Book Reviews

{Review} NEVERNIGHT, by Jay Kristoff

Published by St. Martin's Griffin Genres: Crime/Serial Killer, Dark Fantasy, Dark Fiction, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Law & Crime, Occult & Supernatural, Paranormal, Psychological Horror, Supernatural, Suspense, Thriller
Format: Paperback

Nevernight is the first in an epic new fantasy series from the New York Times bestselling author, Jay Kristoff.

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, a sixteen year old Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic ― the Red Church. Treachery and trials await her with the Church’s halls, and to fail is to die. But if she survives to initiation, Mia will be inducted among the chosen of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the only thing she desires.


5 Stars.

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Horror After Dark Review

NEVERNIGHT is the first book I have read by author Jay Kristoff, and it exceeded ALL of my expectations. (I just finished its sequel, had pre-ordered the final book in this trilogy, and purchased another book of his based on his writing style alone). This was an example of an author’s style that I immediately “connected” with, from his sarcasm-laced comments, to his unflinching portrayal of gore and suffering that others might shy away from. Kristoff is not afraid to say it like it is.

“. . . The last thing you will ever be in this world, girl, is someone’s hero . . . But you will be a girl heroes fear.”

Mia Corvere is a ten-year-old girl when she is forced to watch her father be publicly executed by hanging, and branded a traitor to the ruling Illuminate. Suddenly thrust from a life of ease into running for her life, she discovers a “shadow” she names Mr. Kindly, that speaks to her and helps take away her fears while protecting–to the extent that a shadow can.

Mia’s motto–instructed to her by her mother while her father died–“Never flinch. Never Fear. And never, ever, forget.”

With this, the story truly begins. 

“. . . Own nothing . . . Know nothing. Be nothing . . . Because then you can do anything.” 

I can not stress enough how much Kristoff’s “style” impressed me. Dark, edgy, sarcasm-laced comments in the face of the most dire of situations, combined with an imagination that is not afraid to write “unpopular scenes”–as opposed to lighter topics/endings that many readers desire–makes for an author I can respect. I love that he doesn’t take the “easy” route, but rather pushes against traditional boundaries.

“If you can’t hurt the ones who hurt you, sometimes hurting anyone will do.” 

The first of a trilogy, NEVERNIGHT shows us Mia’s journey to a deadly school of assassins, in order to prepare herself for her own vengeance.

“. . . what constituted “severe punishment” among a flock of murderous fanatics . . .” 

The scenes and imagination shown were breathtaking, and mainly in the least pleasant way possible. Scenes of torture, mutilations, and murder are common, while the dark humor blends it into a great combination.

Have I mentioned how much I love this style?

“The Light is full of lies . . . the Suns serve only to blind us.” 

Where Mia’s conversing with the shadows remains a mystery, I loved it as such. This way your mind is free to conjure up your own reasons and origins for the enigmatic and sarcastic Mr. Kindly.

“Those who call the Dark . . . well, eventually it calls them back.” 

Overall, this was a fantastic story, set with elements of the darkest fantasy, physical horror, psychological horror, thriller, supernatural, and even conflicting emotions.

“. . . in truth, no child thinks of herself as anything less than immortal . . . “ 

Kristoff is able to take a ten year old girl, and in less than the span of a decade, morph her into something new, and yet . . . believable. For those “sensitive” to dark, horrific scenes and adult content, this is probably not the book for you.

“. . . it’s best to be polite when dealing with lunatics.” 

However, I have discovered an “instant favorite” author, and can not wait to read more of his novels.

Highly recommended.

About The Author

About Jay Kristoff

Jay Kristoff is the #1 international, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of LIFEL1K3, THE NEVERNIGHT CHRONICLE and THE ILLUMINAE FILES. He is the winner of five Aurealis Awards, an ABIA, has over half a million books in print and is published in over thirty five countries, most of which he has never visited. He is as surprised about all of this as you are. He is 6’7 and has approximately 12,000 days to live. 

He does not believe in happy endings.


I am an avid reader/reviewer and collector of books--primarily horror, supernatural, and supernatural-themed thrillers.

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