“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

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[about-author author=”Jay Kristoff”]

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7 Comments

  1. 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!