Book Review: Darkdawn


Rating: 5 out of 5.

  • Author: Jay Kristoff
  • Genre: Adult Fantasy
  • Page Count: 478
  • Date Started: 9/3/2019
  • Date Finished: 9/8/2019
  • Spoilers? YES. Steer clear if you don’t want to be spoiled

A Brief Description

This is the third book in the Nevernight Chronicles series. There WILL be spoilers ahead. Tread with caution, gentlefriends.

A ruthless young assassin’s journey for revenge comes to a stunning end in the conclusion of this acclaimed epic fantasy trilogy.

The Republic of Itreya is in chaos. Mia Corvere has assassinated Cardinal Duomo and rumors of Consul Scaeva’s death ripple through the street of Godsgrave like wildfire. But buried beneath those same streets, deep in the ancient city’s bones, lies a secret that will change the Republic forever.

Mia and her brother Jonnen must journey through the depths of the ancient metropolis. Their quest will take them through the Godsgrave underdark, across the Sea of Swords, back to the library of the Quiet Mountain and the poisoned blades of Mia’s old mentors, and at last the fabled Crown of the Moon. There, Mia will at last discover the origins of the darkin, and learn the destiny that lies in store for her and her world. But with the three suns now in descent, and Truedark on the horizon, will she survive?

Goodreads || Amazon


What doesn’t kill me had better fucking run

Jay Kristoff
pg 97

My Review

Wow wow wow wow. What a conclusion! I loved this. First of all, the cover for this book is beautiful. When I opened the package I was surprised to find that I had received a signed first edition! Now, on to my review: I cried, I smiled and laughed, and cried some more. I knew that characters would die, but each death gutted me more than the last. I hadn’t realized how attached I had gotten to each and every single one of the characters in Mia’s circle. There was some major character development that both Mia and her brother Jonnen underwent. I love how their relationship blossomed from hatred, to tolerance, to love. While I hated Jonnens’ character at first, I grew to love him as time went on. I loved the relation that formed with Eclipse and I was devastated with Eclipse’s conclusion. I think it was the death I cried the most on after Ashlinn’s of course. There were many plot twists that had me on the edge of my seat and craving more. When I wasn’t reading this book, I was THINKING about reading this book. The pacing was pretty good, and it felt logical. Also, I was not expecting Mercurio to be the narrator! I was expecting someone like Mister Kindly, but imagine my surprise, when instead it’s Mercurio (who I still loved by the way). I loved the action and fight sequences in this as they felt high stakes and well orchestrated. The quotes that stood out to me in this book were about empowerment an coping with loss. I loved every second of this book. I cannot recommend this series enough, and I know for a fact that this series will be a treasured favorite and I will re-read it many times.


Blessings and curses fall on the wicked and the just alike. Fair is a fairy tale. Nothing’s claimed by those who don’t want it, and nothing’s kept by those who won’t fight for it. So let’s fight. Fuck the gods. Fuck it all. Let’s take the world by the throat and make it gives us what we want.

Jay Kristoff

One thing I will say about this is that the ending of the book…. will be very controversial to some. I liked the closure that we were given and the way that everything was wrapped up, but I realize that others may not feel this way. What did you think of Darkdawn? Did you like it? Love it? Hate it? Let’s discuss below! As always, have a wonderful day, and happy reading! 🙂

~Cam

Book Review: Godsgrave


Rating: 5 out of 5.

  • Author: Jay Kristoff
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Page Count: 419
  • Date Started: August 13
  • Date Finished: August 23

A Brief Description

Keep in mind that since this is the second book in a series, there may be spoilers for the first book in the following description.

Mia Corvere has found her place as a Blade in the Red Church, but many disagree with her right to be there. She is no closer to ending Consul Scaeva and Cardinal Duomo, or avenging her familia. After a confrontation with an old enemy, Mia begins to suspect the motives of the Red Church.

It is then announced that Scaeva and Duomo will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave Mia defies the Church and sells her to a gladiatorial collegium for a chance to finally end the ones who took everything from her. In the arena, Mia finds allies, rivals and more questions for her affinity for the shadows. Conspiracies continue to unfold and as the body count rises, Mia will be forced to choose between loyalty and revenge. She will uncover a secret that could change the face of her world as she knows it.

Goodreads || Amazon (US)


That’s Fear talking. Never listen to him. Fear is a coward.

