New year new ongoing column for the site! Welcome to the Writers Corner. Here I’ll be doing some quick dives into books, movies, and comics, that I find interesting. The goal is to try to improve my skills in storytelling by trying to identify certain aspects of a story that I liked or didn’t like. First up, The Nevernight Chronicles by Jay Kristoff.

The Nevernight Chronicles

**Warning this is a SPOILER FILLED POST. If you have not read the series STOP HERE**

**Warning this is a SPOILER FILLED POST. If you have not read the series STOP HERE**

THE SYNOPSIS

The Nevernight Chronicles is and adult fantasy book series by author Jay Kristoff. Nevernight follows the story of Mia Corvere and her quest for revenge against the people that destroyed her family. To attain her revenge she joins the Red Church, the deadliest group of assassins in the Republic of Itreya.

That pretty much sets the stage for the entire series. At the heart of the story it’s a tale of revenge. Nothing groundbreaking in that sense but I think the delivery and execution are very well done. I’ve only read two book series from Kristoff so far and I am enjoying his writing. From what I’ve read, his stories aren’t that revolutionary in terms of story but he does do a good job with putting his own spin on things. Reading his work is familiar yet different enough to feel like something new.

WHAT WAS DONE VERY WELL

There’s were a lot of things that I loved about this book. However if I had to choose one thing that I enjoyed the most it would have to be the characters, more specifically the main character, Mia Corvere.

Mia Corvere

First of all Mia Corvere is one absolute badass character. Deadly assassin who has a talking shadow cat as a pet? Cool factor 1000%.  Coolness goes a long way. It really does, but there has to be more to it than just that. Most people can’t relate to being an assassin, but revenge? It’s not hard to imagine what you would want to do if your family was murdered in front of you. So much so that you can’t help but route for Mia on her quest for vengeance.

Mia has a ton of personality and faults. Her flaws make her frustrating to read but unique at the same time. If you’re reading a character and he/she makes you mad, sad, frustrated etc. that’s a good thing. Her characteristics, flaws, abilities and personality all help make her one of the most interesting main characters I’ve read in a long time. Her tagline was also one of the most memorable lines I’ve come across.

Never Flinch. Never Fear. And never, ever forget.

The supporting cast is strong enough to add to the enjoyment of the story. From old Mercuriou to Ashlinn, Tric, Mister Kindly and the rest of the lot. They each had their piece to play and I like how you could go from hating a character to loving them later on. Those always make for the interesting side characters.

Twists and Pacing

I enjoy fairly fast paced books. Books that you can’t put down and keep you turning the page chapter after chapter. Kristoff nailed that in this Trilogy. It helped that he delivered twists and turns at just the right times. Most you never saw coming, or at least I never saw coming. When they hit though, you feel it and it just makes want to read more.

Worldbuilding

Lastly I thought that the world building was done pretty well. It was easy to step into the world of the Nevernight Chronicles and The Republic of Itreya. Kristoff did a good job of slowly showing you the world, little by little. The world was familiar yet different enough that is was easy to picture in the imagination. I think that the lore and stories of gods helped a lot to add depth to the world.

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN IMPROVED

Although I loved this book there were a lot of things that can’t be overlooked.

Wordiness

I’m not sure if the wordiness stopped later on but I did notice it more near the beginning of the book. It could have been done to imitate how the narrator speaks and to give a feeling for the setting but It did come across as overly descriptive and flowery. I tend to skim read on descriptions so it didn’t bother me that much but I can see how it can deter from the reading experience.

The Final Act

Nevernight sucked me in. Godsgrave was a rush of excitement. Darkdawn was just ok. I did like how everything was wrapped up and I was ok with the ending but to me it still felt like this could have been a duology.

Godsgrave was like a version of Gladiator where Marcus actually gets his revenge and lives. I thought how everything played with Mia seemingly getting her revenge was perfect. Finding out it was a doppelganger was kind of a let down. Cue third book.

The other thing that bugged me about the final act was that it wasn’t as dramatic a finale as the end of the second. Julius Scaeva getting godlike powers sort of felt cheap. I understand why it was needed to finish the story but something about it just didn’t feel right.

Maori Representation

There was some controversy that the Dweymeri race in the book were similar to Maori people. Author Kristoff was under heat for misrepresentation. I personally didn’t make that connection or feel this way but it is something that one should consider when writing races and cultures.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I tend to judge a story by the feeling I’m left with after I finish it for the first time. Did it excite me? What was it’s lasting impression? Did it leave me wanting more? How satisfying was the ending?

With the Nevernight Chronicles I couldn’t put the book down and came out with a deep sense of fulfillment. I connected with the journey of the main character and wanted to see it through to the end.

Not a perfect trilogy by any means but it just goes to show how much creating strong a strong main character that connects with a reader can do to make a book a memorable one.

 

~ LET’S CHAT ~

Have you read the Nevernight Chronicles? What did you think about it? Loved it? Hated it? I’d love to hear your thoughts so leave a comment and let me know below!

 

~ LET’S CONNECT ~

 

Don’t forget to say hello on Twitter @HeyPSbarbosa or if you’re more visually oriented come follow me on Instagram @psbdaily I’ll be sure to do the same.

 

If you like what you’ve read and want to stay current be sure to subscribe to the blog so you’ll never miss a post.  I always love hearing from people so don’t be shy to leave a comment or just say hello, happy pursuits!

Paolo

 

 

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