Top positive review
My kind of Fantasy book. Spoiler free review.
8 July 2018
I love fantasy.
But I especially love fantasy that has kick-ass female leads, that takes time to delve deeply into characters without ever being slow, and that doesn't skip the steamy bits. And Nevernight has aaaaallll of this.
There's violence, magic, an assassin school, a shadow-cat, sand-kraken, and more. These things are all cool, sure, (...they're really cool...) but they aren't why I fell in love with the book. I fell in love with the characters, plot, and pace, because those three elements were perfectly balanced and managed. I fell in love with the whole story.
Speaking of characters, there is an added bonus character - the unknown narrator. When I first started reading I worried that such a narrator would be intrusive, or irritating, but this was not the case. Not for me. I remained fascinated with the narrator throughout, but that fascination did not take over the story. The further along the book I got, the more I fell in love with his/her/its wit and voice, and the narrator remains a mystery that I am in no rush to solve.
I saw that someone else found the footnotes frustrating in the e-book version. I read this in e-book form, and I really enjoyed the footnotes, and found them easy to navigate. Each to their own, I suppose.
Now, at the risk of this review making it sound like Nevernight is all about sex (it's totally not. Some sexy stuff happens, but only a few times - mostly it's just an awesome story) I wanted to talk here about the sex scenes. Because they are well done. And not just because it's some 'tastefully written smut'. But because our young, sexually inexperienced female MC takes control of her own sexuality in a way that I thought was empowering and also believable. I feel like Mia says to herself 'That's my sexuality, thank you very much, so I'll be taking it, and I'll be using it, and I'll be doing what I want with it when I want because it's MINE. And I won't be feeling guilty about it at all.' I feel like I hardly ever see this, particularly when the main character is female and young. I wish I could see this more often when the subject of female sexuality comes up. In books. In life. You know.
Oh, by the way, if you are the sort of person that thinks that swearing ruins the poetic beauty of a work, this might not be for you. Because this author swears elegantly. And sometimes, it seems, just for the fun of it. I, for one, think that's f*#cking fantastic.
Lastly, Nevernight ended on a note that left me satisfied, but with enough open ends to have me hanging out to start the next one. The perfect way to end the first book of a trilogy.
Super all round. I'll be recommending this series to all of my friends.