Review – Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

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Nevernight (Book 1 in Nevernight Chronicle)
Jay Kristoff
Publish date: August 9th


Synopsis

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?


My Review

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Goodness, where to even begin with this book? I guess I’ll start by saying…

WOW!

Wow, this book was amazing. Really, really amazing. As a fan of Kristoff’s other work, Illuminae, I was fairly sure I’d like Nevernight. But since Illuminae was co-authored with a female author (Amie Kaufman), and since I rarely read books written by men (other than Jim Butcher), I did still have my doubts. But Jay Kristoff has once again proven himself to be a master at storytelling and world building. He is undoubtedly a fantasy and sci-fi powerhouse, and this rising author is one to keep our eyes on. On an unrelated note, he’s also quite pretty, so that isn’t exactly a burden, now is it?

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Now, this book is marketed as “young adult,” but other than the fact that many characters are young adults, I truly did not get much of a “young adult” feel from this story. It is dark. Seriously, seriously dark.  I’m talking, brutal, violent, and very explicit language and sexual content. Very, very explicit. And I finished this book in one sitting because it.was.amazing!

The first couple chapters are strange, so it takes a couple minutes to get into the story. The introduction is really cool though, I don’t know how to explain it, but its really cool. This is definitely not a light and easy read. The story telling is very complex, with multiple flashbacks (which are not labeled, so you have to stay on your feet to keep track of when in the story you are). It all connects to creating this really rich, really well developed and complex world and plot. I do have to say that it took a bit for me to get hooked, because the world is so complicated and detailed, but once I did, I could not put it down. The main character is determined to become an assassin so as to reap revenge on those who wronged her and her family, but first she has to find the den of the Assassins. And that is a challenge in and of itself. Once she finds it, she starts training. At that point its sort of like Hogwarts or Dauntless, except way more brutal and violent. Throw in friends, enemies, frenemies, mysterious instructors, dangerous challenges, and 30 people fighting for just 4 coveted “assassin spots,” and you are in for a wild, dark, and dangerous ride.

Fans of Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass, Veronica Roth’s Divergent, and Tamora Pierce’s work are going to go crazy for this new series by Jay Kristoff. Anyone who has enjoyed Kristoff’s other works are sure to love this as well. And fans of dark fantasy with incredibly vivid world building will snap this right up. Plus, its about a kick-butt female assassin in training. So who isn’t going to like it?

Run, don’t walk, to pick up your copy of Nevernight on August 9th. You seriously have got to read this book.

Waiting on Wednesday – Rebel of the Sands (YA)

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Waiting on Wednesday is brought to us by Breaking the Spine.

Its a weekly meme where we can share the upcoming releases we are so excited about!


Rebel of the Sands

by: Alwyn Hamilton

Release date: March 8, 2016

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synopsis: (from amazon.com)

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mythical beasts still roam the wild and remote areas, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinn still perform their magic.  For humans, it’s an unforgiving place, especially if you’re poor, orphaned, or female.

Amani Al’Hiza is all three.  She’s a gifted gunslinger with perfect aim, but she can’t shoot her way out of Dustwalk, the back-country town where she’s destined to wind up wed or dead.

Then she meets Jin, a rakish foreigner, in a shooting contest, and sees him as the perfect escape route. But though she’s spent years dreaming of leaving Dustwalk, she never imagined she’d gallop away on mythical horse—or that it would take a foreign fugitive to show her the heart of the desert she thought she knew.

Rebel of the Sands reveals what happens when a dream deferred explodes—in the fires of rebellion, of romantic passion, and the all-consuming inferno of a girl finally, at long last, embracing her power.


Why do I want it?

Did you read that synopsis? It sounds like this book has the potential to be epic and awesome. One of the things that drew me in is that the mythology and setting depart from the standard (and overdone) European influence and instead this story is built around Eastern mythologies and locations. Plus we have a “gifted gunslinger” as a heroine. I’m having (happy) visions of a wild-west-type of gal, and I like the thought. I have high hopes for this one, due out in March of 2016.

