SEA WITCH & SEA WITCH RISING by Sarah Henning – series review

#1 Sea Witch

Everyone knows what happens in the end. A mermaid, a prince, a true love’s kiss. But before that young siren’s tale, there were three friends. One feared, one royal, and one already dead.

Ever since her best friend, Anna, drowned, Evie has been an outcast in her small fishing town. A freak. A curse. A witch. 

A girl with an uncanny resemblance to Anna appears offshore and, though the girl denies it, Evie is convinced that her best friend actually survived. That her own magic wasn’t so powerless after all. And, as the two girls catch the eyes—and hearts—of two charming princes, Evie believes that she might finally have a chance at her own happily ever after.

But her new friend has secrets of her own. She can’t stay in Havnestad, or on two legs, unless Evie finds a way to help her. Now Evie will do anything to save her friend’s humanity, along with her prince’s heart—harnessing the power of her magic, her ocean, and her love until she discovers, too late, the truth of her bargain.


#2 Sea Witch Rising

“The Little Mermaid” takes a twisted turn in this thrilling sequel to villainess origin story Sea Witch, as the forces of land and sea clash in an epic battle for freedom, redemption, and true love. 

Runa will not let her twin sister die. Alia traded her voice to the Sea Witch for a shot at happiness with a prince who doesn’t love her. And his rejection will literally kill her—unless Runa intervenes.

Under the sea, Evie craves her own freedom—but liberation from her role as Sea Witch will require an exchange she may not be willing to make. With their hearts’ desires at odds, what will Runa and Evie be willing to sacrifice to save their worlds? 

Told from alternating perspectives, this epic fairy tale retelling is a romantic and heart-wrenching story about the complications of sisterhood, the uncompromising nature of magic, and the cost of redemption.


Title : Sea Witch/Sea Witch Rising
Author : Sarah Henning
Series : Sea Witch
Format : library/finished review copy
Page Count : 368/416
Genre : YA Fantasy
Publisher : Harper Collins
Release Date : August 8, 2019

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ / ★ ★ ★ ★


4 star review of Sea Witch

Okay, so that was so much more in every way, more than I anticipated and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride of this clever retelling. I really couldn’t anticipate the direction of the characters or the story based on my knowledge of the original tale, the movie or my expectations.

There’s a foursome of friends in this book, some childhood friends and there was a coming of age and changing of affection vibe to the foundation of the storytelling. At the fore was Evie, the lead protagonist, her best friend Anna, her other best friend Nik and also Ikir (two princes). It’s a tale with undertones of different sides of the track. The Scandinavian feel to the story was rich and welcome as was the magic.

The narrative unfurled mainly in the present but with the gradual revealing of a tragedy told in the past. Annemette’s appearance had me on my guard but her tale was tragic and full of neediness. Evie was a loyal but confused friend. Magic was taboo in this world and Evie’s natural aptitude to the craft caused such a risk.

The story brings some complications to friendships and growing attractions. Betrayal was on the menu as were twists in the storyline. I didn’t see some of the turns in this story and I loved where it went. The epilogue left me shocked. Roll on book two, I can’t wait to read you!


3.5-4 star review of Sea Witch Rising

That epilogue at the end of SEA WITCH was a killer and so SEA WITCH RISING picks up at that point in time where on land in Denmark, Europe is poised for World War II. Evie returns in her end role from the previous book and my favourite part of this book was Evie.

The Sea Witch was more of an endearing character, with more humanity than Disney portrayed and this led to a richer story for me. The connections to Niklas’ family made for a story that spun generations. There were a new set of Mer-characters, Alia and Runa and the Sea King came more to the fore. On land, there was some history repeating and new characters in the form of Will and Sofie mainly. Runa was a strong protagonist alongside Evie and I really liked her character.

I found the first part of this story very strong but the was some waning in the plot in the second half, all this was mitigated by a strong culmination in the story overall, which ultimately left me satisfied.

