A - E, Allgemein, D, Reviews

Review: Darkdawn (Jay Kristoff)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 19 on My Book List 2021

”Fear was Can’t.
Fear was Won’t.
But fear wasn’t ever a choice.”

In honour of this buddy read being with the Yoongi to my V, the one and only Paper Plane Nomad, a fellow BTS ARMY and the one who accepted me as the V to her Yoongi, I shall only be using Tae (aka V of BTS) gifs in this review! Let’s hope I can pull this off and won’t get bias wrecked every 3 seconds. *lol*

This said: Let’s start with the actual review!

As third books in a series go this was actually a good conclusion. Well, mostly at least. There were a lot of things I really enjoyed and a couple of new characters that got introduced which I immediately took to, but there were also some things I didn’t like and that made this final book a less enjoyable read than its predecessors. So what exactly were my issues? Well, for instance I missed a central theme throughout the entire book. In comparison to the other two (assassin academy & gladiatii) this one just seemed to be all over the place. Yes, there was finally the darkin story we’ve all been waiting for since “Nevernight”, but aside from that we just had too many other threads that played into the main plot.

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Plus the ending was certainly not what I expected and it sort of fell flat for me. I don’t even know what I expected but it was something totally different than what I got. *lol* It kind of felt surreal? Idk how to describe it but after everything Mia went through I would have expected something more… epic? Okay, maybe it’s just me being weird?! XD

Or maybe it was me getting “eye-rollitis” whenever a certain character entered the page. *lol* I didn’t like that character and I sort of got angry every single time she opened her mouth, so I think that sort of animosity might have been another reason why I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I should have. ;-P And speaking of characters: I think it’s about time to head to my character’s section because as you can tell I have THOUGHTS and FEELINGS and I really need to get them off my chest! Are you ready?

2

Welcome to my spoilery spoiler section, gentlefriends! This is going to be juicy so if you’re not ready to face the bitter truth you better don’t continue to read this. ;-P Take your lemonade glass and make yourself comfortable, this is going to take a while. *lol*

Mia:

”I am a daughter of the dark between the stars,” she replied. “I am the thought that wakes the bastards of this world sweating in the nevernight. I am the vengeance of every orphaned daughter, every murdered mother, every bastard son.” Mia leaned forward and looked the man in the eye. “I am the war you cannot win.”

Mia sitting on that damn throne of the pirate king and later on telling Tric that to wear a shirt would ruin her “Murderous Bitch aesthetic” is my new aesthetic! *LOL* This girl!!! I never saw that one coming and I swear Mia is the embodiment of a badass heroine. I read about a lot of badass heroines over the years but none of them ever came close to Mia Corvere. XD Even more importantly: With Mia Jay Kristoff created a really unique character that has no equal. At least I never saw someone as compassionate, ruthless, stubborn, vulnerable and fierce as her. Mia doesn’t try to be a man, she makes use of her female assets and works with everything she got. So she’s a character that doesn’t try to be cool, she just is and that with such an effortless grace that you can’t help but admire her for it. I want to marry her so bugger off Ash! *lol* ;-P

”Two pices of the whole. One is just … darkness. Rage. She hates the world and everything in it. All she wants is to tear it down and laugh as it burns. And then there’s the me who thinks there might actually be something worth fighting for in all this. And maybe something to live for after.”

Ash:

”See there you go.” She gifted the boy a wink. “A little bit of spit and fire, that’s what I like to see. But I’m fierier than you, Tricky. I’m quicker and I’m prettier and the girl we both adore ended up in my bed, not yours.” She drummed her fingers on her sword hilt. “I won. You lost. So stay away from her, aye?”

I really can’t with Ash! I just can’t! I mean look at this gif! This is literally me whenever Ash said something in this book!

I don’t like this woman and I just can’t forgive her for killing Tric. I know Jay Kristoff wanted us to dig her and Mia together because they both have some ruthlessness to them and a soft side, but quite honestly I never saw that soft side of Ash. Where Mia had some compassion, Ash was just mean and had a downright cruel streak. The things she said to Tric in here… I could have punched her in the face and I wouldn’t have regretted it even though I’m a pacifist. *LOL* Jay, how was I supposed to like this girl? She’s a witch and I think Mia deserved better than her! Someone that rubs things in the way she did with Tric is not someone I’d like to ship. #SorryNotSorry

And that half-assed attempt at a redemption arc also didn’t do it for me. Once again #SorryNotSorry To say it with my Yoongi’s words: I’m done with this! So done! XD

Cloud Corleone:

”Well,” Cloud Corleone sighed. “As my dear old tutor Dona Elyse said the year I turned sixteen, “Fuck me very gently, then fuck me very hard.”

Now there’s a character I loved! Cloud Corleone and BigJon were two amazing new additions to the cast and Cloud’s four-bastard smile really grew on me. *lol* I think after Sturmhond he’s my second favourite privateer. XD I just loved how he and BigJon flirted so shamelessly with Mia and Cloud’s serious backstory was quite something to take in. >_< I’m glad Jay invented him in this book and I would have loved to read even more about Cloud and his crew. Maybe one day Jay will indulge us with a novel or short story? You never know. 😉

Corleone tilted his head. “You mean to tell me you know who crews aboard my ship better than I, Hangman? When was the last time you set foot on my decks?”
“When I was ploughing your mother,” the captain growled.
“O, aye, she sends her regards, by the by,” Corleone replied without skipping a beat. “She told me to tell you she hopes you’re not still embarrassed. It happens even to the best of men, apparently.”

