NEVERNIGHT She’s a killer teen

SFX - - Reviews -

re­leased OUt NOW! 643 pages | Hard­back/ebook Au­thor Jay Kristoff Pub­lisher HarperVoy­ager

A hid­den cas­tle, train­ing teenagers in se­cret arts. Ri­val­ries and fam­ily ha­treds be­tween class­mates. A young or­phan with hid­den tal­ents. There’s a lot about this novel – the first in a new tril­ogy from the au­thor of Ja­panese steam­punk se­ries The Lo­tus War – that feels fa­mil­iar. But that’s not a bad thing, es­pe­cially when it’s as well writ­ten as this.

Mia Cor­vere is 16 years old, a trained killer who wants only to be­come bet­ter still so she can avenge the deaths of her fam­ily. She joins the Red Church as an ap­pren­tice – a class of 28, they will study for a year un­til four of them are taken on as Blades, the most feared as­sas­sins in the world. She has the dark­ness on her side, able to ma­nip­u­late the shad­ows around to help her, but that might not be enough to get her through…

En­ter­tain­ing and witty through­out, Nevernight feels like a YA novel with added sex and gore – which, though ex­plicit, is al­ways firmly on the side of hu­mour and easy read­ing rather than gritty and grim­dark. There’s an over-abun­dance of not-asen­ter­tain­ing-as-the-au­thor­thinks foot­notes early on, but for­tu­nately these thin out to­wards the end, leav­ing you with a strong, well-re­alised story you’ll en­joy to the last page. Rhian Drinkwater

Kristoff gets a tat­too for each se­ries he sells. His Nevernight one fea­tures Mia’s face:­er­tat.

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