As a duet, these books were a solid YA fantasy read with a great take on Hans Christian Andersons’ original tales and they swept into my imagination making a colourful picture. I liked how the Sea Witch was ‘born’ and humanised and this aspect will remain my favourite element of these tales. The covers are particularly beautiful and I must say they look eye-catching on my shelf. I’ll be looking out for Sarah Henning’s upcoming contemporary books as I did enjoy her writing.

Thank you to the publisher and the amazon vine programme for this review copy.

TURNING DARKNESS INTO LIGHT by Marie Brennan

As the renowned granddaughter of Isabella Camherst (Lady Trent, of the riveting and daring Draconic adventure memoirs) Audrey Camherst has always known she, too, would want to make her scholarly mark upon a chosen field of study.

When Lord Gleinheigh recruits Audrey to decipher a series of ancient tablets holding the secrets of the ancient Draconean civilization, she has no idea that her research will plunge her into an intricate conspiracy, one meant to incite rebellion and invoke war. Alongside dearest childhood friend and fellow archeologist Kudshayn, must find proof of the conspiracy before it’s too late.

TURNING DARKNESS INTO LIGHT is a delightful fantasy of manners, the heir to the award-winning Natural History of Dragons series, a perfect stepping stone into an alternate Victorian-esque fantasy landscape.


Title : Turning Darkness Into Light
Author : Marie Brennan
Format : Paperback (Finished Copy)
Page Count : 400
Genre : Fantasy
Publisher : Titan Books
Release Date : August 20, 2019

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 2.5 -3 star review

Do you like dragons, mystery and ancient antiquities with a bit of an Indiana Jones feeling? If the answer is yes then TURNING DARKNESS INTO LIGHT might be the book for you. It is marketed as a standalone fantasy and it can standalone, however I do believe that readers of Marie Brennan’s Lady Trent series will have a great advantage when reading this.

This book has a feminist tone all the way through and the main protagonist, Audrey is commissioned to study and translate some rare tablets recently found. Audrey is a young but accomplished academic type, from a family of similar types. Audrey was likeable, she took risks and she knew that she needed help. That help came in the shape of Kudshayn, another archeologist.

With Kudshayn, my confusion about the world only grew and I have to say I struggled with being in the dark through most of the book. There is little world building and assumptions are made that the reader can just go with what’s happening and accept the odd, vague reveal about the world and species existing. The Draconean species and culture was not explained adequately and I do believe that to standalone, more world building was needed.

The book is told in a variety of styles, the contemporary, many letters and some newspaper articles. I enjoyed the variety of storytelling styles. Audrey’s POV is occasionally interspersed by Kudshayn and another POV. The story builds and builds around this translation of tablets to a great crescendo, involving a variety of characters and criminal activity.

This was an interesting but sometimes frustrating read for me. I loved the cover, the idea of the story and Marie Brennan’s writing was enjoyable in the main. I would consider going back and reading the Lady Trent series.

Thank you to Titan Books for the review copy.

NEW RELEASE TUESDAY – AUGUST 20, 2019

Happy “where’d all my money go?” new release Tuesday, everyone!
As you know, the most exciting day of the week in this community is the day that follows the one we all dread (Mondays for the nope) and today we’re going to highlight some of the new books chipping away at our bank accounts — but each one is so worth it.


THE LAST WIDOW is the ninth installment in the Will Trent series. If you’re already a fan of these books, or this author, the less you know the better. But considering the end of book eight in this series? I. Can’t. Wait.

TURNING DARKNESS INTO LIGHT is a standalone fantasy by Marie Brennan set in an existing world explored in a series by this author. It’s a suspenseful fantasy with dragons, other civilisations and sounds like an Indiana Jones-esque historical fantasy. Micky’s review will be up later.


Are there any titles out today you’re excited for? Let us know in the comments below!

GODSGRAVE by Jay Kristoff – double review!