Jay Kristoff
pg 95

Initial Thoughts

Since this is the second book in a series, I’m going to say that this is going to a spoiler-filled for anything that happened in book one and that you should tread with caution. While my initial thoughts won’t be spoiler-y the rest of my review will be. Okay, I’m excited to read this. I was delightfully surprised by Nevernight. Having read another of Jay Kristoff’s works and not enjoying it, I was worried I wouldn’t like it. I couldn’t put the book down. Going into Godsgrave was no different. This second book in the series had the same high-octane pace that the first one had and there were a lot of unexpected twists and turns. I read this book very quickly and thought about it very frequently. When I wasn’t reading it, I wanted to be. Overall, I enjoyed this book even more than Nevernight. I’m going to go more in depth into my thoughts below.


The heavens grant us only one life, but through books, we live a thousand.

Jay Kristoff
pg 65

The very first book (or the first 12 chapters) of Godsgrave had flashbacks between the past and the present. In the past, Mia, finally a Blade in the Red Church, being told that she is unable to kill Scaeva and Duomo, her whole reason for joining the Red Church to begin with. To add to this, Mia comes face to face with an old enemy, Ash, where she learns that the Red Church is not all that it seems. In the present it tells the story of how Mia lets herself caught by slavers to sell herself to a gladiatorial collegium for the opportunity to compete in the grandest games in all of Godsgrave to end Scaeva and Duomo once and for all. I don’t mind the flashbacks, as I believed that this added some backstory and explained a few questions I had, but at the same time, I felt that it took me out of the story a little bit as well. I found myself having to go back to the end of the previous snippet to remember what had happened last in that time period.

The second and third book both took place after Mia had been purchased by Leona, widow of Remus, the justicus that Mia murdered in the previous book and the successor of her father. She is brought to Crow’s Nest, the home that she vacationed in as a child. Here, surrounded by a new cast of characters that I came to love, Mia fights for her right to fight in the magni. The winner of the magni would be crowned by Scaeva, and blessed by Cardinal Duomo, and declared a free man/woman. This would have been her chance to kill them both in one strike. Of course, things don’t go as planned.

For starters, I want to talk about some of the characters we were introduced to: I loved them all. Some of them took some warming up to, Sidonious (Sid) for example, but once I was in love, that was it. All of these characters are so morally gray and have such a complex history that you can’t help it. Mia, though she is ruthless and dark and twisty, you cannot say that she doesn’t care for those she loves.

The last 50 or so pages of this book had me hooked and gasping constantly. With the treachery that wasn’t really treachery, the death that wasn’t really a death, the reveal of Mia’s true parentage and the return of two previously thought dead characters, I was breathless by the end. I think it’s safe to say that this book may have blown me away. I can’t wait to have Darkdawn in my hands come September 3rd.


Better to run than die on your knees.

Jay Kristoff
pg 357

Future Friday: 5 Future Releases I need -now-


Darkdawn-Jay Kristoff

Release Date: September 3rd, 2019

I’ve been reading the other books in this series and am already so excited for this release. This is going to be the continuation of Mia’s story from Nevernight (read my review for Nevernight here). She’s a female assassin who gets the opportunity to study at the Red Church which is a school for assassins. Since this is the third book in the series I’m not going to go into more detail than that. This comes out on September 3rd and I am already itching to have this in my hands.

Goodreads || Amazon (US)


The Fountains of Silence- Ruta Sepetys

Release Date: October 1st, 2019

This is a historical fiction novel that takes place in Madrid in the year 1957, under the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco. Those who visit Spain in this time are unaware of this. Daniel Matheson, the son of a Texas oil tycoon visits to connect with the country of his mothers birth through the lens of a camera. He is introduced to Ana whose family helps reveal the lingering grasp of the Spanish Civil War. His photographs leave him with questions, and they reveal a dark side to the sunny Spanish city.

Goodreads || Amazon (US)


Ninth House- Leigh Bardugo

Release Date: October 8th, 2019

Leigh Bardugo has become an auto-buy author for me at this point. This is a book about a young woman named Galaxy “Alex” Stern, who was accepted into the freshman class of Yale. She led a tumultuous early life, shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs etc. By the age of 20, she was the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. When she is offered a full ride to one of the world’s most elite university, she takes it. Having doubts as to why she was given this opportunity, she arrives in New Haven with a task from her mysterious benefactors: monitor the activities of Yale’s secret societies. I’m curious to see what Leigh Bardugo can do outside of her Grishaverse universe. This comes out October 8th and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

Goodreads || Amazon (US)


The Starless Sea- Erin Morgenstern

Release Date: November 5th, 2019

Zachary Ezra Rawlins discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, he is entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors and nameless acolytes when he comes across a story from his own childhood. As he attempts to make sense of this he comes across clues -a bee, a key, and a sword- that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library that is hidden far below the Earth’s surface. He finds a curious place, a buried home for books that is so much more than meets the eye. This place is a place of lost cities and seas etc. With Maribel, a protector of the place and Dorian, a man with shifting alliances, Zachary the tunnels to discover his purpose- both in the book and in his own life.