Mr. Kindly:

”… if you wish a dog who simply rolls over when you growl, bring eclipse with you. but i’ll speak my mind, if it please you …”
“And if it doesn’t please me?”
“… i’ll speak it anyway…”

This is actual footage of me when I read the scene in which Mia tells Mr. Kindly to go away. Like OMG!!! I couldn’t believe she told him to get lost and even though I understood why she was angry I really didn’t get why she blamed it all on Mr. Kindly. He was right to tell the gladiatii the truth and he was also right to let them decide themselves. The rift between Mr. Kindly and Mia hurt so much and if there’s one thing I didn’t like about Mia in this book then it was the fact that she turned on him. Despite everything Mr. Kindly was still loyal to her though and worked in the background so she could face Cleo and I really hope Mia appreciated what he did for her!!! Mr. Kindly is the best! ❤

”… i am a part of you, mia. before i met you, i was a formless nothing looking for a meaning. the shape i wear is born of you, the thing i became is because of you. and if i must do what you will not, so be it. at least you will be alive to hate me …”

3

Mia & Ash:

”If you wanted a snog in the hallway you could’ve asked.”
“Not asking,” Ash shook her head. “Taking.”

And here we go with another actual footage of me. *LOL* I can’t believe Jay went for a HEA like that! Like WHAT??!!! Jay will probably never admit it but deep down he might be a romantic after all. XD I already said it in “Godsgrave” and I’ll say it again: I don’t ship the Mash ship! Urgh! Ash is just a selfish witch and she doesn’t deserve Mia! Period! Alone that quote above. Yep, that’s my problem with Ash she just takes without ever asking and she’s ruthless and doesn’t seem to have any sort of conscience… at all! How am I supposed to dig a character like that? Plus she’s petty and super jealous as well. Not the kind of woman I’d want to have by my side. I still think we need more sapphic romances in books but I can’t seem to be able to like this one because it’s actually sort of toxic. If Mia likes a girl that will kill everyone who just looks at her: Okay. I personally hate jealousy in relationships so Ash is a no for me. Also and someone has to say it – you’re allowed to take out your pitchforks now – I think a HEA in which Mia would have spent the rest of her days with Jonnen and Mercurio would have been more realistic. Yes, I would have even been okay if Ash would have been with them. But she basically fights the entire book for Mercurio and Jonnen’s freedom just to end up on that Threelakes shore with Ash? Of all people! Why? It beats me! *shakes head*

”And while the press of Ash’s lips left Mia feeling almost dizzy, the thought of her touch even now, laying senseless and sated, sending warm and delighted pulses up her thighs, a part of Mia – the part Mister Kindly would have filled, most likely – was still suspicious of the girl in her arms.”

Mia & Tric:

”She was losing herself in it. The feel of him, the taste, the familiar shapes, carved anew by the Mother of Night. Falling down into the need of him, aching from the touch of him, wanting to forget and remember and for a tiny moment, simply enjoy being lost inside it, with him inside her.”

Haha! This gotta be the first time I’d have preferred a straight pairing over a sapphic one. *lol* But seriously, there was way more chemistry between those two than there ever was between Ash and Mia. I mean Tric basically told her that he had to rip his way back through the walls of the abyss to get back to her and that he gave up his place by the hearth just to be with Mia. Tric is too good for their world and it made me really sad to see that he came back for nothing. Also: Why throw a possible love triangle at us, Jay, if you don’t follow through with it?! I always thought love triangles were one of my pet peeves, tell you what, my new pet peeve are love triangles that are brought into existence and never play out. *lol* #TricDeservedBetterThanThat

He took Mia’s hand, pressed it to his chest, and she was astonished to feel a heartbeat, strong and thudding beneath her palm. “BUT I WOULD STRIKE A THOUSAND BARGAINS WITH THE NIGHT FOR ONE MORE MOMENT WITH YOU. I’D DIE A THOUSAND DEATHS AND DEFY THEM ALL, JUST TO HOLD YOU IN MY ARMS ONE MORE TIME.”

Ash & Tric:

”I’m sorry you had to go, but that’s just how it is! And I stabbed you friendways, in case you’ve forgot. In the front, not the damned back. I can’t undo it, so what the fuck do you want from me?”
“A HINT OF REGRET? SOME SHRED OF REMORSE? FOR YOU TO UNDERSTAND SOME SMALL PART OF WHAT YOU TOOK FROM ME?”
“Remorse is for the weak, Tricky,” Ash said. “And regret is for cowards.”

I loved that dinner scene in which Tric finally called out Ash! *lol* She deserved it and her excuse of “I killed you because it needed to be done” is so weak that it would need two crutches to stand on its own feet! She needed to? Hogwash!! She just couldn’t stand that Tric won Mia’s heart fairly and because of that he had to go. Every time she rubbed in that Tric was dead and she was the girl at Mia’s side I got so damn angry! She kicked at someone who was already lying on the ground and that is behaviour I just can’t accept. That half-assed redemption arc totally didn’t work for me because of course she knew that he was a way better person than she’d ever be! Am I supposed to feel sorry for her now? She killed Tric and yes, she might feel remorse over it but the knowledge she’d feel remorse over it still didn’t stop her from stabbing him in the first place! She knew exactly what she was doing! So: #SorryNotSorry. Tric was a way better person than Ash will ever be!

