Thursday, January 12

6 Reasons Why Nevernight by Jay Kristoff Did Not Work For Me

“The books we love, they love us back. And just as we mark our places in the pages, those pages leave their marks on us.”

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?

Color me disappointed, very disappointed, because this was not what I signed up for when I decided to read Nevernight. I expected something along the lines of Six of Crows, meaning a novel full of badass, complex characters and plot twists, only with more gore and less romance. Instead, I received a quite mediocre fantasy, with some pretty original ideas, but awkward writing and characters that left a lot to be desired. *sad face*


Here's the thing - at first I was actually into the writing! I thought it was unique and fit for such a story, but it quickly got tiresome and boring, even repetitive. Oh, and the footnotes, they were terribly, horribly distracting and annoying as fuck. The story was full of expressions and words that Jay Kristoff made up and only explained in the footnotes, so I had to read them, even though I really didn't want to, because they always pulled me out of the story. 

To be honest, I actually stopped reading them after a while, but my reading experience didn't really improve then either because all the metaphors and similes and over-describing everything constantly got on my nerves and made me unable to get lost in the story.


Thanks to the very descriptive writing that basically needed coding to comprehend, the footnotes and the flashbacks, I lost track of the plot a long while ago. Now, here's the thing - ya'll can call The Selection a guilty pleasure (which, quite frankly, breaks my heart, because I adore the first three novels), but I really don't see how Nevernight - a book advertised as one heck of a fantasy - is any different. 

Throughout most of the book there's no telling what direction the plot is heading into, the mystery is dull as fuck, the twists are too few and far in-between (literally, one twist, ONE) and in the meantime you're just reading a very Divergent slash Harry Potter-esque novel, about classes that are never truly described (which is funny, because, you know, everything else is fucking over-described) and cat fights between the characters. 


I warmed up to a few of the supporting cast as the story progressed, especially when the twists started to come, but still, the majority of them were incredibly plain and one dimensional.

And the teachers? They were so damn dull I KEPT FORGETTING WHO WAS TEACHING WHAT. Should ruthless, monstrous assassins who teach you all kinds of things that'll come in handy IF you manage to pass the tests be so boring? I think not.

I'd read a few reviews before I picked up Nevernight and was sure I saw something about awesome-sauce friendships, though since then I realized that was about another book, thanks for letting me down, memory, and now I'm just like, could someone tell me WHAT IS FRIENDSHIP? Because, you see, Nevernight - with its poor portrayal of any and all relationships - made me forget what the concept of friendship is. I never felt any kind of connection between the characters, much less one that'd mean them being loyal to each other, as they mostly were. #confused


I guess my dislike for the romance doesn't come as a surprise after my rant about the characters and relationships, but I need to elaborate on this, because it was, probably, one of my least favorite parts of the novel. 

First of all, WHY do we need romance in a novel about assassins who could very well fail their tests or classes at any given moment? Who would be mercilessly beaten if they left their rooms at night? Would these people be ready to over-complicate their lives, to ruin the only chance they have of becoming real assassins for sex? I think not. And I don't care about them being hormone-driven teenagers when we're talking about a bunch of people who've been waiting for this chance their whole fucking life. 

Moving on to Mia and Tric specifically, they were two morally gray and vicious characters, WHO BECAME FRIENDS IN A SUPER-FAST AND TOTALLY UNBELIEVABLE WAY. Fun fact: most of this getting to know each other process isn't shown to the readers. And then their more romantic scenes started which, with the exception of one or two, happened either a) off the pages, so we only knew about them, but never actually read about them, or b) were sex scenes which, to be honest, didn't really help me understand why the characters were getting closer. Emotionally closer, that is. 


For a novel that prides itself on being gory and disgusting and harsh it sure as hell managed to kill no one but the nameless, faceless characters in the major part of the story. I mean, SO REALISTIC that in all the cruel tests none of the people Mia was acquainted with would die, right? *sarcasm*


Her personality CONFUSED ME TREMENDOUSLY. She's ruthless, vicious and vindictive, would do anything, to reach her goals... but she's also quite nice???? For no reason????? To acquaintances????? (Please, please, don't call them friends, please.) She's supposed to have will of steel, yet she constantly decides Tric and her should end their... thing, AND THEN DOESN'T END IT?

not a reason, but shhh!

As I mentioned above, there were many original ideas in Nevernight, including darkins, and I'm so damn into this whole controlling the shadows thing. It's new, it's unique, it's interesting and has great potential - so much so that I might even read the sequel, WHO KNOWS my mind works in strange ways. Also, I love Mister Kindly, but I also feel like there might be something... evil lurking in him? I DO NOT KNOW, BUT I'M SO INTRIGUED.

The story idea: 4/5
The realization of the story: 2/5
The characters: 2/5
The cover: 5/5
Enjoy factor: 2/5



  1. WEll thought out book review. I haven't read it. But I've heard a few ppl say that it didn't work for them. Not every book is for everyone.

    1. Thank you! Yep, this one seems to be a bit controversial, though I was still hopeful seeing how much some loved it. :(

  2. Dang, I'm sorry that you didn't like this one. I was never really interested in the first place, but I have been seeing mixed things about this one. Better luck with your next read!
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

    1. Yeah, this one disappointed quite a few people, but still, I expected more seeing many positive reviews. :( Thank you - hope your next read is fantastic, too!

  3. Ugh those footnotes sound horrendous. I'm all for authors making up some language or words to better enhance the story, but they should be words that you can easily deduce what they are (like all those words in HP that are totally 100% fictional but you can still figure it out). This book has been sitting on my TBR and while I think I could handle the weird plot/characters/romance, I'm not so sure about the footnotes. It's the little things that really annoy me.

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

    1. Yeah, the footnotes definitely took a lot away from my enjoyment of the story - it was a) annoying, and b) super-lazy. He could have incorporated these things in the story somehow instead of info-dumping. Ugh. Such a disappointment. For some people they worked, so maybe they'll for you, too? I'd say the rest of the things I listed put me off more.

  4. Whoa, I never thought about Nevernight like this before! I know I found the footnotes tedious - it was info dumping for me. But that friendship did build up too quickly! And the side characters didn't have much personality - we had the stereotyped 'mean girl/antagonist'. Thanks for sharing your thoughts in such a clear manner! <3

    1. Thank you! I hope my negativity didn't influence your opinion too much? The footnotes were awful, such lazy writing, but I think the rest - especially the characters - annoyed me more. It's a shame when I actually enjoyed it at first. :(


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