ARC Review: Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

ARC Review: Nevernight by Jay Kristoff


Book Info

Released: August 9th 2016
Series: The Nevernight Chronicle #1
Published by Thomas Dunne Books
Pages: 448

“It came across… overwritten.”
~ Under the Covers

I was so excited to have the opportunity to read this book.  The cover first caught my eye and then the description of this book sold it.  A boarding school for assassins (think Hogwarts with knife skill classes) set in a beautiful locale such as Venice and with all the gore, blood and guts you could ever want.  It sounded so fun and different from other things out there and I’ve been more than ready for that!

But as soon as I cracked this open I knew there would be a problem with what I thought I would get.  NEVERNIGHT was hard to get through from the very first page, but I thought it would just be the beginning.  Lots of books start slow and heavy and can work their way into a good rhythm.  So I kept plowing through.  Soon it was obvious this was just not for me.  I had a few major problems with the book that prevented me from enjoying the underlying story (I’m assuming there was one) and it ended with me not being able to finish it.  I hate doing that!  My OCD goes bonkers, but I just couldn’t make myself read one more page.  Now, usually I don’t post DNF reviews.  But I felt compelled to do so with this one.

I’m sure this is a case of “it’s not you, it’s me”.  I’ve seen other reviewers enjoyed this book immensely and I imagine if I had been able to overcome my issues, the story would’ve been unique and compelling.  But here’s where I stalled:

  1. The writing. O the writing.  I wanted to pull my hair out of my head and stab my own eyes for fun because of the way the author chose to narrate this story.  Unnecessary adjectives, descriptions, similes and metaphors galore. Just too many WORDS that lost the sense of what the author was trying to get across.  Some made sense, some left me trying to read them over and over and still not able to figure out why they were even there!  I don’t think I’ve ever read anything quite like it, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good thing for me.  For some it may work, for me it didn’t.  It came across… overwritten.  I know there was a story underneath all that but I got so sidetracked by the writing that I couldn’t tell you what it was.Here’s a small sampling of quotes:

    Something had followed her from that place. The place above the music where her father died. Something hungry. A blind, grub consciousness, dreaming of shoulders crowned with translucent wings. And she, who would gift them.

    Tric gave another half-hearted stab, but the beast had forgotten its quarry entirely, great eyes rolling as it flipped over and over, dragging its bulk back below the sand, howling like a dog who’s just returned home from a hard turn’s work to find another hound in his kennel, smoking his cigarillos and in bed with his wife.

    I could go on with more quotes and maybe this is just me, but the writing is just … dense and heavy.  Like waddling through mud trying to find the meaning behind what he was trying to say but by the time I would reach the end of a paragraph, I was utterly bored and had completely lost interest.

  2. And the footnotes.  What.The.Fuck!  Sorry, but footnotes are not an appropriate tool for world-building in my opinion.  Maybe it was intended to be “cool” but when every other page has a footnote that ranges between a few lines to half a page long in which the author tells us about the world, about why someone feels a certain way, about the history of the heroine…. Isn’t that what you’re supposed to be weaving into the story?  Part of the actual writing?  You know, when they say you should be showing not telling?  What is that?  I’ve seen many people say they just dismissed the footnotes and didn’t read them, but then basically they missed a third the book!  It really got on my nerves.

I couldn’t get past these two things in order to finish this book.  And I tried.  O I tried!  I really did because I wanted to love it so bad.    Sadly, this one wasn’t for me.spacer



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.


What did you think of our review?
Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!


 ♡ Don’t want to miss any of our posts? ♡ 
Follow Under the Covers: Facebook | Twitter | Tsu | GoodReads | Email 

Follow me

Similar Posts

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Oh, boy….I think I will be passing on this one. Thanks for the honest review.


I’ll definitely be avoiding this one…thanks for sharing your thoughts Francesca


I am glad I am not the only one who could not finish it. The writing style just did not work for me!

Under the Covers Book Blog

There’s definitely not many of us out there LOL 😉

Amy R

Bummer, I’ll be skipping this.

Darynda Jones

Oh no!!! I’m still dying to give it a try, but since I have yet to read anything from Mr. Kristoff, I might begin with something else and then swing around to this one. Thanks for the review!


Wow that really was unnecessarily wordy… I will definitely skip this which is definitely a bummer