Assassin Mia Corvere has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church ministry think she’s far from earned it. Plying her bloody trade in a backwater of the Republic, she’s no closer to ending Consul Scaeva and Cardinal Duomo, or avenging her familia. And after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia begins to suspect the motives of the Red Church itself.

When it’s announced that Scaeva and Duomo will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself to a gladiatorial collegium for a chance to finally end them. Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold within the collegium walls, and the body count rises, Mia will be forced to choose between loyalty and revenge, and uncover a secret that could change the very face of her world.


Title : Godsgrave
Author : Jay Kristoff
Series : The Nevernight Chronicle
Format : eBook/audio
Page Count : 448
Genre : NA fantasy
Publisher : St Martin’s Press
Release Date : September 5, 2017

Reviewer : Hollis / Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ / ★ ★ ★ ★


Hollis’ 4 star review

Hahahahaha.. hahahha.. hahaha.. haha.. hah.. a..

The problem with being a librarian is there’s some lessons you just can’t learn from a book. And the problem with being an assassin is there’s some mysteries you just can’t solve by stabbing fuck out of them.”

If you, too, have read GODSGRAVE, I have no doubt this is one of probably only two reactions you had to that ending. Because hahahahah.. etc.

You’re not helping.”
“.. I am offering moral support..
You’re being an annoying little shit.”
“.. that too..”

But the sound of my mania aside, this was heads and bloody tails above book one. I had seen potential in NEVERNIGHT but there was just something missing, some depth, or some.. thing. I don’t even know. But GODSGRAVE? It had all the blood, violence, and sex of book one but somehow didn’t feel like a YA book trying not to be a YA book. This one seemed to find its own niche, revel in its unique existence, and just thrive in its adultness; instead of trying to find the balance between the YA and the dark.

He was a hero.”
We all think that of our parents. They give us life, after all. It’s easy to mistake them for gods.

The whole setting for book two is so different, and I loved it, even if the drive is still the same. The goal, the end game, nothing has changed. Mia is out for revenge and she has to get very creative in how she goes about that. And oh are the twists glorious. O glory!

How do you endure the unendurable?
We have a saying in Vaan : in every breath, hope abides. Just keeping breathing, little Crow.

And then there’s that ending. Big reveals, big surprises, big climax. If I didn’t have an ARC of book three at my fingertips I would be s h r i e k i n g right now. Or just laugh myself silly. As above. 

You don’t find any irony in earning your place in a cult of assassins by saving half a dozen lives?
I killed almost a hundred men in the process.”

If you gave NEVERNIGHT a chance and just didn’t love it, for whatever reason, I would highly recommend pushing on. This was a rewarding, riveting, raucous experience, even if it took me forever to read, and I don’t regret a single moment spent with this thicc monster.


Micky’s 3.5-4 star review

3.5 – 4 stars

GODSGRAVE didn’t blow me away in the same way that NEVERNIGHT did. I missed T, I don’t like Ashlin so that was a struggle throughout and most of all I missed the Red Church. In NEVERNIGHT, the book really took off for me when Mia got to the Red Church, so that was a hole in my story heart.

The first third of the book had me confused, there seemed to be three different timelines and situations at play and I just couldn’t put them together, even though each was engaging on its own. I think some of this was to do with the disconnect audio sometimes brings where you can’t go back over a passage easily, or flick through previous pages. When those storylines finally wove together, I felt more involved in the story.

Mia remains one of the most fascinating characters I’ve ever read, getting into her head (it’s damn sketchy in there) is like running the gauntlet but still I continue. Mia and Ash, I mean some of that was a little hot blushy, but I overall don’t buy into their relationship. And again, I miss T.

Jay Kristoff knows how to leave you with boom, boom and boom at the end. The reveals just came like a run of bullets and I sat there with my jaw open. He has guarenteed my continuing investment in this series and I look forward to DARKDAWN even while I shield my heart a little.

Holter Graham’s narration remained spectacular.

