Blog Tour Review + GIVEAWAY: Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

by Jay Kristoff
Published by Thomas Dunne Books Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Add to your Goodreads TBR shelf.
Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | iBooks
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

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?

NEVERNIGHT

Don’t forget to ENTER TO WIN an awesome prize at the end of this post!

Nevernight could be classified as a pop-up book because every character and detail leaps from the pages. This book has a PRESENCE albeit a sadistic one. I found myself compelled to finish Mia’s story in as few sittings as possible.

When I first read Ann Rice’s Lasher series at the tender age of ADULT, I would hide the books in my dresser drawer at night when I went to bed. I thought the books were way evil and would possess me or my house, LOLOLOLOLOL.

Now, at the tender age of  ‘been-adulting-it-for-a-while’ , I will admit to you that Jay Kristoff’s Nevernight made me do the same thing. This book is MESSED UP…..in all the right ways. It is delightfully eeeeeeval in a STAB STAB way, not paranormal way. I have to admit, while reading Nevernight, I felt like I needed to reach out to Mr. Kristoff and offer him one of my psychoanalysis sessions, but I digress.

Sex. Violence. Assassin’s Creed. Blood. Guts. Star Wars. Opera. Harry Potter. The Godfather. All of these things came to mind while reading this brick-thick book full of delightful footnotes. (How could you not read a book that brings all the aforementioned to mind!?) As a historian-in-training, I enjoyed the footnote aspect. THAT’S WHERE THE TREASURES ARE. Take my advice and DO NOT SKIP THE FOOTNOTES. They added another fun dimension to the storyworld. And seriously, the landscaping for Nevernight was fantastic. The world building is so vivid and complete and original.

Stylistically, the novel is crass, hardcore, and abrasive. There were definitely moments where I asked myself, “Did he really just write that?!”.  There were also moments where I felt like the storyworld dimensions of Sin City and The Borgias had burst open and spilled into each other, making for a really interesting reading experience.

The characters were all well played. Everything about this book, from the settings to the dialogue to the fight scenes has ‘video gamer CRACK’ written all over it.

Don’t call the cops when I tell you this, but I totally connected with Mia’s character and could relate to her on multiple levels. She’s wonderfully conflicted and vulnerable, yet powerful beyond measure because of her shortcomings. I loved how Mia’s story taps into the powerful and seductive emotions of vengeance, despair, and unbridled hatred, and that Mr. Kristoff wasn’t timid in exploiting those emotions. But Mia’s story grows exponentially more complex by the end of Nevernight, and we see a new set of emotions disrupt her tunnel vision.

The chemistry between Mia and Tric, her love/lust interest, is the stuff that solar systems are made of.  If you are reading this book, and thinking to yourself, “Whoaaaaa, this is so not for me,” keep reading for Mia and Tric. And Mister Kindly. TRUST ME.

Side note:

After watching the wonderful book trailer for Nevernight (featured further down), I knew I was right on point with how I was imagining most of the storyworld/settings except I also got a modern feel at points. Modern like graphic novel/Sin City type modern. HA. Immediately below is the song I would have set as the book trailer soundtrack:

 

jayAbout Jay Kristoff

About Jay Kristoff

Jay Kristoff is a New York Times and international bestselling author of science fiction and fantasy. He grew up in the second most isolated capital city on earth and fled at his earliest convenience, although he’s been known to trek back for weddings of the particularly nice and funerals of the particularly wealthy. He spent most of his formative years locked in his bedroom with piles of books, or gathered around dimly-lit tables rolling polyhedral dice. Being the holder of an Arts degree, he has no education to speak of.

 

His LOTUS WAR trilogy was critically acclaimed in Kirkus and Publishers Weekly, nominated for the David Gemmell Morningstar and Legend awards and won the 2014 Aurealis Award. Jay’s new series, the SciFi thriller THE ILLUMINAE FILES, was co-authored with Amie Kaufman. Book 1, ILLUMINAE, became a New York Times and international bestseller, was named among the Kirkus, Amazon and YALSA Best Books of 2015 and won the 2016 Aurealis Award and an ABIA Book of the Year award. ILLUMINAE is currently slated to be published in twenty five countries, and film rights have been acquired by Brad Pitt and Plan B Entertainment.

 

Jay’s new fantasy series, THE NEVERNIGHT CHRONICLE, commences with book 1, NEVERNIGHT, from St Martins Press/Thomas Dunne Books and Harper Voyager in 2016. A new YA series, LIFEL1K3 has also been acquired by Knopf/Random House Kids, and commences publication in 2018. Jay is as surprised about all this as you are. He is represented by Josh Adams at Adams Literary.