”In truth, she’d always known it.
She knew what shed taken from this boy. She knew why. Extinguishing all he was and could have ever been. She knew how hard it must be for him, returning to a world so changed. To see the girl he loved in the arms of the girl who murdered him. And though he had every reason under heaven to hate them, to lash out in his rage and break everything around him, he remained true. Loyal to his love. Loyal to the last. That was the kind of boy he was.
That was the kind of boy she’d killed.“

Mia & Mercurio:

”Once he’d been fire. Breathed it. Bled it. Spat it. But now, the only ember that remained was the one he kept burning for her – that snot-nosed, stuck-up little lordling’s bitch who’d wandered into his shop all those years ago, a silver brooch shaped like a crow in her hand.”

I’m not ashamed to admit it: Mia’s and Mercurio’s relationship caused me to tear up multiple times. The love those two felt for each other was so true and ahhh when they parted ways… Mia is truly Mercurio’s daughter and Scaeva can jump in a lake! *lol* I really wish they would have gotten a happy ending and that Mercurio would know she’s still alive. I guess he’ll just have to live with the memory of her though because Mia is busy with Ash in that house at the Threelake shore. Me being bitter? Nope, no way! *lol*

”When everything else had been taken away. He gave me a home and he kept me safe when he had no reason under the suns to do it.” Mia looked up at the girl, eyes shining. “He’s familia. More familia to me than almost anyone in this world.”

Mercurio scowled, his ice-blue eyes welling with tears.
“Never took a wife,” the old man said. “Never had a familia. Didn’t seem fair in my line of work. But … if I ever had a daughter –“
“You had a daughter,” Mia said. The girl threw her arms around the old man and squeezed hard as she could. “And she loves you,” she whispered.

Mia & the gladiatii:

”And then Sid was running, catching the girl up in his embrace, lifting her off the ground as she squealed. Bladesinger collided with the pair of them, wrapping them up in her arms, Butcher staggered over, Wavewaker arrived like an earthquake, grabbing all four of them and roaring as he lifted them off the ground and jumped in circles.
“You magnificent little bitch!” Sid cried.
“Let me go, you great fucking lumps!” Mia grinned.

It was really great to see that found family together again but unfortunately that moment of peace and happiness was gone pretty fast! I can’t believe almost all of the gladiatii except of Sid and Bladesinger died. =(( Sid and Singer hooking up was a little random but I guess after everything they went through it was kind of logical as well. *lol* Still, Jay is a devil for killing them off. The way they all died? OMG! Bryn and Wavewaker quite literally died while having sex and Butcher was betrayed by the person he wanted to protect. Ouch! You did quite a number on them Jay! >_<

”Mia, you risked your life for us,” Sidonius said. “Everything you’d worked for danced on the edge of a knife. And still you gambled it all to see us to freedom. And now you’d stand there and tell us what we can and can’t do with it?”
“Damn right I do,” she snarled. “You owe me your lives? Go fucking live them. You want to give me thanks? Do it when you tell your grandchildren about me.”

Mia, Jonnen & Scaeva:

”Our familia had a saying,” Mia said. “Before your father destroyed it. Neh diis lus’a, lus diis’a. Do you know what that means?”
“I do not speak Liisan,” the boy growled.
“When all is blood, blood is all.”

Well, that was quite the familia. *lol* Jonnen was a really spoiled brat before he came to Mia so it was good to see that he changed for the better while being around her. Also that moment when she put him into his place when he was hostile towards Cloud and BigJon? It was such a typical thing an older sister would do. As for Scaeva? I hate that man! He actually had the gall to think he made Mia the person she is now??!! Also how he treated Jonnen! I mean he quite literally said “Obey me!” and killed Eclipse because she protected Jonnen. The fact Jonnen let it happen was a real betrayal but then again he was only a nine year old boy that was scared and Scaeva was his father after all… This said the ending was kind of … idk. It was supposed to be this epic battle but it kind of fell flat for me. It was just too much, you know? They were both too powerful and strong and that took away from the enjoyment. Like usually in a battle one side is always weaker and overcomes that weakness which makes for the suspense. In this case both of them were equal and so it got a little… boring? *lol* I dunno how to describe it but I hope you get what I mean. I’m glad Scaeva isn’t around anymore though. XD

”She had every reason in the world to be nothing but rage and hatred and misery. But he knew, as much as she tried to hide it, she hadn’t let life turn her cold. She loved with a heart as fierce as lions. Gave in a way that left her bleeding, but never broken. Because even with all she’d lost, all she’d sacrificed, all the hurt heaped upon her shoulders, she’d still come back.
She still came back for me.”

Scaeva gave a soft, bitter chuckle as he looked her in the eye.
“All you are? All you have become? I gave you. Mine is the seed that planted you. Mine are the hands that forged you. Mine is the blood that flows, cold as ice and black as pitch, in those veins of yours.”
He leaned back on the divan, black eyes burning into her own.
“In every possible sense, you are my daughter.”

”He’d been a hard man, no doubt. Never cruel, no. But heavy as iron. Merciless as the sea. Slow with praise, swift with rebuke, fashioning his boy into a man who might one turn rule an empire. Because always, his father had made it plain – despite his parentage, the throne would be something Jonnen must earn.”

4

“Darkdawn” was a good conclusion to “The Nevernight Chronicle” but unfortunately it wasn’t as good as the other two books. It had a couple of issues that kept me from giving it that fifth paw but I guess it might be just another case of the “it’s me, not the book” syndrome. *lol* Either way it was a very enjoyable read and I’m glad I buddy read this with my Yoongi! ❤

I hope you enjoyed my rather untypical gif review and I’m already looking forward to read the next book Jay Kristoff will throw our way. 😉

Allgemein, F - J, G, Reviews

Review: Godsgrave (Jay Kristoff)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten,5

”Conquer your fear, and you can conquer the world.”

