November 14, 2019

Book Review | Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Book Review: Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Title: Nevernight
Author: Jay Kristoff
Published: 2016
Pages: 463
Genre: Fantasy
Reading Level: New Adult (not to be confused with YA)


Our main character, Mia, is a sixteen-year-old goddess of death...I’m kidding. But, she is pretty freaky in the good at killing people arena. Filled with a need for vengeance for her dead family she has been training since age ten to become an assassin. Her journey to the Red Church, home of the Black Mother is fraught with peril and one stubborn horse. Once she arrives at the Red Church her main goal is to become a full Blade (a.k.a: assassin of the dark). Along the way, she falls in love. It doesn’t work out. But not in the sense that you think.

This book is not for the faint-hearted. I started it once and took a long break and then I picked it back up with a now or never attitude. I’m still not sure I’m glad I did. There is a lot of gross things in the book. Disturbing encounters to go along with disturbing people. The one upside is Mr. Kindly, a shadow cat who eats fear. Who is also sassy. Perfect.

Things to note:

I had a really hard time caring about Mia at first. She seems very cold and distant from everything. It feels like there isn’t a compassionate bone in her body. But the more I read and got to know her she does have a soft spot. She just has to get the life almost beaten out of her for it to show up. I think the characters in this book are very interesting if disturbing. My favorites were Mr. Kindly, Tric, and Ashlinn.

The world of Godsgrave and the Red Church are unlike anything I’ve ever encountered before. If you are looking for unique fictional places, then this is your book. It all seems very complex to me and I need more answers Jay!

The themes in this book range from revenge to redemption. There is a strong emphasis on friendship and not doing something because you know it’s wrong. I know, not what you would expect in a book about a school for children assassins.

I am having a hard time with the plot of this book. Because it’s very simple. Girl who wants revenge trains for and seeks out the place that trains the elite assassins. Of course, when she gets there nothing goes according to plan. It’s almost as if the plot doesn’t really matter. It’s the journey the girl makes within herself that is important.

Mr. Kristoff’s writing style took me a bit to get used to. A lot of the language used is unique to the world it’s set in so it seems odd at first. Of course, you get used to it and it doesn’t shock you quite as much as it did maybe the first 100 pages or so. The one thing that bothered me the most was the footnotes. Nothing like getting yanked out of the story every other page or so. I hated it so much that’s why I quit reading it the first time around.

Some quotes:

“Never flinch" A cold whisper in her ear. "Never fear. And never, ever forget.”
― Jay Kristoff, Nevernight

“When all is blood, blood is all.”
― Jay Kristoff, Nevernight

“If I were going to name my blade," Mia said thoughtfully, "I'd call it ‘Fluffy’.”
― Jay Kristoff, Nevernight

My final thoughts:

Overall feelings? Disturbed, a little grossed out. The parts that didn’t bother me? The sex scenes. Out of everything in this book, those don’t bug me at all. Not sure what that says about me...Anyway, Nevernight was ok. I’m not in love with it but I will finish the trilogy. Because now I need to know what happened and to also find out if one of my favorite characters is alive.


If you liked Red Rising or the works of Patrick Rothfuss you would probably like Nevernight as well. I love Red Rising and Nevernight has similar vibes.

My rating:

I gave Nevernight by Jay Kristoff 3 out of 5 stars based on my personal rating system.

Happy reviewing,