THE WALLFLOWER WAGER by Tessa Dare

They call him the Duke of Ruin.
To an undaunted wallflower, he’s just the beast next door.
 

Wealthy and ruthless, Gabriel Duke clawed his way from the lowliest slums to the pinnacle of high society—and now he wants to get even.

Loyal and passionate, Lady Penelope Campion never met a lost or wounded creature she wouldn’t take into her home and her heart.

When her imposing—and attractive—new neighbor demands she clear out the rescued animals, Penny sets him a challenge. She will part with her precious charges, if he can find them loving homes.

Done, Gabriel says. How hard can it be to find homes for a few kittens?

And a two-legged dog.

And a foul-mouthed parrot.

And a goat, an otter, a hedgehog . . .

Easier said than done, for a cold-blooded bastard who wouldn’t know a loving home from a workhouse. Soon he’s covered in cat hair, knee-deep in adorable, and bewitched by a shyly pretty spinster who defies his every attempt to resist. Now she’s set her mind and heart on saving him.

Not if he ruins her first. 


Title : The Wallflower Wager
Author : Tessa Dare
Series : Girl Meets Duke #3
Format : eARC
Page Count : 368
Genre : Historical Romance
Publisher : Avon
Release Date : August 13, 2019

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


I think I have found a Dare book that has pipped ‘When the Scot Ties the Knot’ to the top spot because THE WALLFLOWER WAGER delighted my reading heart in the best way possible. Gush alert!

This is a novel of wit, with a rich and heart-warming story and characters that I want to read again and again. I was laughing along by a few pages in and the humour really didn’t ebb at all. The story of Penny and Gabe was one literally surrounded by animals – goats, an otter, a parrot, kittens and a disabled dog. It was enchanting and I now feel attached to them all.

This was also a story of insecurities and hearts looking for a home. Penny was a spinster-hermit, she had retreated to her life with animals, content in her small circle of company. The way Gabe and Penny met had me highlighting so many moments in the book and from there, these two were hilarious and full of chemistry. Gabe was a self-made man with a reputation for unscrupulous business dealings. I loved the developing friendship between these two. They had a real platonic connection and as this developed into more, the friendship remained. I adored them and I loved their shared ideals and values.

Now I’ve come to look at all the quotes I’ve highlighted and they’re all either super-racy or spoilery, so I won’t be sharing those but just know that the banter, dialogue and narrative is fun and delicious.

Thank you Ms Dare for bringing this delightful story into my life. I will re-read this without a doubt.

Thank you to Avon Publishing and Edelweiss for the early copy.

WE HUNT THE FLAME by Hafsah Faisal

People lived because she killed. People died because he lived.

Nobody knows that Zafira is the Hunter. Forced to disguise herself as a man, she braves the cursed forest to feed her people. If she is exposed as a girl, all of her achievements will be rejected.

Nasir is the infamous Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the sultan. If he refuses he will be punished in the most brutal of ways.

Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya – but neither wants to be. And when Zafira embarks on a quest to restore magic to her suffering world, Nasir is sent by the sultan on a similar mission: retrieve magic and kill the hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds, and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine . . .

Set in a richly detailed world inspired by ancient Arabia, Hafsah Faizal’s We Hunt the Flame – first in the Sands of Arawiya duology – is a gripping debut of discovery, conquering fear, and taking identity into your own hands.


Title : We Hunt The Flame
Author : Hafsah Faisal
Series : Sands of Arawiya #1
Format : eARC
Page Count : 480
Genre : YA Fantasy
Publisher : Macmillan Children’s Books
Release Date : August 8, 2019

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


“We hunt the flame, the light in the darkness, the good this world deserves.”

This debut was crafted with skill, complexity and a writing maturity that speaks of more experience than a first book. I bought into this story from the first few pages and it was the kind of tale that built and pulled you in more as you read.