E-books: From Hate to Love (Wednesday Ramble)

E-books: From Hate to Love

Here’s where I talk about my journey from only reading physical books, to preferring e-books. I was resistant to the change at first but soon found that there was room for e-books in my heart.

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Me and my bf in 2007 after HP7 Midnight Release!

Ah technology! The jewel of our existence. It entertains us, connects us, distracts us, helps us, confounds us, terrifies us, thrills us, and much, much more. Where would we be without our beautiful technology? Probably where we are right now, more or less, just without whichever tech device you currently have our fingers on! But, I digress…..

Now, e-books didn’t gain widespread popularity and use until the 2000s, when e-readers started to be developed more seriously. Amazon’s Kindle (which is what I use), came out around 2007, when I was 18, and largely changed the book and reading industry.

I was resistant to making the switch from physical book to e-book for years. I don’t think I gave it a try until 2011, when I received a Kindle as a present. Before that I had always loved the entire book buying and reading process. I loved going to the bookstore. I adored spending time wading through the stacks, reading the blurbs on any book whose cover attracted me. I even loved the all important moment where I’d have to go through the stack I had accumulated and make my final selections for purchase because I always inevitably ended up choosing more than I could afford at that time. I have wonderful memories of my dad taking me to bookstores when I couldn’t drive. We only had a small bookstore in our town so we’d do day trips to the nearest city to go to Barnes and Noble quite often. Of course, the best trips were when we went for the Midnight Magic Harry Potter Release Parties! So my entire life I’ve had great memories at the bookstore. Same goes for the library, where I would spend hours upon hours.

The same goes for the books and reading them. Cracking the cover for the first time, trying to read the book without breaking the binding…… such sweet moments for a reader. And, perhaps best of all, that feeling of fulfillment when I finished the book and added it to my meticulously arranged and lovingly cared for bookshelves for safe keeping. Where many teenager’s bedrooms are covered in posters, I went to sleep every night surrounded by the comforting shadows of my bursting at the seams bookshelves.

So, needless to say, I was not eager to switch to the cold, impersonal, black and white covered e-book. Which is unsurprising, because I withstood the pressure to get an ipod for more years than you can imagine! Apparently I was not big on “change.” Some people might use the words “stubborn” and “willfull.”

And yet I did receive the Kindle for Christmas that year, along with ready to spend amazon gift cards. So, change was upon me.

I’ve never looked back.

While I still have my shelves filled with my old books, I’ve added over 500 titles to my kindle in the last 3 years, because once I went e-book, there was no going back. Ok, they do not carry the same nostalgia (yet), but when it comes to efficiency, they just cannot be beat. Now when I finish one book in a series at 11pm, I don’t have to wait until the next day to drive to the book store. I simply download it immediately to my kindle, and keep on reading. It’s brilliant. I thought I’d miss the weight of a book in my hand, but found that I adore being able to read with only one hand. No more struggling to get comfortable with a hardcover, no more painful fingers from holding a paperback open, and best of all, no more losing my page when I put the book down. If I’m trying to find a quote I liked, I can search for it quickly. I can highlight text without damaging the book. I can instantly look up words I am not familiar with. I can even look up descriptions of characters if I cant remember who they are. Now, my “library” is always on my phone, so no matter where I am, I can look up if I already have the book. Plus, imagine how many more bookshelves I’d need to have. Even I only have so much room for books! I’ve benefited from getting the e-verson of a textbook because I could download it right away. No more waiting weeks for my textbooks to arrive weeks late for the class that started 4 weeks ago.  And now, thanks to programs like Overdrive, I can even sometimes get e-books for free from the public library. As a librarian, e-books are still a challenge to provide to our patrons because of their licensing issues and cost, but as a reader they are my go-to favorites. Sometimes Amazon even has amazing deals where you can get certain 3-books for free or for $1.99!

So, yea, I’m a sellout. A convert. A traitor.

But I like to think my physical books understand.

Oh, and in case you wondered, when I finally did bend and get an ipod, again, I never looked back. I’m not even sure now how I survived without. Not for music, mind you. Oh, no. No, my ipod is filled to the brim with audiobooks, of course. And what sweet music they make……

So what about you guys? E-books, yay or nay?