Author: Jay Kristoff
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release Date: July 25, 2016
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Destined to destroy empires, Mia Corvere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death.
Six years later, the child raised in shadows takes her first steps towards keeping the promise she made on the day that she lost everything.
But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, so if she is to have her revenge, Mia must become a weapon without equal. She must prove herself against the deadliest of friends and enemies, and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and daemons at the heart of a murder cult.
The Red Church is no ordinary school, but Mia is no ordinary student. The shadows love her. And they drink her fear.
So, after reading the overview, I, a fantastical fantasy lover, no doubt felt fascinated by it. This has been my most anticipated read. But having heard only completely negative comments and reviews, I felt disheartened but set to investigate the truth myself, nevertheless. So here it goes.
In summary, this book is amazing. It has all the usual elements but with a fresh take on all of them. But, there are a few things which I didn’t like. Thus I am fully inclined on telling you guys the exact truth of the book. It’s shortcomings, it’s strengths and everything else.
LOVED THE FOLLOWING:
Let’s start with all that is absolutely wonderful with this book, which is a plenty.
- Hilarious Descriptions/Dialogues: Decide for yourself.
‘…your stomach seems to be growling some forgotten dialect of ashkahi…’ (Mister Kindly)
‘…your brain and ovaries seem to have switched places…’ (Mister Kindly)
‘…..ridiculous things, all. if ever proof was needed of your creator’s malevolence, look no further than between the legs of the average teenaged boy…’ (Mister Kindly)
That last one is my particular favourite! Witty, the author. There’s no denying that. No offence, gents.
- Footnotes: They were a gem. Both informative and downright funny. They added a certain necessary colour of depth in the story. Giving the breathtaking world of Nevernight a sense of cubic-reality. Of course, I will provide proof. You don’t have to take me on my word. (although you should, you know!)
Insubordination or drunken and disorderly behaviour were the most common, although one legionary had been posted to Ashkah for murdering his cohort’s cook after being served corned beef for evemeal on no less than 342 consecutive nevernights.
”Would it kill you,” he’d roared, ”to serve [stab] some fucking [stab] salad?” (34)
It occurs to me there is no word to describe the noise a camel makes. Dogs bark, lions roar, drunkards mumble. What the ‘byss do camel do? (401)
There are many, many more. And I could not include all of them here. Where the ‘byss would I write?
- Witty: The book is brimming with well written quotes and sayings. Really. You flip a page and lo and behold, a new quote to leave you thinking. Among my absolute favourites, these are the ones which left me sentranced.
”Focus on what you can change. The rest will change itself.” (Mercurio)
”…to master the darkness without, first you must master the darkness within…..” (Mister Kindly)
”Too many books. Too few centuries.” (Chronicler Aelius)
Finally, someone put the third quote in exact words.
- Stirring: The emotions explained are all so raw. So clear. Beautifully explained. The author’s choice of words is on-point. Yes, the flowery language has it’s uses.
- Character Development: Just when you know you have it all figured out about somesomeone, Mr. Kristoff throws in a curve ball right at your face. All of them – Mia, Tric, Jessamine, Ashlinn (oh, her!) are so well developed. Rounded. Complete. Very human. No black and white. All gray. Full of the common shortcomings, failures, virtues. Yet full of surprises, hidden motives.
- Plot: By the end, it becomes gut-wrenching, arse-hurting, teeth-grittingly interesting. The ending left my stomach churning hot and fast, wanting to know more. To know it all
- Mister Kindly: Although he is practically a character but I think he deserves a separate mention. He according to me, is what makes this book what it is. By which I mean that it is this mysterious nature of Mia’s shadow, Mister Kindly, which sets the plot apart.If it wasn’t for this element, the book would have been just another failed attempt at fantasy. Just another cliche story about a girl who seeks revenge.
- Naming: Aa’s truth, the names are just too good.
Bay of Butchers
Isle of Wines and Whores
These are just a few of them! Aren’t these fucking delightful?
DIDN’T LIKE THE FOLLOWING
- Length: Don’t get me wrong. I am all for big books. But, the book is lengthened by unnecessary explanations. There are soo many of them and would take up so much space were I to include them here. But, you will know when you read it. How a horse’s actions are described in detail when in fact just a word would’ve been enough. How the process of licking one’s lips and wiping the sweat is stated as if without describing it, the plot would not make sense.
- Cliché: Now, it may be just me but I found some of the phrases VERY annoying.
”Apologies,” Mia frowned, searching on the floor as if looking for something. ”I appear to have misplaced the fuck I give for what you think.”
The above is so much used these days. In memes, in everyday insults, everywhere. And now in books too? Blood hell! Give me a break, for god’s sakes.
- Resemblance to some of my other favourites: This may be just a coincidence (though I doubt it) but the following bear too much resemblance to Harry Potter and Game of Thrones for me to let it pass. I am VERY possessive about my favourite authors and books and this won’t be taken lightly.
Philosopher’s Stone: A kind of a jail.
War Walkers: White Walkers? * _ *
”Itreyan legend was replete with tales of blades with minds of their own.” (Footnotes, 324)
Now compare it with this,
”The wand chooses the wizard Mr. Potter.”
It’s just my opinion though. You may think it’s nothing. Maybe it IS nothing. BUT….
- THIS: I particularly hated the following line-
”Thirdborn children of thirdborn children of thirdborn children were intorduced into the Liisian clergy without exception.”
It made me stop in my tracks, wonder about it for a total of two minutes, got me irritated. Then when I resumed the book, I was lost! That is the worst thing to do to a reader!
CONFUSED ABOUT THE FOLLOWING
- Similes and Metaphors: These little bastards swim around the book like sea-drakes! Yes, there are many spectacular ones like,
”Adonai’s smile fell away like winter’s leaves.”
But, using them every four-five lines is a bit of an overuse, really. One gets bored. I did. I don’t know about you but there were times when I just wanted to rip my hair off. (not the book, of course! I LOVE BOOKS)
So, you can all see for yourself. The book has more merits in its pockets than it has demerits to rob it off the merits which have been merited to it.;) It’s unusually usually unusual universe, detailed death and ahem..other intimate scenes, fearless use of swearing and all the blood and shit and gore renders it an amazing read. Yes, the beginning was a little slow but as I proceeded with it, I found myself getting more and more involved. Vouching for the characters. Screaming when one of them did something extraordinarily stupid…. What more do you want?
Go, go and buy it and read it and then look emptily to your world when you have finished it.