WE HUNT THE FLAME is a fantasy needing quite a bit of world building but this was cleverly accomplished in the background and not with lengthy explanation or description. As the story played out, I understood and grasped increasing details about Arawiya, Sharr and the cultures of the different races within this land.

“We are all flesh and blood, soul and heart. Capable of malevolence, just as much as benevolence. One wrong does not make evil.”

There are two protagonists in this tale, Zafira, the huntress masquerading as a hunter and Nasir, the Prince of Darkness, an assassin. Both these characters were deep, complex and Nasir in particular, was not particularly likeable until you began to know more about him. The whole story was leading to their journey together as a reluctant gang on a mission. There were great characters in this gang and Altair was a particular favourite. This is a story of good and evil on a grand scale but also the inner battle for good and evil on a personal level.

The story was steadily paced at first, but from about a quarter of the way in, the tempo increased and it was fast-paced all the way to the end. There was the feeling of quest and adventure, sliced with danger and a sinister power. All was not what it seemed and there were two fantastic plot twists towards the end, followed by an explosive ending.

I simply cannot wait to read more from this world. I feel attached to the characters, I truly enjoyed the creation of Arawiya and Hafsah Faisal’s writing was a joy. This author has such potential and I hope to read much more from her in the future.

Thank you to Macmillan for the early review copy.

BLOG TOUR FOR MOTI ON THE WATER by Leylah Attar

A Greek family. An Indian family. A summer wedding on the Aegean coast…

Meet Moti Ferreira—spectacularly jinxed from the day she’s born.

Saddled with an eccentric mother, she stumbles upon the one man who holds the key to her freedom—the best man at her cousin’s upcoming wedding.

All Moti has to do is overcome her fear of water, board a yacht to the Greek Isles, seduce the dreamy Nikos Manolas, and survive two weeks at sea with her oddball family.

The only obstacle Moti doesn’t see coming is Alexandros Veronis, the onboard chef and star witness to her awkward mishaps. He transforms onions into chocolate and aroma into nostalgia. Day by day, his alchemy works its magic on Moti. But she’s not the only one falling under his spell. Everyone has a secret, growing round and ripe at Chef Alex’s table. When the masks fall off, they spill out one by one, and everything blows up in their faces.

Now Moti’s truth is exposed, and worse, she’s hooked on more than Alex’s midnight snacks. But this time, screwing up could be the best thing she’s ever done…


Title : Moti On The Water
Author : Leylah Attar
Format : eARC
Page Count :
Genre : Contemporary Romance
Publisher : Pitch 73 Publishing
Release Date : August 13, 2019

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 3.5-4 star review

MOTI ON THE WATER is a departure from Leylah Attar’s normal style of the intense, emotional read with a punch, but it isn’t an unwelcome departure. This is a read that is as colourful as a rainbow with the funnest characters and dialogue to die for.

Moti (Mo-thi pronunciation) is a bit of a disaster or she perceives herself as a disaster. She and her family embarked on a Greek cruise on a private yacht prior to a family wedding. The whole set up had a bit of an ‘upstairs, downstairs’ feel which I found enchanting. I enjoyed the desi culture in the background to Moti’s world that underpinned some of her superstitions and destiny beliefs. Moti’s family was part of the colourful picture and they gave me plenty of laughs along the way.

Moti had a selection of man potential in Nikos and Alex. The contrast between these two men was stark and my loyalties were quickly spoken for as an observer. Food was part of the colour in this book and Chef Alex was a basically food conjurer, but I am seeing that to be able to write this, Leylah Attar must be a serious foodie.

The story was light and fun with couple chemistry that was absorbing to read. There was attraction, lust and longing in buckets, colourful buckets. A smattering of tragedy had my heart in my mouth but I was pulled back from the brink, keeping this rom-com in the genre safely.

MOTI ON THE WATER is an ideal weekend read, a beach read, an anytime read. You can live vicariously, feel the sun and sea through the gorgeous descriptions and laugh all the way along the storyline.