Goodreads || Amazon (US)


Crescent City- Sarah J. Maas

Release Date: March 3rd, 2020

Bryce Quinlan, a half-fae, half human loves her life in Lunathion-or Crescent City- until it comes crumbling down when a ruthless murder shakes the foundations of the city and her life. Some time passes, her job is dead end and she seeks only oblivion in notorious night clubs. Except until the murderer strikes again, and Bryce finds herself dragged into the investigation. She is paired with a Fallen angel whose past haunts him. Okay, so I know Sarah J. Maas is very controversial in the book community. You either love her or you hate her. I was a little disappointed with her last few previous works, but I’m curious about what Maas is going to do with a book labeled “Adult” I might wait a little on this one to see some reviews first.

Goodreads || Amazon (US)


What are some books that are you really excited for? I hope you have a wonderful rest of you day, and have a great weekend, and as always remember to keep reading!

~Cam

Throwback Thursday: Top 5 Favorite Fantasy Novels

Hi there! Happy Thursday my fellow book lovers! I’m so happy that it’s almost Friday and have plans to spend the weekend curled up with a good book. I have a root canal scheduled for Friday (big ow) but once that’s over, I have time to spend curled up reading, with a nice cup of coffee and a pair of cats to keep me company! I also plan on playing some No Man’s Sky! NMS is a video game that allows you to explore a whole procedurally generated universe, so if you love space and you want to explore a universe with a very intriguing story, I’d highly recommend it. What are you doing this weekend?

Now, on to the post! This is something I want to do on a weekly basis where I talk about some of the past books that I’ve read and enjoyed in the past. For starters, I wanted to start sweet and simple and talk about some of my favorite fantasy novels. I’m talking the “I would take these on a trip to a deserted island” type books. These are in no particular order, but they’re some of my favorites. I’m going to try and include all of the information for where to get these and the Goodreads links. Please tell me what your favorite fantasy novels are and if any of yours match up with mine. If you don’t like the ones I mentioned, tell me why. I love to hear differing opinions and like to discuss the why and how of things. Anyway, onward:


Nevernight

Okay, okay, I know that I literally just read this, but it is one of my favorites nonetheless. While the writing style is definitely not for everyone, and I definitely struggled with it at the beginning, I quickly fell in love. I truly cared about the characters and the world was VERY fleshed out. There are details about the world that are elaborated upon in footnotes. This includes things like terms the reader would not be familiar with otherwise, customs and traditions that are important to members of the world and different facets of the religion. While others found that these foot notes distracted them from the flow of the story, I thought that they added insight that was very important to the story and helped me get a better understanding for the world. The characters, while un-likable at many points in the story, I found myself rooting for them and sobbing at certain points when they were in danger. I am currently reading the second book (at the time of this posting) and cannot wait to find out what happens. I recommend this book to anyone who loves grim, dark, fantasy stories, and doesn’t mind a lot of detailed gore.

Amazon(US) || Goodreads


Strange the Dreamer (Duology)

Okay, so I can’t really separate these two because they belong together. The writing is lyrical and poetic. This has some beautiful phrases and is very character driven. You’ll find yourself lost in the city of Weep and falling in love with all the characters, Lazlo, Sarai, Sparrow, Feral and Ruby, even Minya. I found myself lost in this world and feeling a connection to the characters that I had not felt in a very long time. I highly recommend this series to anyone who loves character driven, lyrical stories. The ending of the first book broke me, and the second one healed me and then broke me again. Just read it already. Also, I have major cover love for the UK hardbacks and US paperback editions.

Amazon(US) || Goodreads


Six of Crows (Duology)

Okay, this is another duology in which I can’t separate the two books. This is another character driven book.(Do you see a pattern here?) This is a heist novel that follows 6 characters, Kaz, Jesper, Wylan, Matthais, NINA FREAKING ZENIK, and Inej. All of these characters are all very fleshed out and have compelling back stories that give you some background and why they make the choices they do. I love all of the characters, all for different reasons. There is some disabled rep(own voices as well, since the author Leigh Bardugo uses a cane like Kaz Brekker). There is also some LGBT rep. This story melted my heart and I felt connected with the characters. As previous stated, this is character driven, but that doesn’t mean it’s not fully packed with plot and drama. I highly recommend this series to those who love character driven stories chock full of action and drama.

