Saturday, July 1, 2017

Godsgrave

A ruthless young assassin continues her journey for revenge in this new epic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Jay Kristoff.

Assassin Mia Corvere has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church ministry think she’s far from earned it. Plying her bloody trade in a backwater of the Republic, she’s no closer to ending Consul Scaeva and Cardinal Duomo, or avenging her familia. And after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia begins to suspect the motives of the Red Church itself.

When it’s 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 herself to a gladiatorial collegium for a chance to finally end them. Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold within the collegium walls, and the body count rises, Mia will be forced to choose between loyalty and revenge, and uncover a secret that could change the very face of her world.


This book was definitely different than I expected, and I know all the reviews so far have been screaming, fangirling, glowing praise, but I'm here to keep it real right now.

I love Jay's writing. I think his ideas are fresh, his characters are as varied in personality as they are deep with mysteries, and his words can keep you hooked for days and begging for more. 

I was absolutely dying to read this next installment of the Nevernight Chronicles and am so excited to have given Godsgrave an early read, and I'll say now before anyone gets angry in a minute; Godsgrave is a great book. Mia is as badass as ever and she's evolving into an independent murderess as she comes of age and kicks some ass.

But... And this is a big 'but'... There are some issues.

First off, in book one, Mia is hardcore driven by her need for revenge. She knows what she wants. She joins the red church to give her life over to death in order to avenge her family and nothing will stir her from her path.

However, it seems now there are suddenly some doubts. After 8 months serving the red church and offering up souls to Niah, is this really what she wanted?

Mia questions everything and it goes completely against her personality in book one.

Mia's confusion becomes... confusing. 

Yes characters grow and evolve, but this is something more than that. 

Without spoiling any part of the book, Jay introduces new ideas for Mia to chew on, and then drives the point home so hard I became annoyed. I was actually annoyed by her inner thoughts and workings as she wondered again and again if she was doing the right thing and then struggling to make a decision on what to do next.

Her doubts weakened everything. By the end of the book, and the biggest, baddest fight scene, even I was wondering, do I really want this? Is this what she should be doing?

I couldn't even enjoy the fight because suddenly I was just as confused and wondering what the point of all this fighting was. As readers sinking into a grimdark novel looking for a fight, we shouldn't be confused when blood begins to shed. I feel like I should have been on the protagonists side, but I just wasn't... 

I was confused, I don't like being confused.

Luckily, the footnotes have indeed been shortened, there are fewer of them in book two which made for a much more pleasant and uninterrupted read, but overall I expected so much more from Jay Kristoff. He just kept driving his point home again and again and he pushed it too far. 

Plant the seed, let it grow, and then let it go!

In all, the Nevernight Chronicles is a fantastic story. Absolutely original work, fantastic interaction between characters, a well developed world and politics... Jay is truly an amazing writer.

But in the case of Godsgrave, the plot could have used some strengthening.

So, it's a great book, but I expect way more out of book three. And I hope Jay delivers.

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