Showing posts with label nevernight. Show all posts
Showing posts with label nevernight. Show all posts

Monday, September 18, 2017

Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff (spoiler-free!)

Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff. Thomas Dunne Books/Harper Voyager UK, 2017. Hardcover. 448 pages.

Where do I even begin writing a review for a book that I found to be simply flawless? Godsgrave is installment number two in Kristoff's Nevernight Chronicles, a trilogy that has only one more book to go. I'd been waiting for Godsgrave since I read the ARC of Nevernight last year in late June and completely fell in love with the world, characters, and writing style Kristoff created for this trilogy. Just as a preface before I fully dive in to this review: I'm going refrain from mentioning any specific plot points, largely because they could easily give away spoilers for Nevernight, and that's not something I want to do in case you are interested in this series and haven't yet read started the trilogy (my review for Nevernight can be found here!).

The first thing about this book that I loved before I even read the first page was a beautiful, in-depth character list found at the beginning of the book. It listed all of the important characters from the first book along with a brief-but-thorough description of who they are and what they did/what happened to them in Nevernight. It was so helpful.

 This book was truly brilliant. Kristoff's worldbuilding is once again filled to the brim with fascinating details and vivid descriptions. It is a wonderful blend of Ancient Rome and Old World Venice, which creates a truly exciting backdrop for the events of this book, while also maintaining an overarching sense of a historical setting that is wonderfully appealing.

Mia herself is such a fantastic character with so many things that I love about her. She's tough as hell, but at the same time... she's utterly human. She struggles just like the rest of us, and even though she seems like a tough shell that's impossible to crack, we reader are allowed to see that she still has doubts, uncertainties, and hard emotional struggles to deal with. However, she does possess a strong amount of confidence that grows throughout this book, although she is often knocked down a peg or two, which seems to keep both her character and the events of this book extremely realistic. Her confidence and ability to find strength in the hardest times is part of what is so enticing about her.

I also love Mister Kindly and Eclipse. They are perfect in every way, and I can't get enough of their additions to the dialogue. Mister Kindly feels like that inner voice that we all (well, I, at least) have and he is absolutely one of the best characters.

As much as I want to into depth about some of the other supporting characters, I'm going to refrain from doing so because the could be spoiler-y in general. However, I will say that new characters we meet are just as wonderfully crafted as Mia and every other character in Nevernight.

One of the best things about Kristoff's writing is you never know what's going to happen. I'm pretty sure that he just delights in throwing curveball after curveball to keep his readers--and his characters-- on their toes. Just when you think you know how something will work out, he does something completely contrary to whatever you're thinking and it blew my mind. Even if you're right about how something will work out overall, the way in which it gets to that point is absolutely crazy. If you want a crazy, intense, amazing ride--read this book. Oh, and there's blood. Lots and lots of blood. And yes, many figures in this book will indeed meet a dark, bloody end.

The last area I'd like to discuss is prose. Some people don't like Kristoff's narrative voice or his usage of footnotes in these books, but they are what make me love this book so so much. His voice is incredibly distinct and full of life -- it is witty, sarcastic, and wonderfully done. The footnotes only serve to further comment on and expand upon certain ideas or parts of the world, which only enhanced the worldbuilding.

Overall, absolutely five stars!

Buy the book: Amazon | Book Depository

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You might also like:
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
The Court of Broken Knives by Anna Smith Spark
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff (Spoiler-free!)

*Nevernight will be released on Tuesday, August 9th!*

(US cover here - I am in the U.S., but I just really love the UK/AUS cover)
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff. Harper Voyager, 2016. Ebook. 448 pages.

*I received an ARC of Nevernight courtesy of Harper Voyager and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

I have been wanting to post this review for what seems like ages now, but since I generally tend to post my review closer to the release date, I've  been waiting and waiting - but I am waiting no more!

Nevernight is truly a masterpiece of immense proportions. If you want a brief review: Go read this book. If you want a more expansive review, please do read on.

This was my first experience with Kristoff's writing, and I fell in love with it almost immediately.  By probably the fifth page or so, I could tell that he was one of those authors that writes with a wonderful flow and instead of merely using words to convey his story, he commands words to say what he wants - his storytelling becomes those words. That probably sounds completely ridiculous, but my point is that his prose is both effortless and powerful all in one and it really makes for a breathtaking (sometimes literally for the characters) reading experience.

Nevernight is essentially about a girl named Mia who hopes to join the ranks of some of the deadliest assassins in the land. There is a boatload of juicy intrigue, plots, and secrets. This a bloody, brutal book with fierce characters and competition and I loved every minute of it.

First, I adored whoever our narrator was. The dry wit and sense of humor were such welcome additions to this dark story. I also particularly loved the footnotes. They added a wonderful dimension to the story and provided detailed background information (or mere asides) that firmly enforced the world-building and truly brought the world of Nevernight alive around me. I don't often see footnotes in fiction books (with a few exceptions), and I really enjoyed the concept. It made it feel much more like I was reading something real and authentic.

For many of the chapters, there is a switch between the telling the story of the present day and telling the story of Mia's past and what got her to the present day. This was one of those rare occasions in which I liked the occasional switches between present day and experiences from Mia's past. Sometimes these can be overdone and a tad on the dry side, but learning about Mia's past was just as interesting and also helped with understanding her and her story. This brings me to Mia, a realistic, badass, and wonderfully developed character that I loved reading about. She's serious and tough, but also maintains her own distinct sense of humor and endearing personality. Along with Mia is Mister Kindly, her not-cat shadow that acts as her constant companion; I loved the relationship between the two characters, as well as the overall concept of what Mister Kindly is as well (keeping it vague because spoilers).

As far as secondary characters go, there is such an abundance of outstanding ones that I'm not going to go through and discuss each one individually here because I'm pretty sure none of you want to sit and read this review all day. Suffice to say, Nevernight is full of interesting, well-developed, and wonderfully molded characters that do nothing but add immense depth and entertainment to the story.

 I was so immersed in this novel that I ended up speeding through it faster than I've sped through a book of this size in a while. The ending was absolutely brutal and  beautiful and heartbreakingly perfect all in one. I sat in awe for quite a long time after finishing this book, and I still occasionally like to sit back and think about what a wonderful journey this book was.

I would like to quickly add that I was pretty confused for the first few pages, as I wasn't sure how long the parallel format storyline was going to continue (despite how wonderfully written it was), but once I got into the groove and things started happening, I was completely hooked and everything fell into place.

Side note: I've been on a very successful book buying ban this year (I've bought hardly any books - most have been ARCs or library books, though I do go to a lot of library sales... but they're so cheap I don't always count them), but I completely splurged and went for the red stained pages from Goldsboro - I'm so excited and it's gorgeous!

I think a star explanation is unnecessary - this is hands down a five-star book that earned itself a place on my favorites shelf. And I personally don't even want to compare this to Harry Potter because it's in a league all on its own - no comparisons or mash-ups necessary.

You might also like:
Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
And I Darken by Kiersten White
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab