PUBLISHER: Hachette Australia
RELEASE DATE: October 10, 2017
GENRE: Junior Fantasy
PAGE COUNT: 451
MY RATING: ★★★★☆
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Blurb: Morrigan Crow is cursed. Born on an unlucky day, she is 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 Eventide. 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 to a secret, magical city called Nevermoor. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to pass four difficult and dangerous trials – or she’ll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate.
The Next Harry Potter?
It is just so affirming to read a book that is truly NICE. Not groundbreaking or lifechanging – just really, really NICE. It reminded me how often I forget to read for pleasure, how often I use books to improve myself instead of to relax. I had the strange experience of being utterly happy – nobody and nothing can take away the joy of reading this book.
I can’t be bothered to discuss the ways in which Nevermoor is not the the next Harry Potter. Forcing the comparison will ruin your enjoyment, when this book has so much loveliness of its own to offer. I will say that Nevermoor feels to me like it would be suited to a slightly younger audience than Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. As an adult reader, I have a place in my heart for both.
The themes of honesty, bravery, and friendship are certainly not unique to Nevermoor. But the themes are so sincere in this book, making kindness and truth noble and heroic. I enjoyed seeing how the trials that Morrigan has to face before she can be granted membership to the Wundrous Society tested different values, forcing candidates to prove their moral fibre and lateral thinking.
I invested in Morrigan’s desires and fears because they inspired empathy and possibly some watering eyes. I love how she learns her lessons and finds her path all by herself, not shepherded by other characters. It’s nice to see a little girl who isn’t extraverted and talented, or quirky and bookish, but a balance of both – self aware, maturely rational, worried about all the right things, and with the guts to say and do what needs to be said and done.
Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow both did and didn’t live up to the hype – not only is it distinctly different to Harry Potter with its own unique charm, it is a sweet and memorable adventure that I will definitely return to. Morrigan Crow is a strong protagonist worth following on her journey.