I’m the first one to admit that this book was not what I expected it to be. I mean after the “school for assassins setting” in the first book I thought this series might continue in that vein. Little did I know Jay Kristoff had completely different plans that would exceed all of my expectations. And what kind of glorious plans they actually turned out to be. Glorious, indeed. Sanguis et gloria to be exact! Yes, my gentlefriends this is latin and if you’re familiar with the language you can already tell that this story is quite literally about blood and glory. (Well, I suppose in some way all of Jay Kristoff’s stories are. *lol*)

Anyway! Let’s not get distracted. 😉 “Godsgrave” was not what I expected, knowing Jay I probably should have expected this though. He always throws me for a loop and by now I’m convinced he lives and breathes to give his fans multiple heart attacks. I swear, all those plot twists will kill me one day and if I ever meet Jay I’ll pinch him in his ear. Well, and then I’ll hug the hell out of him. But first I’ll pinch him! You can bet on it! *lol* You deserve it, Jay! You know you do! (I might be two heads shorter than you but I’m fierce. ;-P)

This said: I absolutely loved “Godsgrave”! This book had me at the edge of my seat and I was more than eager to read on! And some days I wasn’t eager at all because I dreaded what was going to happen next. Thankfully my awesome friend Sabrina buddy read this book with me and I enjoyed her company immensely! XD Our WhatsApp chats were amazing and the amount of emojis and BTS gifs we used will probably go down in reading history. *lol* I’m very glad I didn’t have to read this alone and I’m already looking forward to our buddy read of “Darkdawn”. And before I continue to ramble I’ll just go to my character section! Jeez I have so many thoughts!

2

Welcome on the sands of the arena! Pick up your weapon of choice and face your enemy! We can’t promise you that you’ll survive this, but what we can promise, is that all of those spoilers will hurt! A lot! *lol* So if you don’t want to be spoiled you better drop your weapon and leave this arena as fast as possible. Yes, spoilers are a tough enemy, indeed! ;-P

Mia Corvere:

”And you know why I’m here. My father was executed as a traitor to entertain the mob. My mother died in a prison, and my baby brother beside her. And the men responsible need a fucking killing. That’s how I feel about it.”

I’m besotted and in love with Mia Corvere. There I said it and I stand by it! This girl is amazing! I already knew that she’s cunning and kick-ass but she reached an entirely new level of slyness in this one. Plus her character arc was beautiful to behold. The conflict in her only got even stronger as the plot proceeded and even though Mia was always one to question her actions and decisions she never felt as torn as she did in “Godsgrave”. I can’t believe she became a slave in order to kill Scaeva and Duomo at the magni. Her iron will is stunning! To go through with getting a slave mark and to live and fight alongside the gladiatii… Wow. I’m still in awe of the great lengths she’ll go to just to get her revenge. >_< The reality of it all touches her though and you could see it in her every action. I think Mia found her humanity and compassion in this book and it made for a really great character arc. Considering it all I can’t wait to see what will happen in “Darkdawn”! I mean that freaking ending!!! Her brother??! Some part of me already suspected he was still alive, but boy, this plot twist was kind of unexpected. XD

”But the wrongness of it was creeping on her like a cancer. Every turn she spent with this brand on her cheek made it harder and harder for her to ignore the folk who couldn’t just skip away from their chains through the shadows like she could. Not just gladiatii. The whole Republic was oiled by the machine of human misery. Now that her eyes were opened to it, she couldn’t unsee it. Didn’t want to.”

”She didn’t feel fear in the face of it all, no, the thing in her shadow wouldn’t allow that. But she did feel sorrow. Regret, for all that was and might have been.”

”The choice between looking plain and pretty isn’t really a choice at all. But any fool knows looking dangerous is preferable to both.”

“You can keep the glory. I’m just here for the blood.”

Dona Leona:

”But not this time,” she spat. “Never again. I want him on his knees. I want him to look up into my eyes and know it was me who put him there. I want to drink his suffering like the finest wine.”

Now here’s a character I really appreciated. Not for who she is but for what she represented. I loved that Jay Kristoff introduced us to Dona Leona because she was the mirror reflection of Mia. She was the person Mia would have become if her parents wouldn’t have died and if she would have been raised normally. (or as normal as you can be raised in a world like theirs) In a lot of ways Leona was a privileged woman, but no matter how independent she was, she still wasted her resources and couldn’t handle her money, which ultimately got her in a lot of dangerous traps. I believe there is something good in her and I’m pretty sure Mia saw it too because otherwise she would have let her die with the others. She spared her life and gifted her “all the kindness she could muster” so I hope Leona learned her lesson and will live a humble life with Arkades at her side. Also I kind of doubt we’ll see her in “Darkdawn”. 😉

Leona took Mia’s hand. Bladesinger’s also.
“I …”
She shook her head, trying to speak. Tears welling in her eyes.
“Be careful out there,” she finally whispered.

”He beat her to death with a bottle of goldwine, Arkades,” Leona said, her voice beginning to tremble. “Because she knocked over his glass at dinner. Who exactly does deserve that?”

Furian:

”If I’d allowed you to win at Messala’s palazzo with your devilry, you’d have set a taint at the heart of this place. I’d starve before I ate food bought with dishonest coin, and die before I claimed a laurel I’d not earned.”

