BOOK REVIEW – Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicles #1) by Jay Kristoff

BOOK REVIEW – Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicles #1) by Jay KristoffNevernight (The Nevernight Chronicles #1)
by Jay Kristoff
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads


The first in a new fantasy series from the New York Times bestselling author.

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?


UPDATE : Because it seems that Nevernight wasn’t shitty enough as it was, it also shows problematic rep for Maori. Please read Anjulie’s brilliant post about it.

MY EYES, O, MY EYES! O, gentlefriends, you may not approve of my decision to rate Nevernight with a severe and lonely star given the fact that I failed to finish it. But I tried, O, gentlefriends, trust me, I tried, yet completing the task of reading all 18,695 pages of this wonder-

There are only 448 pages…

Oh, FUCK OFF, the cat “who is not a cat” (why thank you I KNOW you told me one billion times already – go haunt someone else’s shadow, watch over another balcony with your not-eyes would you even though I don’t even want to know how THAT bloody works)

Truth is, O, gentlefriends, I’m taking my life back. The 42% I read were painfully indigestible and I am very sorry if I offend 99% of my friends who love Jay Kristoff‘s writing but I cannot do this. I CANNOT.

1) The metaphors and similes

First, I don’t like them as a whole. While I do believe that they can add a poetic touch to a novel, if I start highlighting them, it either means that :

a) they’re overused ;
b) they don’t make any kind of sense ;
c) they make me forget the story to focus on the prose, as if the writer was tapping me on the shoulder in a “I am so clever, am I not?” fashion.

Some of them made me roll my eyes.

“Mia caught her temper by the collar, gave it a good hard shake. Clearing her throat, she brushed her crooked fringe from her eyes.”

“Mia sighed. Took her temper by the earlobe and pulled it to heel.”

Others earned a well-deserved WTF?!

“Tric gave another half-hearted stab, but the beast had forgotten its quarry entirely, great eyes rolling as it flipped over and over, dragging its bulk back below the sand, howling like a dog who’s just returned home from a hard turn’s work to find another hound in his kennel, smoking his cigarillos and in bed with his wife.”


“They’re led by a dozen camels, Tric. A noseless dog could follow this trail of shit in the middle of truedark. If they suddenly start trekking faster than a forty-a-turn smoker with an armload of drunken prostitutes, I think we can find them again.”


2) Heavy wordiness and other useless descriptions

This is a matter of taste, alright? But I can’t do this? Not willingly, at least? Look, I graduated in French Literature and hence have had my fair share of wordy books for the sake of being wordy. After five years, I’ve come to the conclusion that this overwritten and purple writing style does not suit me. Words are meant to carry the story, and not to prove how clever and well-read the author is. Again, in my opinion anyway.

“She introduced her boot to his partner’s groin, kicking him hard enough to cripple his unborn children.”


Nope. That’s a commonplace.

I tend to find commonplaces useless.

“The horizon was crusted like a beggar’s lips, scoured by winds laden with voices just beyond hearing. The second sun kissing the horizon was usually the sign for Itreya’s brutal winters to begin, but out there, the heat was still blistering.”

Many of you might adore this writing. I do not. Oh, and no, before some gentle soul implies it, it is not because I’m “used to YA” or “unable to ‘get it'”. As I said, I can enjoy classics. Just not the ones that make me want to pull my hair out.

3) There are footnotes as a world-building

Call it as you want, when an author uses LONG footnotes to narrate parts of the world-building, it seems like info-dumping to me. And an annoying one, at that. Honestly? I stopped reading them after two chapters : I had a hard time connecting with the story already, and would have DNFed Nevernight way faster if I had stopped every few pages to read these damn footnotes. More generally, I find it lazy to use footnotes when these legends could have been incorporated into the main story.

There’s also a character who speaks like a Shakespeare’s lad, but at this point, I’m not even counting anymore.

