Review: Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Title: Nevernight {The Nevernight Chronicle #1}

Author: Jay Kristoff

Published: 19th June 2017, HarperCollins

Status: Read December 2020

++++++

My Thoughts:

I was gifted Nevernight by bestselling Australian fantasy/SciFi author Jay Kristoff, in 2019 from my Secret Santa (thank you again Little Miss Starr) via the Aussie Readers + Bloggers Secret Santa Exchange, and had hoped to have read it long before now, but better late than never!

“Never flinch. Never fear. And never, ever forget.”

In a land of three suns, where darkness falls just once a year, a young girl hides amongst the shadows. Mia Corvere, the orphaned daughter of a highborn family, is determined to avenge the murders of her parents and younger brother by the corrupt members of The Republic, no matter the cost. Chance leads her to the door of a mentor who prepares her to join the Red Church, a secretive organisation of assassins where she may earn a position as a Blade of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and thus the skill to vanquish her enemies, if she can survive among a hall of killers to graduate.

Nevernight is an entertaining fast paced read, offering plenty of action, intrigue and interesting worldbuilding. Though the main thrust of the plot isn’t particularly unique, Kristoff does add his own imaginative touches so that the story doesn’t feel stale, and I was quickly engrossed in the tale from the first few pages.

Mia is plucky, pragmatic, deadly and determined, but it’s her gift of weaving shadows that gives her an edge as an assassin. Mis doesn’t really understand her ability, she thinks of it as something that found her, in the form of Mr Kindly – a cat made of shadows that also feeds on her fear, rather than something that is part of her. I liked Mia a lot, like all fantasy heroines she has a streak of idealism that conflicts with her ability to create mayhem and murder. The cutthroat competition of the Red Church apprenticeship isn’t always easy for her, especially when it pits her against those she has befriended.

Nevernight is both more violent and more sexually suggestive, and explicit, than I expected, as I was under the mistaken impression it was considered a YA novel. This wasn’t an issue for me, but it’s perhaps important to note that despite its teenage protagonist, Nevernight is written for an adult audience.

The overall tone of Nevernight is quite dark, what with deaths and monsters, but there is also plenty of wit and sarcasm which I appreciated. I confess Nevernight occasionally feels a touch overwritten, but not so much that I cared, I enjoy a creative metaphor and Kristoff supplies plenty. I can take or leave the author’s fetish for footnotes though, I found it easiest to read through them at the end of each chapter.

An exciting tale of love and loss, bloodshed and betrayal, dark and light, Nevernight is the first book in the Nevernight Chronicle trilogy. Godsgrave and Darkdawn are already available, I hope to read both soon.

++++++

Available from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository I HiveUK I Indiebound

Review: Aurora Rising by Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff

 

Title: Aurora Rising {The Aurora Cycle #1}

Author: Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff

Published: May 6th 2019, Allen & Unwin

Status: Read December 2019

++++++

My Thoughts:

Nearing the end of 2019 I realised I had not read any sci-fi during the year. To be honest it’s not a genre I gravitate towards but I usually try to step out of my comfort zone and read a handful. I chose Aurora Rising because it’s written by two Australian authors, and it was described as “fast-paced, action-packed, wickedly humorous and fabulously entertaining.”

Happily, I found the description accurate, and I really enjoyed Aurora Rising. Set in 2380 it begins when graduating Aurora Academy student Tyler Jones saves the only survivor of a starship that had disappeared over two hundred years earlier, and in doing so tanks his dream of leading an elite peacekeeping squad. Saddled with a group of misfits, his first mission goes awry when he discovers the girl he rescued, Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, hiding on his ship, and the secret branch of the Global Intelligence Agency demanding they turn her over.

The story unfolds from the perspectives of each crew member – Tyler, his twin sister, Scarlett, pilot Cat, engineer Finn, tactical officer, Kal, and stowaway, Aurora. I loved the banter, and the development of the dynamic between the disparate personalities.

As promised there is plenty of fast-paced action as the squad suddenly finds themselves pursued across the galaxy without really understanding why. The team has to learn to trust one another if they are going to stay one step ahead of the GIA, and figure out what is going on.

Despite its length of nearly five hundred pages I found Aurora Rising to be a quick read. It’s definitely YA, so probably not one for serious sci-fi readers, but it has a Guardian of the Galaxy vibe which suited me.

Aurora Rising is the first book in The Aurora Cycle Trilogy, the second, Aurora Burning, is expected to be published mid 2020, and I’ve already added it to my TBR.

++++++

Available from Allen & Unwin

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I via Indiebound I Book Depository