I think Furian is the perfect name for this numpty because he made me so damn furious, I can’t even. *lol* I hated that guy with a fierce passion and I’m not sorry that he died. XD I mean, how stupid can you possibly be? All that talk about honour and the will of the gods drove me crazy and his stubbornness made me super angry. Especially after I found out why he became a gladiatii. Like seriously? Are you kidding me? He was a vile scoundrel and wanted to atone for his deeds by killing even more people? (innocent, enslaved people for that matter!!!) REALLY??!!  O_o WTH??!! I had such high hopes when he was introduced as another darkin but he only turned out to be one hell of a disappointment.  >_< And just for the record I knew he was sleeping with Leona right from the beginning. *shakes head* Well, I hope the next darkin Mia encounters will have more common sense. *wipes away Furian’s blood stains* Good riddance!

”I do not expect you to understand. But magni is a holy rite. Judged by the Hand of God himself. And if Rapha taught me anything, it was that the things we do are more important than the things we’ve done.”

”I look in your eyes and I see intent. I see design. Ever since you set foot in our collegium, I’ve felt your hand at work. Like some shadow puppeteer ever pulling the strings, and we, the marionettes.”
Mia snatched her arm free with a snarl. “Don’t touch me.”

Sidonius:

”Bollocks,” Sid said. “I watch you, Crow. I watch you watching us. Arkades. Leona. Furian. Me. Those little wheels behind those shady eyes always aturn. And though I don’t think you’re quite the coldest fish in this pond, you can’t honestly say you give a damn whether any of us lives or dies. Especially when we’re all likely to perish in the venatus anyways. So what’s your game?”

Haha! I remember Sabrina and me saying that he’s going to die… and that pretty soon! *lol* Well, I guess we were both wrong. Sid turned out to be quite the surprise and I got really attached to that big oaf! XD His principles and morals weren’t misguided like Furian’s and the longer I read the more I began to appreciate his character. That he knew Mia’s father was a twist I didn’t see coming and everything he said about Dona Corvere? After that ending I can only assume that he was right about her character. I wonder if we’ll ever see him again? With Jay you never know. I, for my part, hope we will! 😉

”There’s no softer pillow than a clear conscience.”

3

Mia & Ash:

”No, if Mia was afraid, it wasn’t of wanting a girl.
It was wanting this girl.
Ashlinn Järnheim.
Thief.
Liar.
Killer.
Traitor.“

A lot of people are probably going to hate me for this but: Am I the only one who doesn’t feel this relationship. At all?! Go ahead! You’re allowed to pull out your pitchforks and axes. I won’t hold it against you. I’ll just say my part and be done with it, okay? 😉 Here goes nothing! You all know I’m the first one who’d love to ship an f/f couple! I think they are still underrepresented in YA literature and I definitely want more f/f ships in my books. So believe me when I say that I’m ALL for the sapphic romances! This one however just doesn’t seem to work for me. As much as I appreciated the Mia & Ash vs. Leona & Furian scene, I still can’t help but feel like something is missing. Maybe it’s the fact that Ash killed Tric (in cold blood I might add) and never apologized for it because “he had to die” in order for her plan to work. Or maybe it’s because this came out of nowhere. Yes, they kissed in “Nevernight” but they basically went from “I hate you” right to “I love you”. I mean, hell’s bells, she killed Tric and there was nothing that would have redeemed her actions. So why the hell would Mia fall for her? My only explanation is that she became blinded by all the violence around her and wanted something sweet. *lol* I dunno. *shrugs* It just didn’t work for me. I know that’s a super unpopular opinion but I stand by it. #SorryNotSorry

”This kiss was an invitation; a gently, desperate plea for a beginning, not an ending. A question without words, Mia’s mouth open and melting against Ashlinn’s own. And as she felt Ashlinn shiver, the feather-light brush of her tongue in kind, Mia had her answer.”

Mia & Mr. Kindly & Eclipse:

”You’re not helping,” she whispered back.
“… i am offering moral support …”
“You’re being an annoying little shit.”
“… that too …”

The dynamic between those three is quite something! It’s interesting to see them interact with each other and even though Mr. Kindly and Eclipse seem to hate each other they are both reluctant to part ways with Mia. Sometimes I couldn’t help but wonder if they represent different parts of Mia’s character because Eclipse is rather the improvident and reckless character while Mr. Kindly is all compassion and caution. When Mr. Kindly remarked that they might change her by eating her fear I began to wonder too. Mia being darkin is still so mysterious and the fact that she killed Furian… well, is he going to be a shadow creature too? Where do they come from? Why are darkin so drawn toward each other? I have so many questions and just like Mia I hope they’ll be answered soon!

”… you send me away …?”
“… O, MY HEART BLEEDS …”
“… we have no hearts, you idiotic mutt …”
“… BE SURE TO REMIND ME OF THAT, WHEN I AM EATING YOURS …”

”… i am sorry, mia …”
“You?” she whispered. “Why?”
“ … he was your friend … “
“They’re not my familia, remember?” she replied. “They’re not my friends.”
She looked down at her hands. Blurred almost shapeless by her tears. “All of them are only a means to an end.”

”… i wonder sometimes, what we are making of her …”
“… WE ARE MAKING HER STRONG. STEEL. RUTHLESS AS THE STORM AND THE SEA…”
“… the thing we take from her … i wonder if she does not need it…”
“… YOU SPEAK OF FEAR …?”

Mia & The gladiatii:

”In every breath, hope abides.”

This was one of the best found families I ever saw. Mia fought her compassion tooth and nail but in the end it didn’t help. She still got attached to that bunch of gladiatii and I can’t blame her for it. They were all such interesting characters and they grew on me as well. I loved Byern, Bryn, Sidionius, Bladesinger, Wavewaker and Maggot. Those 6 were amazing and I grew super fond of them. I can’t believe little Maggot had to die though! My heart broke so much when Mia called her baby! T_T Poor little Maggot! She deserved so much better than that. And all just because of Magistrae! That witch! Urgh! I really hope the survivors will do fine after they got their slave mark removed! ❤

Mia felt hot tears in her eyes, a crushing weight on her shoulders. A scream was building in her belly, but her voice was only a whisper.
“Please, baby.”