As much as I wanted to love Nevernight, whose blurb made it sound so captivating, I cannot stand this writing and it spoiled my read. If you add it to the facts that :

1) The world-building is a mash-up between the Roman Empire, the Venice Republic, Harry Potter and The Young Elites (not a bad thing per se, but again, distracting) ;

2) The heroine already earned her special nemesis whose only purpose seems to glare and glare and glare again ;

3) I don’t care about any of the characters whatsoever (except Tric. I did like Tric) ;

4) I don’t appreciate the so-called wit of that fucking cat who is not a cat (I didn’t laugh ONCE, alright?) ;

5) I am BORED ;

… Well, you’ll understand why Nevernight and me will part ways now, at 42%.

Mark my words, though : this will be a hit. Oh, well. On my minority shelf it goes.

BOOK REVIEW: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

BOOK REVIEW: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay KristoffIlluminae (The Illuminae Files #1)
by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads


This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

Mason, E, LT 2nd: you have me
Mason, E, LT 2nd: until the last star in the galaxy dies
Mason, E, LT 2nd: you have me

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Guyz. This book….this MOTHER FUCKING BOOK. I am sorry. So so sorry, but I don’t even know if I can write a coherent review! I mean…and it’s like…I can’t…ugh just LOOK, okay, my LAPTOP is even working all of a sudden!! If that’s not a fucking sign that my inner fangirl has been dying to be let out, I don’t know WHAT IS.

Ezra Mason: You’re taping this, right?
INTERVIEWER: Audio only. Camera is faulty.
Ezra Mason: Okay, well for the benefit of the sight-impaired, I am now raising my…oh, dear….yes, it’s my middle finger at Mr. Postgrad here.
Ezra Mason: Now I’m wiggling it.
INTERVIEWER: Terminating interview at 13:58 on 03/19/75.
Ezra Mason: Look at it wiggle-
-audio ends-

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So this book…okay…how does one explain this complex, earth-shattering, phenomenal, shocking, original, and emotional book? It’s one of those that can’t be simply explained-This book has to be experienced. It’s a series of interviews, IMs, surveillance logs, emails, etc etc etc….It sounds so weird, yeah??

Mason, E, LT 2nd: You know, you’ve REALLY gotta think of a better pet name for me than “idiot.”
Mason, E, LT 2nd: What about “sweetiepuff?”
Mason, E, LT 2nd: “sugarpants?”
ByteMe: I will hack the Alexander comms system and let them know you prefer to be known as Cuddlepie immediately, my love
Mason, E, LT 2nd: noooooooooooooooooo

And, at first, I think I was in love with Ezra and Kady’s tremulous relationship, but unfocused on all the science terms and the technicalities behind it…and many of you will be, too. In fact, I know MOST of you will-especially my friends. And, ya know, you’ll be questioning not only why I adored it, but why in the world I rec’d it to you. And that’s a complex question, so I’ll answer it twofold:

1) I’m selfish. I want to gush with all my friends and bask in the epicness that is Ezra.
6) EZR-< error >

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ByteMe: You do not have a long history of telling the man to go **** himself.
Mason, E, LT 2nd: Could’ve thrown me in the hole for that. Kinda stupid, right?
ByteMe: My kind of idiocy.
Mason, E, LT 2nd:
Mason, E, LT 2nd: maybe I should do it more often then?

So yeah, those are my reasons, did they convince you? And yeah, I lied. Whoops. Hmmm this review is NOT even close to being a real review…BUT OMG I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY OTHER THAN READ IT READ IT READ IT FOR MEEEE!!

Mason, E, LT 2nd: i miss you, you know
ByteMe: you too
ByteMe: and seriously, things r only going to get more intense. be calm. be smart.
ByteMe: stay safe, shnookums
Mason, E, LT 2nd: see now you’re just being silly

You might hate it. You might not like anything other than Ezra. You might only like Kady. You might not like anything …but you’ll never know until you try. I waited a YEAR to read this, waiting until I was in the mood for it and now here I am-Obsessing, freaking out, begging my friends to read this and embark on the same journey as I. And it was a journey….from beginning to end.