Amazon(US) || Goodreads


Mistborn

I’ll tell you what, Sanderson has a WAY with words. He truly knows how to craft a universe, and what’s more is he knows how to craft a magic system. This isn’t a soft magic system either. It’s a hard magic system that has rules that cannot be broken, which I love. Brandon Sanderson also knows how to craft characters and make you feel something.The characters are all their own people with their own personality. This is a story where the bad guys won and the aftermath of this. The story tells of the rebellion that ensues afterward. It’s been quite a long time since I’ve read this, so the details are a little blurry, but I plan on re-reading this soon.

Amazon(US) || Goodreads


The Lies of Locke Lamora

The tale that Scott Lynch has woven in The Gentleman Bastards series (at least what I’ve read) is amazing. This is such a self contained world and you really get to know the city of Camorr. This book probably has one of the best friendships of all time. The characters are compelling and morally gray. I truly loved reading this and read the entire book on the edge of my seat. Again, this story is very character driven and you focus on the relationships and friendships that are formed. I highly recommend that you pick this one up.

Amazon(US) || Goodreads


There’s my list! What’s yours? Comment below and tell me some of your favorites! I’d love to hear from you.

~Keep reading,
Cam 🙂

Book Review: Nevernight


★★★★★


  • Author: Jay Kristoff
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Page Count: 429
  • Date Started: August 1st
  • Date Ended: August 13

A Brief Description

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff tells the story of Mia Corvere, the daughter of an executed traitor. She gains admittance into a school of assassins called the Red Church. There she learns the art of death, blades, poisons and treachery. Along with a shadow not-cat, named Mr. Kindly she seeks a way to gain revenge against the Republic that destroyed her family and took everything from her.

Goodreads || Amazon (US)


The books we love, they love us back.

Jay Kristoff
pg 243

Initial Thoughts

Some things I will say about this book is that it is not for the faint of heart. This is not something that I would classify as “young adult” and it is definitely for adults or mature teens. It is dark, gory, and gritty. It goes into explicit detail in certain scenes, so if you tend to shy away from violence or gore, I would highly recommend skipping this one. The writing in this is very lyrical and VERY metaphorical. It did take me some time to get into this. The writing being so metaphorical threw me off at first and it took me a while to get into it, but once I got into it, I was IN. I would stay up until 2 or 3 in the morning just devouring this book, which is something I have not done in a very long time. I highly recommend this to anyone who is into adult fantasy with fantastic world building and stories that are very character driven. The next sections may be spoiler-y, so please keep that in mind going forward.


Too many books…too few centuries.

Jay Kristoff
pg 359

Characters

Mia is morally gray and very unlikable at times, but you still root for her. You feel her pain and struggling and it is explained to you in graphic detail. Her struggles to come to terms with her loss and her pain is raw and not shied away from. One thing I appreciated about this book is that it shows that Mia is not good at everything to start out. Mia needs to work to become good. She is no Mary Sue. She undergoes quite a bit of character development as well.

At first I was really ambivalent about Tric. Tric is a Dweymeri acolyte (what the school calls students). I didn’t know how to feel about him and I could sort of tell from the beginning that he was going to be posed as the love interest. I was a little meh about him at first but as the novel went on, you could tell that he truly cared about Mia. It’s not insta-love which is a nice change of pace. I feel like the romance progressed naturally and the sexy scenes are… whew. <Spoiler ahead, skip to next paragraph> I was heartbroken with how his arc ended and I really need to know if he’s okay.

My favorite character out of the whole book has to be Mr. Kindly. Mr. Kindly is Mia shadow not-cat that lives in her shadow. I… LOVE… Mr. Kindly. He adds some very much needed comic relief to an otherwise dark story.

There are some characters that you come to love and others that you come to hate. Jay Kristoff does a good job of making you hate certain characters, but I would love to see some of these more fleshed out. I’m interested to see where the character arcs go in the rest of the series. Another thing to add is that Jay Kristoff does not shy away from killing off characters. If you have read this, there is a particular character death that really gets me.

Final Thoughts

I am very interested to see where this story goes. The story was high octane, and while it had moments of slow-ness it kept me engrossed and kept me hooked. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves grim, dark fantasy stories and who doesn’t mind some descriptive scenes. I gave this a 5 stars and am planning on jumping into the second book, Godsgrave right away. Give me your opinions in the comments below. Have you read this book? What did you think?