Thank you to the author and Social Butterfly PR for the early review copy.

NEW RELEASE TUESDAY – AUGUST 13, 2019

Happy “where’d all my money go?” new release Tuesday, everyone!
As you know, the most exciting day of the week in this community is the day that follows the one we all dread (Mondays for the nope) and today we’re going to highlight some of the new books chipping away at our bank accounts — but each one is so worth it.


THE WALLFLOWER WAGER by Tessa Dare is out today! This is book three in the Girl Meets Duke series. The premise for this one is, as usual, delightful. A Duke has to find homes for his neighbour’s pets, such as a three legged dog and a foul-mouthed parrot. Cue all the lols! Can’t wait.

MOTI ON THE WATER by Leylah Attar features two families, one Greek and the other Indian, and a summer wedding on the Aegean coast where, it sounds like, secrets come pouring out with the magic of cooking? Maybe? I don’t know. The cover looks great, though! Look for Micky’s review this week.

Lastly, though it came out on Friday, we’re going to celebrate Mariana Zapata’s newest release anyway. THE BEST THING is now out in the world and though neither of us have read it yet (we burn, we pine, we perish), we’re excitttttedddd.


Are there any titles out today you’re excited for? Let us know in the comments below!

ASK AGAIN, YES by Mary Beth Keane

How much can a family forgive?

A profoundly moving novel about two neighboring families in a suburban town, the bond between their children, a tragedy that reverberates over four decades, the daily intimacies of marriage, and the power of forgiveness.

Francis Gleeson and Brian Stanhope, two rookie cops in the NYPD, live next door to each other outside the city. What happens behind closed doors in both houses—the loneliness of Francis’s wife, Lena, and the instability of Brian’s wife, Anne—sets the stage for the explosive events to come.

Ask Again, Yes is a deeply affecting exploration of the lifelong friendship and love that blossoms between Francis and Lena’s daughter, Kate, and Brian and Anne’s son, Peter. Luminous, heartbreaking, and redemptive, Ask Again, Yes reveals the way childhood memories change when viewed from the distance of adulthood—villains lose their menace and those who appeared innocent seem less so. Kate and Peter’s love story, while tested by echoes from the past, is marked by tenderness, generosity, and grace.


Title : Ask Again, Yes
Author : Mary Beth Keane
Format : eARC
Page Count : 390
Genre : Contemporary Fiction
Publisher : Penguin Michael Joseph
Release Date : August 8, 2019

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


3.5 – 4 stars

ASK AGAIN, YES is something of a heavy read with challenging topics; I felt like I had completed a marathon when I’d finished but I mean that in a good way. The book had wrung me out emotionally and I needed time to rest my mind and think afterwards.

This is a complex story of two families across two generations. Their lives were so interwoven and yet they were not close to one another. Through proximity, circumstance, tragedy and then attraction, they were repeatedly brought together and pushed one another away.

The storyline starts with the parents of these two families but over the whole of the book, it felt like the story centred on Peter and Kate. I held my breath over these two and I didn’t feel a completion at the end; I don’t think the reader is supposed to. Anne was incredibly difficult to like as a character and I admire the author for where she went with mental illness and this character. We rarely see books that will go to the extent of exposing the psychology and behaviours of someone with this level of illness. I liked Francis, I found him solid, reliable and real. George was the unsung hero of this book.

Most readers will feel the heaviness of the topics expored in this book, which include acute psychosis, addiction, cheating, first love, the effect of trauma on the psyche, grief and loss and abandonment. It’s a lot but it didn’t feel unrealistic for the timescale, the range of characters and the narrative gently and sometimes bluntly led you into these issues with skill.

This was an impressive, memorable and epic story. I felt a lack of completion overall and needed a bit more in terms of closure. Mary Beth Keane wrote the complexity with simplicity and I would read her work again.

Thank you to Michael Joseph for the early review copy.

NEVERNIGHT by Jay Kristoff – double review!