Mia & Mercurio:

”This is important to her,” Mercurio replied.
“Be that as it may, this whole plan is fucking lunacy.”
Mercurio sighed. “I’m not sure if you’ve noticed yet, girl, but Mia Corvere and lunacy go together like cigarillos and smoke.”
Ashlinn smiled. “O, aye, I noticed.”

I love Mercurio! He’s not only a great teacher but also a great man and underneath all that grumpiness he’s a real softie. *lol* He’s Mia’s family and her father figure. Also he obviously feels strongly about Mia because otherwise he would have never dared to defy the Red Church as long as he did. He loves her and she loves him and I’m really worried about that old bastard now. XD The Church has him and knowing them they won’t go soft on my old man. I just hope he survives until Mia is able to find him. >_<

”I’m not in the business of taking in every stray that walks in off the street, Mia,” he growled. “I’m a bishop of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, not a fucking charity worker.”
Mia folded her arms, fixed Mercurio with her dark stare.
“I recall a stray who walked into the parlour of Mercurio’s Curios not so long ago,” she said. “A girl without a friend in the world, and a whole Republic arrayed against her. You took her in. You gave her a place to belong. You gave her love in a world where she’d thought there was nothing left but shit. And thinking of it now, I don’t ever think she said, thank you.”

Mia & the Red Church:

”Problem with being a librarian is there’s some lessons you just can’t learn from books. And the problem with being an assassin is there’s some mysteries you just can’t solve by stabbing fuck out of them.”

Ha! Chronicler Aelius is probably one of my all-time fave characters ever! I wonder how he feels towards Mia now though. I mean he always liked her and he knew that she would be part of a great story so I kind of hope he is still on her side. I’m sure Adonai is still on Team Mia too. He owes her after all. As for Aalea, maybe she would help her? She obviously seems to have the hots for Mia. *lol* I loved her direct offer to warm Mia’s cold nights. ;-P I guess we’ll have to see if the Red Church is truly Mia’s enemy now. >_<

”This life we live … there is room in it for love, Mia. But a love like autumn leaves. Beautiful one turn. A bonfire the next. Only ashes the remainder.”

4

“Godsgrave” was one hell of a surprise and I loved every second of it. This is how character arcs are done and even though this book plays in a Roman setting I couldn’t help but compare it to a Greek tragedy. It had all the makings and plot twists to be one and after THAT kind of ending I’m more than just ready for “Darkdawn”!

Allgemein, K - O, N, Reviews

Review: Nevernight (Jay Kristoff)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

Book 16 on My Book List 2019

”You’ll be a rumour. A whisper. The thought that wakes the bastards of this world sweating in the nevernight. The last thing you will ever be in this world, girl, is someone’s hero.”

Well, I suppose that’s only to be expected when you set out on the dark path of revenge. Not that Mia wouldn’t be able to deal with it. 😉 Truth be told, after reading this book I’m convinced that there is absolutely nothing our heroine wouldn’t be able to deal with. Except of maybe the many bad ratings this book got? *lol* When I started to read “Nevernight” I already knew that I was late to the party, but after reading it and skimming through some of the reviews I also realized that it’s apparently a rather controversial book?!

Why the ‘byss I wondered and started to investigate. As it seems most of the reviewers that gave it a low rating just couldn’t with the writing style and the recurring footnotes. Which admittedly, is a valid point. If you’re no fan of paraphrases and poetry or prose I’m fairly certain that you will end up hating this book. So I guess what it truly comes down to is if you’ve liked Tahereh Mafi’s “Shatter Me” series or not. If you loved it there’s a high chance you’ll enjoy the writing style of this book as well, if you hated it, I’d recommend borrowing “Nevernight” from the library and seeing if you enjoy the first few chapters. 😉

As for me, I can only say that I LOVED it! It might have taken me ages to get through this book and the footnotes were kind of distracting at first, but it was definitely worth it! I’ve read so many YA books in my life and even though the initial story of an assassin novice that has to survive her training and initiation is nothing new, the way Jay Kristoff wrote it still managed to give this story a unique spin. This is nothing like Sarah J. Maas’s “Throne of Glass”, this is nothing like Robin Hobb’s “Assassin’s Apprentice”, this was something completely different! Dark, twisted, cunning, cruel, gory, violent and only just a little bit x-rated. ;-P (If you’ve read ACOTAR those scenes won’t shock you though, they are pretty tame in comparison) And of course all the characters are so “morally grey” that they border on obsidian, ebony or jet-black which brings me right to my characters section! XD

2

Welcome to the Red Church, where killers are made into proper assassins! You might have the necessary traits but do you also have the guts to improve your skills? Find out and enter the mountain. Where spoilers await you in the darkness, always ready to pounce on you if you happen to cross their path. Or in other, less flowery words: Spoilers ahead! Be careful! *lol*

Mia Corvere:

”Never flinch.” A cold whisper in her ear. “Never fear. And never, ever forget.”

