Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow - Jessica Townsend

Title: Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow
Author: Jessica Townsend
Format: Hardcover
Rating: 4 Stars

A cursed girl escapes death and finds herself in a magical world - but is then tested beyond her wildest imagination

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.

Morrigan Crow is a cursed child. She was born on Eventide.  That means that when she's 11, she will die at midnight on the end of the next Eventide. Then she meets a man, Jupiter, who, in a very Harry Potter "Yer a Wizard" type moment, chooses her as his candidate to join the Wunder Society, and whisks her off to the Free State. 

While there, Morrigan meets many people who enthrall her, teach her, and in some cases annoy the crap out of her.  (Come on, she wouldn't learn much if she got along with everyone she knew.) 

Morrigan also sees some pretty amazing and magical things like:

* A talking magnificat
* A chandelier that can regrow into whatever shape it wants
* A smoking room that fills with different scented types of smoke (it's really more like a fog)
* A bunch of daring people who use sort of heavy duty enchanted umbrellas to jump off the top of a building. 

The characters in this book are as charming as they are well-developed. They are all distinct from each other with their own personalities, quirks, and dreams. That's not always a given in books these days - there are a lot of books where they characters all just seem to blend into each other. But that is not the case with Nevermoor.  These characters are all their own, as well as being utterly charming and delightful - even the ones who are here as the bad guy characters.  They are all so well-written!

This story itself is marvelous as well.  It is well plotted and as well developed as its characters.  There were moments of tension and joy throughout the book.  Everything fits so well - and even though this is a fantasy book, you'll never find yourself saying "Oh that could never happen."  I mean, we all know in fantasy, there are things that could never happen - but the events in this story fit so well together.  This is a well thought out, well written story.  You and your kids or nieces and nephews or grandkids will love it!

Nevermoor is filled with moments that are absolutely absurd - like when Morrigan's parents think a curtain on the floor is her dead body (thanks to Jupiter's magic), and moments that are so funny and delightful.  This is a book that kept me laughing and wanting to know more from beginning to end.

The only complaint I had about this book was that Jupiter gave Morrigan a nickname and called her Mog several times throughout the book, even though she said that she preferred to be called Morrigan.  If someone tells you they don't want a nickname, don't give them a nickname - call them by the name they tell you!  That's just common respect. 

Other than that, I loved every single second of this books - and I think you will, too!

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