 

Jay is 6’7 and has approximately 13,030 days to live. He abides in Melbourne with his secret agent kung-fu assassin wife, and the world’s laziest Jack Russell.

 

He does not believe in happy endings.

Website | Twitter | Facebook |Instagram | Goodreads

 

Book Trailer: This is a trailer made by Sarah @ The YA Book Traveler. 

 

Giveaway Details:

5 winners will receive a finished copy of NEVERNIGHT, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Girl on the Golden Coin by Marci JeffersonGirl on the Golden Coin by Marci Jefferson
Published by St. Martin's Press, Thomas Dunne Books on February 11, 2014
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Add to your Goodreads TBR shelf.
Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | iBooks
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Impoverished and exiled to the French countryside after the overthrow of the English Crown, Frances Stuart survives merely by her blood-relation to the Stuart Royals. But in 1660, the Restoration of Stuart Monarchy in England returns her family to favor. Frances discards threadbare gowns and springs to gilded Fontainebleau Palace, where she soon catches King Louis XIV’s eye. But Frances is no ordinary court beauty, she has Stuart secrets to keep and people to protect. The king turns vengeful when she rejects his offer to become his Official Mistress. He banishes her to England with orders to seduce King Charles II and stop a war.

Armed in pearls and silk, Frances maneuvers through the political turbulence of Whitehall Palace, but still can’t afford to stir a scandal. Her tactic to inspire King Charles to greatness captivates him. He believes her love can make him an honest man and even chooses Frances to pose as Britannia for England’s coins. Frances survives the Great Fire, the Great Plague, and the debauchery of the Restoration Court, yet loses her heart to the very king she must control. Until she is forced to choose between love or war.

On the eve of England’s Glorious Revolution, James II forces Frances to decide whether to remain loyal to her Stuart heritage or, like England, make her stand for Liberty. Her portrait as Britannia is minted on every copper coin. There she remains for generations, an enduring symbol of Britain’s independent spirit and her own struggle for freedom.

Are you a fan of Historical Fiction? Then join me and others in the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge!

I read a ton of European Historical Fiction/Romance and general History but I have to admit, my reading experience with the Stuart era has been nil until the past year. What inspired me to delve into literature on King Charles I and II was a lovely blog I follow called The Seventeenth Century Lady. You can find all sorts of information on the 17th Century and “The Merry Monarch” on this historian’s/author’s website.

Frances Stuart gracing the Britannia.
Frances Stuart gracing the Britannia.

Girl on the Golden Coin was a rich and addictive story about Frances Stuart, a woman who became King Charles II’s biggest weakness. Marci Jefferson presents the fascinating Frances Stuart in a narrative rich with all the romantic suspense and scandal of a Harlequin Romance. The gloriously fleshed out historical atmosphere and fully realized characters kept me captivated beyond the page. There were a few surprising and sensuous gems of passion and romance embedded in this story, making for a very compelling read.

Below is an aria, Dido’s Lament,  from a composition by Henry Purcell that became popular around the same time that Frances Stuart’s story begins. Patricia Petibon’s rendition of this aria and her music video are so haunting and perfect for what I imagined Frances to be feeling on the darker days of her tumultuous life. Frances Stuart was remembered; her face never being forgotten while it graced the Golden Coin.

I had a love/hate relationship with most of the historical characters in this novel. I could not make up my mind if I ”saw” Frances Stuart in a flattering light or not. I honestly feel on the fence about her after reading Girl on The Golden Coin. Frances basically let herself be used as a political-prostitute-pawn in a game between two Kings (Louis XIV and Charles II), but we see that she chose this path as the lesser of two evils. She could risk living her life in ruin and having disastrous family secrets exposed, or, betrayed by her beauty, she could play the game that many a king’s mistress before her had played and save her family from further scandal. I think I love the author even more for making me feel so conflicted about Frances Stuart.

King Charles II and Frances Stuart.
King Charles II and Frances Stuart.

What is admirable about Frances in this retelling of her life is that she wasn’t all beauty, but possessed intelligence and bravery. Frances Stuart was a victim of the era she lived in. She had to play the cards she was dealt and she played them well for the most part.

I liked how this book was formatted. I appreciated the map of France and England, and the list of characters before the story begins. This book is for the Stuart era laymen as well as the Stuart scholar. Rich historical detail and psychologically stimulating characters made Girl on the Golden Coin shine.

Here’s a fun and informative short video on The Stuart Era:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8Ho76_rk4g

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star