It’s another middle grade Monday, with another book courtesy of a Magical Readathon prompt. My Care of Magical Creatures prompt required me to read a book with a creature on the cover; I picked up Nevermoor as a crow features on the front. I have to say I’m so grateful for the Magical Readathon for giving me the kick to pick this one up, it’s been sitting on my shelf for a little while now!
Author: Jessica Townsend
Publisher: Orion Children’s Books
Publication Date: 8th February 2018
About The Book…
Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she’s blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks–and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday.
But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor.
It’s then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city’s most prestigious organization: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each boasting an extraordinary talent that sets them apart–an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests–or she’ll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate.
What I Thought…
I don’t have to words to really do this book justice as I talk about it, from a few pages in I was hooked and I’m not sure anything I can say will truly get across how much I adored Nevermoor!
Morrigan Crow is a cursed child destined to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday, until on the evening of her would be death she is rescued by a strange man in a mechanical spider and whisked off to the Free State, home of Nevermoor!
Despite Nevermoor being the first book in the series Jessica does a fantastic job of introducing a whole new world and cast of characters without it feeling onerous. From the moment we are introduced to Morrigan and then Jupiter North and Nevermoor we are whisked along on Morrigan’s journey learning about Nevermoor and its inhabitants alongside our protagonist as she completes her trials to join The Wonderous Society. There’s a whole range of emotions to be felt throughout the book from sadness at Morrigan’s homelife, to the fear caused by the Hunt of Smoke and Shadow, amazement at the Hotel Deucalion and all the ups and downs of Morrigan’s journey through the Wonderous Society’s trials.
Jessica’s writing is a joy to read and her creativity really shines through in her creation of the city of Nevermoor. Special mentions need to go to the Hotel Deucalion, with its ingenious smoking room (I could certainly do with the lavender scented smoke to help me sleep some nights!), magical rooms and re-growing chandelier!, and the Brolly Rail which I think sounds like a wonderful but also slightly terrifying way to travel! Not sure I would trust myself on it heading over the Firth of Forth on my usual commute to the office!
Let’s talk a little bit about the characters, for me if I’m going to commit to reading a series it’s all about the characters. A book can be incredibly beautifully written but if I don’t connect with the characters I’m not going to waste my time picking up and second and third book. On the other hand characters I love can make me forgive all sorts of other issues I might find with a book, if be the end of book one I need to know what comes next for the cast you have me hooked. Fortunately for me Nevermoor combines fantastic writing and a superb cast of characters, by the time I reached the last page there was no chance I wasn’t ordering the second book in the series!
Morrigan Crow is our central character, one of the Cursed Children of the Republic, destined to die at midnight on her twelfth birthday she finds her already short life being further reduced when Eventide comes a year earlier than expected. I felt so sorry for Morrigan when we’re first introduced to her. It’s clear her father doesn’t really care for her, her death will allow him some sympathy but while she’s alive all she does is hinder his political ambitions as she is regularly blamed for anything and everything that goes wrong in her state. I loved seeing her managing to make friends in Nevermoor and the fact that despite everything that happened to her she was still fair-minded and tried to help others. I’m intrigued by the reveal at the end and I wonder how she’ll deal with her new destiny!
Next character I adored, Jupiter North! Definitely quirky but I challenge anybody to read this book and not like him! I loved that he took a risk rescuing Morrigan, although naturally he had his reasons. I love his slightly strange ways and the care he takes of Morrigan and Jack. Thanks to his membership of the League of Explorers I bet Jupiter has some fantastic stories to tell and I would love more of his backstory one day!
Mentions also go to Fen, the slightly snarky Magnificat, and Hawthorne, Morrigan’s fellow trialist, both of whom I’m looking forward to catching up with. Naturally, there are a couple of characters who I have taken great joy in disliking, but the one character who probably intrigues me the most is Cadence! I can’t quite get a read on her and her intentions so I’m hoping she pops up in Wundersmith and that perhaps my feelings on her will become a bit clearer!
I will be forever grateful to the Magical Readathon for giving me the prompt that had me picking Nevermoor off my shelf! There is a wonderful balance of darkness and humour within the story, the concept is fantastic, and I absolutely adore the central characters. Wundersmith is sitting on my reading trolley ready to read this month, and then I face my real dilemma, do I buy Hollowpox as soon as it’s released in hardback, knowing I only have paperback editions of the first two, or wait for the paperback release so they all match on my shelf!
About The Author…
JESSICA TOWNSEND sometimes lives in London, and sometimes on the Sunshine Coast in Australia, where she grew up. She was previously a copywriter and the editor of a children’s wildlife magazine for Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo. Her pet fascinations include public transport and secret societies, ancient cities and underground places, hotels and museums, Halloween and Christmas, old maps and giant cats – all of which have weaselled their way into her books. She is the author of the Nevermoor series and won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize Younger Fiction Category with her debut novel: Nevemoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow.
Connect With Jessica
Want To Buy It?
As always if you’ve read the book let me know what you thought! If you’ve not read it yet will my review convince you to pick it up?