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Review: Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff (Nevernight #2)

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Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff // VBC ReviewGodsgrave (Nevernight Chronicles #2)
Jay Kristoff
Published: Sept. 5, 2017 (Thomas Dunne Books)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: purchased

Reviewed by: Beth

Rating (out of 5): 5 stars

Note: while this review will be spoiler free, it will make reference to the previous book. If you haven’t started this series yet, check out VBC’s review of book 1, Nevernight.

Mia is back—and more fierce than ever. Still working on revenge for those who killed her family, Mia sells herself to find the best opportunity to kill the Consul, and in doing so finds that some secrets are better left uncovered. Along the way, her life is saved by a mysterious image resembling death, and she finds that—for an assassin—having a heart can be both blessing AND curse. We find Mia growing more in her powers, though no closer to understanding what they are or how they work than she was before. And she has a run-in with an enemy from book one (no spoilers) that makes her question her goal of revenge as she believed it to be.

Kristoff starts this book off with a bang, and the action Does. Not. Let. Up. Frankly, it is an exhausting book to read—particularly if you’re like me and pick it up for “just a couple more chapters” before bed, and then find yourself closing the book at almost 3 am in shock. The book does not begin right after the end of the last one, and in fact, there is some catching up for the reader to do. Some of this is handled by our ever-present narrator, and some by flashbacks, though thankfully that part is not overdone. Down side to this book–there is a cliffhanger. As in a straight-up, “WTF just happened? Is that the last page?” cliffhanger. Again no spoilers, but it will leave you wondering where it will all go in book three.

The setting has changed a bit; same world, but a different part of it, and with a bit of a gladiator flair. The descriptions of the life Mia finds herself living bring it to life, and as usual Kristoff does not hold back. There is blood, and killing, and lots of death—appropriate for an assassin in the revenge business. Kristoff is tops in the world-building business, and he definitely shows that to advantage here. There is something so alien about this place, and yet—in its own way—somewhat relatable as well.

Characters are also strong here. New ones shine, and old ones continue to grow in relation to the story. Mia is struggling to realize that so much of what she believed about herself, her home, and her family may not have been accurate, and that leaves her both angry and vulnerable. It’s a fine line to walk, particularly for an assassin, but it’s done well here. The thought of sympathizing with someone who chooses to kill for a living can be an odd one, but it truly does not feel out of place, considering the fact that she continues to be a scapegoat for so many as the story progresses. The Red Church plays less of a part here than it did in the first book, but when they appear, they remain creepy and…well, let’s just stick with creepy.

Kristoff continues to rock it with this story of a strong female character who bows to no one, unless it’s by choice. Yet she also grows as a character, and doesn’t remain in a rut—it could be so easy to just leave her the “powerful assassin” and milk it, but there is no easy way out for Mia, and that is refreshing. It’s interesting how nuanced these people who deal in death can be, and in Godsgrave, death is always an option. In some cases, it might be the preferred one.

Sexual content: Sex

2 Responses to “Review: Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff (Nevernight #2)”

  1. Sounds like a great book! I’ll take a look at the first book in the series though. Great cover too!

  2. Brad says:

    You may want to change the sexual content from None to explicit sex scenes. At the beginning of the book their is sex scene including male/female and female/female.

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