outstanding blogs and articles that have caught my attention during the last week, in no particular order:

Over-Booked – the San Diego Comic Con 2016 Edition! http://booksbonesbuffy.com/2016/07/30/over-booked-53-the-san-diego-comic-con-2016-edition/ Tammy really provides a slice of what it is to be a fan at a busy con in this enjoyable article.

Lake Tekapo is the Sanctury You Need on a South Island Road Trip https://memoirsonthemove.com/2016/08/02/lake-tekapo-is-the-sanctuary-you-need-on-a-south-island-road-trip/ One of the joys of social media is being able to vicariously travel alongside folks experiencing the real thing, thanks to their gift for photography and word pictures. This is a stunning example.

Writers’ Other Hobbies: Polymer Clay http://melfka.com/archives/1895 I have all the artistic ability of a doorknob, so I am delighted to see what other people do with the slices of time they spend away from their computer screens.

Placeholder https://ginnibites.wordpress.com/2016/08/04/placeholder/ This sharp-edged, beautifully observed poem by Ginni is a gem.

The Problem with Female Protagonists – http://writerunboxed.com/2016/08/06/the-problem-with-female-protagonists/ If you haven’t yet visited this site and you are a writer, I recommend you do. And this depressing, articulate article may account for the reason that woman are regarded as secondary in far too many walks of life. Still.

Many thanks for visiting and taking the time and trouble to comment – and may you have a wonderful reading and blogging week.

Teaser Tuesday – 2nd August, 2016

Standard

Teaser

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books and a Beat.
Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This is my choice of the day:
Nevernight – Book 1 of The Nevernight Chronicle by Jay Kristoff
79% Mia glanced sidelong at the apprentices around her. Though each pretended to be busy with their nevernightmeal, she could sense them listening. Feel their eyes. Staring at this shade of Mia Corvere they’d never really seen. Liar. Snake. Fox.

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.

This is a coming of age story set in an Assassins’ School. Think of Hogwarts with more lethal tricks, every master as charming as Snape, without the bluff honesty of dear old Hagrid. Students die and our feisty protagonist has a tragic and compelling backstory. It should be a great deal grimmer than it is, because there are also shafts of humour and delightful plot twists peppering the narrative. I’m thoroughly enjoying this one and will be reviewing it in due course.