It feels like I’ve been waiting for a heroine like Mia Corvere for my entire life!!! I ADORE this girl! <333 She’s direct, loves books, doesn’t care about anyone’s opinion, curses like a sailor, smokes like a dragon, has a great humour and is kick-ass and cunning af!!! And most of all she feels real!!! Whenever authors try to make their heroines as tough as the male MCs they seem to fail. Jay Kristoff? HE FREAKING NAILED IT!! Well, at least for me he did! It was such a pleasure to follow Mia’s journey. She has the mind of a killer but still shows compassion when no one else does. Throughout the entire book she walks a fine line between becoming a killing machine and trying to keep her humanity. She has no trouble to kill people that hurt the ones she loves, but she draws the line at killing innocents for pleasure and I could have kissed her for refusing to take the final test! <333 Also she was so brave in so many ways! Yes, some might argue that it’s easy to be brave when you have a not-cat that eats your fear, but sometimes bravery means more than just being able to overcome your fears. It’s also brave to stand in front of 5 people that could easily kill you and still refuse to do what they want you to do. So yes, I’m Mia Corvere trash now and I think I might be in love with her. *lol* With both, Mia and Mr. Kindly! Their not-friendship was everything! <333

”Iron or glass? they’d asked.
Mia clenched her jaw. Shook her head.
She was neither.
She was steel.”

”Apologies,” Mia frowned, searching the floor as if looking for something. “I appear to have misplaced the fucks I give for what you think…”

”They can give you a new face, but they can’t give you a new heart. No matter what they take from you, they can’t take that away unless you let them. That’s real strength, Tric. That’s real power.”

Tric:

”… You’re a little frightening sometimes, Pale Daughter.”
She gave him a wry smile. “Only a little?”
“Well, most times, you’re just plain terrifying.”
“Come on,” she said, slapping his arm. “I’ll buy you a drink.”

This Itreyan-Dweymeri boy is so sweet that I instantly loved him! Tric was such a great character and my heart bled for him! The way he got his scars and tattoos? It was so damn painful to read. My poor boy! T_T He was so young and he would have deserved so much better than that! I despise his grandfather Swordbreaker and what he did to him and I adored his mother for loving him so much! Tric’s mom was amazing and I’m sure a lot of his character traits came from her. ❤ I could understand his inner conflict about losing his scars though. I mean they basically were his past written on his skin. I agree with Mia though, they don’t define him. Also did anyone find out why he’s named Tric?! I mean he told Mia the story about his scars and tattoos but I can’t remember that he ever told her why he’s named Tric. If any of you know, could you please explain?! (If possible without spoiling too many details if it’s in one of the following two books. *lol*) AND now to the huge WTF moment of this book! I had to read the scene where Ashlinn kills him TWICE, because when I read it for the first time I thought my mind must have played a trick on me! O_o I was so shocked!!! And I’ll never be okay with him dying!! Yes, they are at a school for assassins and there died plenty of the other students throughout the entire book, but TRIC??!! Really? He was one of the two freaking MCs!!! How could Jay do this to us?!! T_T My poor baby boy!!! I’m not okay with this…

”Drown him and be done.” His voice dropped to a trembling whisper. “They were her first words. That’s what she fucking named me. Drown him and be done.”

Ashlinn:

”Don’t trouble yourself about what that bitch said,” Ash whispered, glancing at Carlotta’s flawless cheek. “That’s not who you are any more.”
“It was never who I was.”
Charlotta’s hands fell still. Her stare growing clouded.
“It was just who they made me.”

I really liked Ashlinn and she grew on me until… well, until she freaking killed Tric!!! *lol* How could she? I feel as betrayed by her actions as Mia does! I was on the verge of falling for her character and then she does something like this?! Not nice! >_< And now I find myself second guessing every single thing she said and did in this book. Was it all an act? Did she really like Mia and Carlotta or did she just play games with them? I loved her humour and despite everything she seemed to be a compassionate and nice person. Just like the skilled thief she is, she stole my heart without me even noticing it and now I’m standing in front of the torn ruins of my ribcage. To say it with Mr. Kindly’s words: Dear gentlefriends, I’ve to admit that I’m still wondering about what the hell happened in those last few chapters! Ash’s character arc left me with so many questions I feel a headache coming up! *lol* I can’t wait to see her in “Godsgrave” though, because seriously, there’s no way, I repeat NO FREAKING WAY, she won’t appear in the next book. XD (Or at least I hope so. ;-P)

The Shahiids:

Shahiid Mouser
”This is a game, children. But a dangerous one.” He waggled his eyebrows. “The only kind worth playing.”

Shahiid Aalea

”They will never see the knife in your hand if they are lost in your eyes. They will never taste the poison in their wine when they are drunk on the sight of you.”

”Never let your face tell a secret your lips should not.”

Lord Cassius
”Killers one, killers all. And each death we bring is a prayer. An offering to Our Lady of Blessed Murder. Death as a mercy. Death as a warning. Death as an end unto itself. All of these, ours to know and gift unto the world. The wolf does not pity the lamb. The storm begs no forgiveness of the drowned.”

The Shahiids were so amazing! I know I only mentioned a few of them here but when it comes down to it I really liked them all! Shahiid Spiderkiller was so deadly! XD I swear to poison your class frequently just to make sure they actually study is quite the way to motivate your students! *lol* No wonder they all tried to be top at her class. Haha! If your life depends on it poison studies will become your favourite subject. ;-P Shahiid Solis was kind of brutal and cruel so I didn’t like him all too much. I adored Mouser and Aalea though! I’m sure I would have loved to attend their classes. As for Lord Cassius, he seemed to be one of those mysterious characters you never get a grip on and since he died I doubt that I’ll ever understand his reasons and motives. >_< Marielle and Adonai? The Church’s weaver and speaker… well they were just creepy and terrifying! And they obviously had some incestuous relationship going on?! *shudders* I don’t even know how all the girls could swoon over Adonai, for me he was just trouble in a nice disguise. *lol*

Chronicler Aelius:

”This is a library. You can’t smoke in a bloody library.”
“O, shit…”
The old man plucked his cigarillo, pondered it briefly, popped it back into his mouth.
“What if the books catch fire?” Mia asked.
“O, shiiiiiiiit,” the old man said, exhaling a cloud that made Mia’s tongue tingle.