Lock me in the hole. ****, space me. I don’t care anymore. I’ll keep your secrets. Shut my mouth. But I can’t shut my eyes.

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Like I was saying above before I got derailed, this book starts out kinda scary. The terms, the lack of continuance, the disjointed feel….I was obsessed with everything Ezra, but when I put the book down, I would remember only him and only their star-crossed love and their struggle to get to one another, to defy the impossible and survive the plague overtaking the Alexander where Ezra was stuck. But then something amazing happened-At a certain point, and I can’t say when because it just became impossible to put down and to separate because it got so unputdownable all at once, this book CAME TOGETHER IN THE MOST AMAZING WAY. Every conversation made sense, every IM became more important, every surveillance video became continuous feed, weaving seamlessly into the messages our star-crossed lovers spoke of and all the captains and officers and controllers secretly emailed about. The slow destruction and spreading of a deadly virus on two ships became the sole purpose of the story…and the desperation of two people who have only each other fighting to find one another and stay alive as their universe came crashing down around them.

ByteMe: what about when you said you loved me? when you said you wanted the best for me? all that was just ****, was it? doesn’t mean anything as soon as there’s something that matters more?
Mason, E, LT 2nd: Kady I DO love you.
Mason, E, LT 2nd: god
Mason, E, LT 2nd: you’re all I think about. Every time I close my eyes, I see you. Every time I dream, you’re there. I think about us and how i messed it up and it’s like someone is tearing my insides out.

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Kady and Ezra had broken up at the beginning of this book, and I think this really added to the story…more heartache, more regrets, more declarations of love. If you’re a sucker for heartbreaking romances and young lovers doing their best to overcome the odds, this book is for you. It’s more than that, though. It’s friendships crumbling all around them and fighting every obstacle to stay alive. It’s defying the odds and getting around every person standing in their way…and it’s about beating something more cunning than you ever imagined humanly possible if you want any chance at surviving.

Mason, E, LT 2nd: More than you deserve?
Mason, E, LT 2nd: you deserve every star in the galaxy laid out at your feet and a thousand diamonds in your hair. You deserve someone who’ll run with you as far and as fast as you want to. Holding your hand, not holding you back.
Mason, E, LT 2nd: You deserve more than I could ever give you, Kady.
Mason, E, LT 2nd: But I’ll give you everything I can if you still want me to.

I had to keep putting this down because I was crying so hard, bawling on every other page because of the impossibility of it all-this book made me more of a lunatic than usual, shaping my Saturday night into a total zombie fest long after I had put this masterpiece down.

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Ezra Mason: She asked for something I couldn’t give her.
INTERVIEWER: …I beg your pardon?
Ezra Mason: My girlfriend. Kady. She asked for something I couldn’t give her.
INTERVIEWER: What did she ask you for?
Ezra Mason: Doesn’t really matter now, does it?

I cannot remember a time I have cried this much for a book-I may cry at the end of a story, I may tear up at some heartfelt conversations….but to be so invested in a story that it breaks your very soul?? Your entire being? That’s truly something to behold-And I hadn’t seen it in myself until now. Bravo book….you evil, manipulating bastard. I re-read every single highlight twice, spoiled this whole story to one of my best friends (you know who you are, and I’m sorry, so so sorry, but not that sorry obviously, THANK YOU FOR LETTING ME PURGE THE CRAZY) and have yet to stop looking at the Ezra quotes every single day, shaking my head at the sheer brilliance that is this story. I love you book…and I will keep you. Oh yes, there is a special place on my bookshelf for you, my pretty. Oh yes-My pretty, you’ll be.


Words simply cannot express how much I-

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This book was FUCKING FAN-

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I was a complete and utter sobbing me-

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BR with my lovely Laura!!! ♥

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