Never Night – Jay Kristoff

If you’ve been following along with book news in recent times you have probably heard of the Never Night Chronicles. The final book in the series, Dark Dawn was a few weeks ago and fans of the series have been raving all over the internet.

I first heard about the book a few years ago from @littlebookowl on Youtube who praised the first book, Never Night highly. (Caz has some fantastic videos so if you’ve got time do go and check out her content).

Amidst this hype I thought it was time I checked out the Never Night Chronicles. Seeing a range of mixed reviews on Goodreads and an interesting premise enticed me to go out and pick up a copy of the first book in the series: Never Night.

Today I’ll be sharing my full review with you to enjoy! If you’ve read Never Night I’d love to hear your thoughts on the book. Comment at the end of this post to let me know.

What’s Never Night about?

Never Night follows the adventures and life of Mia Corvere. When her revolutionary father is killed Mia is changed. The consequences of his death on her family profound.

Never Flinch. Never Fear. Never Forget. Those are the words Mia lives by now, as she seeks to right the wrongs done to her and her loved ones. Joining the Red Church offers the chance for Mia to hone her skills, and to become a deadly assassin.

Through her training Mia will learn to tell the difference between friend and foe and hone the darkness within. A high fantasy story with daemons, cats made from shadows and gory murders this book is not for younger readers.

What I liked about this book?

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Never Night because of the mixed reviews I had read. Many seemed to rave about Never Night but it also had its share of 1 star reviews on Goodreads.

Generally, I am of the opinion that you should form your own opinion of books rather than rely on those of others. We don’t all have to like the same books. Books that have mixed reviews seem to me more interesting at times than those with consistent four or five star reviews.

I liked many elements from Never Night. Having read The Illuminae files I was hoping for some stylistic creativity from this read.

I was not disappointed. This book has footnotes throughout the novel. While it took some adjusting to, I found it added lightness and additional humour to what could have otherwise been a very dark read.

Mia Corvere was not what I expected. She was strong, but not cold. She expressed concern for the welfare of others in an environment that did not encourage that behaviour. That’s not to say she’s not a ruthless killer.

There is a sarcastic black cat (that isn’t really a cat) called Mister Kindly who features in Never Night. As a cat lover I really enjoyed Mister Kindly as Mia’s sidekick. Jay Kristoff summed up the personality of a cat perfectly and made us laugh at the truth of our relationships with these creatures.

The relationship between Mia and the other characters is complex. There is intrigue, friendship and romance.

Never Night has been criticised by others for its supposed ‘purple prose’. That is, being over the top with its adjectives and descriptions throughout the book. I personally didn’t find this to be a problem. Where there were passages that were very descriptive I found they added, rather than distracted, from the book.

The covers of this series are amazing. They’re probably my favourite book covers on my shelf at the moment. Just beautiful. Apparently these are the UK cover editions, though I have found them readily available in Australia. The US covers are still lovely, but I don’t find them as visually striking.

What I liked least about this book?

Never Night is a dark and violent read. There is lots of bloodshed, and as readers we’re warned about that from our narrator in the first few pages. There’s also passages that are sexually explicit. This isn’t really a reason for me to dislike a book, it may be a problem for other readers. It’s worth knowing before you pick up the book.

My main problem with Never Night isn’t actually to do with the book itself. It’s to do with its classification. While the main character of this book is sixteen, this book is not young adult fiction.

Never Night is often mistaken for YA fiction and therefore faces a host of angry readers (or their parents) who are shocked because of content inappropriate for young readers.

This is not the fault of the book itself or the author. Jay Kristoff, his agents and publishers do not claim that Never Night is young adult fiction, nor have they ever done so.

The confusion may lie in the fact that Jay Kristoff has done a number of other young adult fiction series. Illuminae Files, Aurora Rising and the Lifelike series are all written for young adults.

It makes some sense then The Nevernight Chronicles are sometimes mistaken by readers as written for the same audience as his previous novels. They are even sometimes accidentally shelved in libraries or bookstores in the young adult section – rather than the adult fantasy section.

I think it is unfair that Never Night is exposed to so much criticism for its content due to incorrect audience understanding.

It’s often a good idea to research a series a little before reading it. Even if it’s a favourite author (perhaps especially as if it’s a favourite author!). Research might just mean reading a few reviews online (like you’re doing now!), chatting with someone who’s read the book or checking out the author’s website. By doing this you’re not going to be disappointed or upset if the book turns out differently than what you expected!

This confusion amongst readers and fans can be a reason some authors choose to write under pseudonyms for different genres.

Take J.D Robb and Nora Roberts for example. Readers do not generally have the same expectations from a light summer romance written by Nora Roberts as they do from a gritty detective novel when written by J.D Robb.

What do you think about this topic? Do you know any series that have a confusing target audience? Do you think it would be difficult as an author to move from writing for young adult novels to adult fiction? Let me know what you think by commenting on today’s post.

Recommendation

On my copy of Never Night it says fans of G.R Martin and Hobbs would love this book. I haven’t read either of those authors so I can’t vouch for that comparison sorry!

However, if you think a high fantasy read with a complex world and powerful magical assassins sounds amazing, you should read this book! If you don’t mind a bit of bloodshed and murder in your fictional worlds grab a copy of Never Night. I’ll be getting into the next books in the series, Godsgrave and Darkdawn soon. If you’d be interested in a review of those books, let me know below!

Where can I get a copy?

*If you’d like to buy a copy of Never Night it is available from the Book Depository. The book Depository ships worldwide and has free shipping to most countries. If you’d like a copy of Godsgrave and Darkdawn they’re available at the Book Depository too!

Otherwise, head to your local booksellers and you’re likely to find a copy waiting on the shelf for you.

Let’s chat more

I hope you enjoyed today’s review! If you did, please do hit the subscribe button below to never miss any updates. I update this blog weekly with reviews, interviews and bookish discussions.

I appreciate your support of this blog. Thanks for reading today! Do you know any series that have a confusing target audience? Do you think it would be difficult as an author to move from writing for young adult novels to adult fiction? Comment on this post to share your thoughts on this topic, I’m always interested to hear from my readers!

If you haven’t had enough bookish content you can find me on social media @stephhuddlestonwriting on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Until next week,

Happy reading!

Hi! I'm Steph, a freelance writer for hire based in Australia. I'm an avid reader and love all things bookish! My blog is all about the written word.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.