Now here comes one of the characters I loved the most! Chronicler Aelius was legit the best thing about the Red Church!!! That guy was awesome!! I loved the first meeting between him and Mia and that he gave no shit about smoking at the library. *lol* He was like a grumpy puppy that grows on you and moreover he was pretty wise! ❤ I adored his stance on books and one of my fave moments was him offering Mia a smoke while they watched the enemy being eaten by the worms. (quite literally) Haha! Also the fact that he is dead!! OMG! That came as a total surprise! He really wasn’t kidding about getting lost in the library and dying there! O_o I really hope there will be more of him in the next book because I need to read more about his intriguing character!!

”The books we love, they love us back. And just as we mark our places in the pages, those pages leave their mark on us. I can see it in you, sure as I see it in me. You’re a daughter of words. A girl with a story to tell.”

3

Mia & Tric:

”As you were kind enough to notice, I’ve fallen a little behind in Songs.”
“A little?” Tric snorted. “There’s training dummies up there who could mop the floor with you, Pale Daughter.”
“Well, thank you very much,” Mia scowled. “If you’d like to go somewhere and quietly fuck yourself, I’ll be waiting here patiently for your return.”

Haha! I loved how blunt they were! Those two were always honest with each other and never pretended to be something they are not and I think that might have been the main reason they hit it off. What I really liked about their relationship was that they started as strangers, became sort of best friends and then lovers. It’s rare authors take the time to go for a slow burn and I think this one was done nicely. And yes, in my eyes this was a slow burn because they didn’t do anything until the 60% mark or so? Mia can tell herself about a thousand times that she doesn’t love Tric, we all know better, right? *lol* You don’t go sharing your not-cat with just anyone when you’re about to be whipped by Marielle. >_< To say he was with Mia was such a stupid move but then again he didn’t want her to die and she would have died with a 100 lashes. Still, that they both got 50 in the end was horrible. *swallows* Poor Tric though! I’m sure Mia loved him. That he had to die this way was so cruel. I mean Ash only killed him because he had such an exceptional sense of smell. Such a stupid reason to die! And this might sound weird but it was good for Mia that she killed Swordbreaker and meted out revenge! It won’t bring back Tric but to know that his grandfather eventually got what he deserved must have been liberating for her. At least she could give him that. T_T

”For a moment, she wasn’t Mia Corvere, daughter of a murdered house, parched with the thirst for revenge. Not a fledgling assassin or a servant of a goddess. Just a girl. And he a boy. Their eyes blind to all but each other.”

”A wordless protest slipped from her lips, and she reached out, running her fingertips up his arm. Goosebumps rose on his skin. She rested one hand on the hard swell of his shoulder. Stopped him from pulling away.”

”Maybe we should start at the letter S?”
“S?”
“S for stubborn. S for stupid. S for smart-arse.”
“S for shut it.”
“See, that’s the spirit.”

Mia & Ash:

”Huzzah! She can be taught!”
“Fuck you.”
“Fair warning, I’m not much of a biter…”
“Ash, I swear to the Mother –“

Is it just me or was there a smell of romance in the air? I could have sworn Mia and Ash were attracted by each other. They kind of flirted and they kissed twice! This has to count for something, right? At the moment I don’t see how a relationship between those two could ever work out though. Ash killed Tric who was Mia’s lover and probably her first true love so to say they would be star-crossed lovers would be an understatement par excellence. Still, there was something in the air between those two and I’m sure if Tric would still be alive *sobs* he would actually tell you the same thing! I think before Tric I would have shipped this like crazy, now that I’m so uncertain about Ashlinn’s character I don’t know if I want to ship it or not. I’m kind of torn here. *lol* Maybe Ash will come back in book two and there will be an explanation for how she acted and why she did what she did? Not that an explanation would make me forgive her, but it certainly would help to understand her motives, because right now it’s all Greek to me and I no longer understand the world. XD I’ve yet to decide if I want to board this possible ship or not. ;-P

”Ashlinn, I could kiss you…”
“… I thought you’d never ask?”

”You know, folk around here have got you figured for a ruthless bitch after that stunt with Diamo. But I know better. Someone hurts those you love, you’ll not forgive it. But underneath it all, you’re a good sort, Corvere.”
Mia kissed Ash’s cheek, smiling. “Don’t tell anyone. I’ve a reputation to uphold.”

”She took a deep breath, as if about to plunge into dark water. And then she leaned in slow, cupped Mia’s face, and kissed her gently on the lips. It lasted a moment too long. Perhaps not long enough? Warm and soft and honeysweet. Before Mia could decide, it was already over. Ash broke the kiss, squeezing Mia’s hand. A million unsaid words shining in her eyes. A million more on Mia’s tongue.”

4

Where do I even begin?! This was something totally unique and if you ask me I can’t compare it to anything I ever read. The premise of the story might have sounded a lot like all the other assassin books I ever heard of, but Jay Kristoff managed to give it an incomparable spin and I’m very glad I picked this up. It was dark and at times brutal, it was gory and X-rated, there was a lot of cussing and smoking involved and… I loved it! *lol* Enough said! If you enjoy books like that I’m sure you’ll devour this too! ;-P