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“Nevernight” by Jay Kristoff: Book Review

“Nevernight” is the first book of a trilogy that tells the story behind the daughter of a traitor and her path to revenge. Photo by Mika Dang

Although “Nevernight” starts with a relatively stomach-churning fact to enlighten the unaware (I’m sure I could’ve lived a while longer without knowing that people excreted feces when they passed away), the book in itself had a bewitching, grim theme with dabbles of romance in between the blotches of blood and murder.

Jay Kristoff, a brilliant author with a solid sense of humor, writes about a young killer that joins a school for assassins. Mia Corvere, daughter of an executed traitor, has the ability to manipulate shadows and uses this to her advantage to complete her assassinations perfectly. She joins the Red Church, the deadliest flock of assassins in the Republic, and hones her skills to carry out her vengeance against her father’s killers.

I picked up the book expecting to read it once, then never read it again. I loved the idea of this Hogwarts-turned-bloody type of school, but I was a bit hesitant because this was a young adult novel. Nevertheless, I gave it a chance, and I was extremely glad that I did. Most people who dislike young adult books can’t stand the cut corners or lack of depth in the characters and the plot.

In “Nevernight,” I found that although some corners were definitely cut, Mia was a decently thought-out character, and the world itself ran relatively smoothly without too many questionable issues. I was more entertained by the author’s writing style and moments of comedy scattered throughout. There were also footnotes on many pages to explain the odd terms and phrases of the world as well, which I found interesting as it further built on the lore behind the novel.

Overall, the exhilaration from the story and the engaging writing style kept me hooked all the way through. As a trigger warning for future readers, beware of violence (blood, gore, etc.), sexual scenes, and heavy implications of mental illness.

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