The writing is all dancing shadows and devil’s lair. There’s nothing pretty or peaceful about it. It’s gritty and dark and honest to the point of gruesome details and macabre images that you just can’t shake. And if you’re like myself, one to dance with those shadows, than this is the book for you. If not, your little heart may stop where it rests. The tone may be shocking to readers because of how raw it is. The author doesn’t shy away from honest, gruesome details such as when people die, their body loosens and can’t exactly keep in what it was holding. And this dark, brutally honest tone is set right from the beginning, when our MC Mia finds out all on her own what bodies do when dying, dead. This was so utterly satisfying for me because I have been searching for a dark read like this for as long as I can remember, and nothing else will ever even begin to compare to how dark and brilliant this novel is. Which is why I was eager to keep reading; I flipped through pages like I couldn’t bare to breath without getting some more dark details in my soul. I WANTED MORE. I wanted all the gritty, raw details on death and poisons and manipulations, on everything their wickedly talented teachers taught them. I also wanted it to be longer, which is why I’m grateful there will be more books.
What really got me hooked right from the get-go though, is the cat. Mr. Kindly is my favourite character, merely because he is literally made of darkness and he’s a devious little thing. There’s more to him, I can feel it. He helps Mia however he can, siphoning her fear so she doesn’t have to deal with it, being her eyes and years when she sleeps or can’t do it on her own. But still, he’s made entirely of shadows and darkness, and kindness isn’t something I can him giving out unless he gets something in return. I’ve got my eyes on the little guy, because I have many, many suspicions. And I love him all the more for it.
As brilliant and lovely as this book is, I must admit that the beginning confused me. We would get flashbacks, and then be in the present where it would be a play on words from what had happened then and what was happening now. It was interesting and definitely engaging, but confusing because I didn’t entirely understand where the story was going or why it was happening. I caught on quickly though, and once it made sense everything fit and fell into place.
Overall, Nevernight is a compelling, dark tale full of murder and competition, death and heroics. This gritty, brutally honest and gruesome story is one that will stick with you for as long as Mr. Kindly hangs on to Mia’s shadow. The promise of darker shadows and murderous plots for the next book definitely have me eager already. If you think you can handle the dancing shadows, be my guest and enjoy your journey into Nevernight.