Friday, June 17, 2016

Nevernight: Never Flinch, Never Fear, and Never, EVER, Forget to Preorder


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, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?

ZOUNDS PEOPLE! This is a damn good book... Where to begin, and how to keep the all-caps screaming to a minimum...

If you've never read Jay Kristoff, there are a few things you need to know.

Lesson #1 for reading Jay Kristoff's books: Jay likes to kill people. So don't get attached. Your favorite character probably isn't going to make it and will probably die suddenly, epically, and with no real closure... Jay accepts any and all complaints about this on any social media outlet, feel free to yell at him. These are considered compliments, so be be warned; he will respond with laughter and a halfhearted apology.

Probably not even halfhearted...

Lesson #2: Jay's soul belongs to the damned who have put in his charge dragging the souls of the innocent into the depths wherein lies pain, misery, agony, and viral cat videos. He will not be free until he has delivered enough of the world's suffering, and frankly I believe he's so corrupted by now he no longer wishes to be free, so he now writes New York Times Bestsellers to make thousands upon thousands of readers cry, choking and sobbing on their pain, until their souls are lost forever to him and his damned beautiful tragedies he calls 'books'.

You will experience feels.

Lesson #3-and this is important: He will never, EVER, stop.

Seeing as how I have deeply fallen victim to his marvelous treachery, and my soul is now lost among the thousands of others, I'm alright with this.

Now that you have been warned, proceed with this review at your own risk, because I am suggesting you give in and read it. You do not want to miss out on this book. PLUS, if you pre-order in the US the book will come SIGNED! Order from any of your usual booksellers, and BOOM, signed. Pretty freaking sweet, right?

Now to convince you to read the book.

The cast is quite sarcastic and witty as I've come to expect from Jay. The banter between acolytes can be playful and amusing, and just about the only thing left innocent about them. They are at a school to become murderers after all... It's nice, as they are occasionally, and oh so horribly reminded, to have a glimpse of life outside killing and worshipping a goddess of death and Jay lets us enjoy some great moments of youth and comraderie.

I think it will be fascinating to see what these acolytes become throughout the series. They are still young and hopeful, for now (even if that hope for the future is to murder someone they've been praying to kill for most of their lives...), but we can clearly see that their trainers are so accustomed to death that they no longer care about the lives of others. It's an intriguing comparison. The acolytes on that same path as their Shahiid's with little chance they will retain much of themselves outside of death and murder.

Except, perhaps, for Mia.

Mia Corvere is a very interesting character. All anyone sees at first is a nonchalant, angry, fierceness of 'not giving a f*%&ery', and she's happy to leave their opinion of her at that. She seems the perfect murderess; emotionless, driven, willing to do whatever it takes to become a full fledged Blade.

Never Flinch.

But, that cold, external demeanor isn't really who she is... There's a reason she appears that way, and even she, at times, questions whether that is who she really wants to be, or who she should be. There are moments, few and far between, when she sees past her own mask and remembers she's more than a cold hearted killer, that there's something deeper, another part of her that does, in fact, feel and want and need and those are things she needs to hold on to. That she wants to hold on to. But, when she follows that path, that's when the fear comes. When she's the uncaring part of herself, she's focused, driven, unafraid and she works toward her goal of revenge undistracted and with maximum effort. If the fear slips in, she will be consumed by it.

Never Fear.

There are things serving the goddess Niah will take from her, and Mia isn't sure she's willing to give them so easily, but she also wants to forget. Memories need to be resolved, feelings need exploring. Things she has put off for far too long and now she finds she doesn't know how to live any other way than hiding behind her gifts and the wall of revenge she's built around herself. She allows her memories, emotions, cares to be pushed aside, with a little aid from a unique presence, and when it's gone she tries to forget.

Never Forget.

I love how Jay cuts through the bullshit of his own characters. They try to be so strong while working through some serious emotional issues... They're screwed up little crazies trying to become expert murderers. Aa help us...

The side characters deserve their own books and we know something deeply seeded drives them just as hard as Mia. Jay so flawlessly puts their doubts and weaknesses on display, ocassionally in a way that you really just have to laugh at their misfortunes. There's real hurt behind every one of them making them very real, very easy to pity. It's difficult not to be understanding and feel sorry for even the most villainous of characters.

But seriously, try not to get attached. I disregarded my own rules and hoped... And lost my favorite character.

I'm still pretty pissed about it...

There's always something unexpected about Jay's books. My jaw literally dropped as I read the first few chapters and realized what he was doing. I had to go back and re-read, several times, to fully understand my serious case of deja vu happening and then I just sat stunned for awhile. It was beautiful, a really beautiful comparison of the aspects of Mia's life and her experiences. It continues on in this way, though much more subtle as the book continues.

The entire book is a subtle comparison between the two sides of her. A glimpse at what she would have been, or I suppose should have been, had her life turned out differently. Her life would have been a stark contrast against the murderess she has allowed herself to become.

Another interesting factor to the book are the foot notes. Do not forget to read the foot notes! A narrator fills in a few blanks, like what a turn of phrase really means, or what is significant about a gesture. Some of these get a little lengthy, a few times they cut into the action right where you really don't want them to, but there are fascinating facts about Mia's world contained within them and a lot of them will make you laugh. And you need to laugh while you still can... because Jay is not even close to being done.

About the sex that's been mentioned... I'll leave that up to your imaginations for now. Mister Kristoff provides plenty of details on his own... I will say, however, when you reach the halfway point, I wouldn't read much in public anymore. That made for the most awkward playdate at the mall ever. I to had to put the book down and be social during precious reading time I rarely get without a child asking me for something. I do not like being social :/

And as for page 382 (553 UK version)...

You have been warned.

Only question now is how do I wait patiently for book 2???

Don't Forget to Pre-order!

About the Author

Jay Kristoff is a New York Times and international bestselling author of science fiction and fantasy. He grew up in the second most isolated capital city on earth and fled at his earliest convenience, although he’s been known to trek back for weddings of the particularly nice and funerals of the particularly wealthy. He spent most of his formative years locked in his bedroom with piles of books, or gathered around dimly-lit tables rolling polyhedral dice. Being the holder of an Arts degree, he has no education to speak of.

His LOTUS WAR trilogy was critically acclaimed in Kirkus and Publishers Weekly, nominated for the David Gemmell Morningstar and Legend awards and won the 2014 Aurealis Award. Jay’s new series, the SciFi thriller THE ILLUMINAE FILES, was co-authored with Amie Kaufman. Book 1, ILLUMINAE, became a New York Times and international bestseller, was named among the Kirkus, Amazon and YALSA Best Books of 2015 and won the 2016 Aurealis Award and an ABIA Book of the Year award. ILLUMINAE is currently slated to be published in twenty five countries, and film rights have been acquired by Brad Pitt and Plan B Entertainment.

Jay’s new fantasy series, THE NEVERNIGHT CHRONICLE, commences with book 1, NEVERNIGHT, from St Martins Press/Thomas Dunne Books and Harper Voyager in 2016. A new YA series, LIFEL1K3 has also been acquired by Knopf/Random House Kids, and commences publication in 2018. Jay is as surprised about all this as you are. He is represented by Josh Adams at Adams Literary.

Jay is 6’7 and has approximately 13,030 days to live. He abides in Melbourne with his secret agent kung-fu assassin wife, and the world’s laziest Jack Russell.

He does not believe in happy endings.

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