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?


Title : Nevernight
Author : Jay Kristoff
Series : The Nevernight Chronicle
Format : eBook/Audiobook
Page Count : 448
Genre : Fantasy
Publisher : Thomas Dunne Books/Hodderscape
Release Date : August 9, 2016

Reviewer : Hollis / Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ / ★ ★ ★ ★.5 


Hollis’ 3 star review

There was a lot of build-up, hype, expectation — pick a word any word — for me before starting NEVERNIGHT. I knew that it was dark and violent with a wicked assassin and a cat that wasn’t a cat but I didn’t know much more than that. And it did live up to the pitch.

Nothing is where you start. Own nothing, Know nothing. Be nothing.”
Why would I want to do that?
Because then you can do anything.”

This is a revenge story, a coming of age in a time of blood story, a violent one, a twisty one, and a funny one. Yes, it was actually quite funny. What I didn’t expect, I guess, was it to read so.. I hesitate to say YA, because it’s not, but it was smart and clever and brutal and I don’t want to say YA books aren’t all those things. Because we know they are. But I guess I thought this was going to be more adult-sounding or adult-feeling than it was, than it’s supposed to be? It’s really hard to describe my disconnect over this. But that didn’t really take away any enjoyment.

Are you honestly telling me you’ve come to train among the most feared assassins in the Republic and you’re afraid of the bloody dark?

Did I love it? No. But I did like it. And there were characters that I did love (Mercurio! Mr Kindly!). I enjoyed the time with the school of assassins because I liked the competition and training aspect of it. I enjoyed the flashbacks and learning what drove Mia to this particular path. I enjoyed the banter, though felt a bit lukewarm about the relationship, and the hilarity in the back and forth riffing Mia does with Mr Kindly. I am definitely here for more twists and more reveals for book two because we’re definitely owed at least one big one and I can’t wait.

You’ll be a rumour. A whisper. The thought that wakes the bastards of this world sweating in the never night. The last thing you will ever be in this world, girl, is someone’s hero. But you will be a girl heroes fear.”

So, if you are one of the last people to get around to reading this book, like me, would I recommend? I think I would. By now you should know what you’re getting into. Yes, it’s long af. But it’s also easily and compulsively readable. NEVERNIGHT is a mix of blood, sweat, sex, violence, and magic. All I want from the sequel is more of the same. 


Micky’s 4.5 star review

4.5 stars of crazy town

This was a reading experience I’m not sure I’ve had before. It’s a book where you are lulled into a familiarity with death, hideous creatures, beings and situations and you get to like them. Who am I and what did Jay Kristoff do to me? Anyone who knows me, knows I’m a sensitive reader when it comes to scary stuff, I stay away from it, I recoil from it, but I didn’t with Nevernight.

Mia Corvere takes the whole book to work out and then on the end pages it says something like, ‘don’t think you know the pale daughter, because you don’t’. I really liked Mia, I came to appreciate why she was the way she was and that she repeatedly showed humanity where other acolytes didn’t.

The twists in this book were always unexpected as I didn’t see a lot of foreshadowing…shadowing, see what I did there (if you’ve read it). I did have a gut feeling about one of the main characters that came to fruition but not in the way I expected. I still don’t know how I feel about some of the happenings, they were right for the story, but I was sad about it all the same. The school of the Red Church was everything fascinating and once Mia was there, this was my favourite portion of the book. I loved everything about it, the good, the bad, the freaking ugly.

The writing was superb. I am a footnote appreciater and I can say this this worked supremely well on the ebook. However, whilst I did swap between formats, this was mostly an audiobook listen for me. The narrator, Holter Graham carried this cast of characters with an epic collection of accents. Mia was initally a little unexpectedly peppy but I adjusted and reminded myself how old she actually was. I loved the audio so much, that I intend to listen to books 2&3 rather than read.

I cannot wait to get stuck into the rest. All hail the twisted mind of the Kristoff.