Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #1) by Jessica Townsend
Published on October 31st 2017 by Orion’s Children Books
Genre: fantasy (MG)
Rating: 5/5 stars – a new favorite
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.
I had seen some people mention this book in their recent wrap ups, and every single one of them seemed to have fallen in love with it. While I don’t read middle grade often (no, that’s not an attack on middle grade, I am just not the target audience anymore), there was something about this book that made me want to read it immediately. I’m so glad I followed my gut on this one because I, too, ended up falling in love with this book.
This is the story of Morrigan Crow, a cursed girl who is destined to die on her 11th birthday. Before she can meet her untimely death, however, she is whisked away by a strange man called Jupiter and brought to Nevermoor, a magical city. After arriving in Nevermoor with Jupiter, Morrigan discovers that she will be partaking in the Trials to become part of the Wundrous Society. Jupiter is her sponsor for the Trials. We follow Morrigan as she learns more about Nevermoor and its people, and as she participates in the Trials.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been this captivated by a middle grade novel. I couldn’t put it down, and spent a lot of time thinking about it when I wasn’t reading. The atmosphere of this book is incredible. It felt so magical and wonderful – like anything is possible. This is what made me fall in love with fantasy at a young age, the feeling that anything is possible. And that’s exactly what this book made me feel, it made me fall in love with my favorite genre all over again.
From a hotel that changes decor depending on your mood and wishes to a talking, highly intelligent cat, this book has it all.
Morrigan is a great main character as well. She seems like such a realistic character, almost like a girl you know, because of her complexity and the emotions she shows. On the one hand, she’s a young girl discovering magic and a new world for the first time. That’s exciting, and makes her happy. She makes friends, learns more about the world, and grows. On the other hand, she is deeply insecure because of the abuse she’s had to deal with her entire life. Not physical abuse, but emotional. She was seen as a cursed girl because she was born on Eventide. Everything that went wrong within her town was blamed on her. Jam gone bad? Morrigan’s fault. Old lady broke her hip? Morrigan’s fault. Being blamed your entire life for things you have no control over, and always knowing your family is waiting for you to die leaves scars. And I’m glad Jessica Townsend didn’t skip over that. Morrigan is insecure and scared because of her upbringing, and she has to deal with those feelings.
There’s also Jupiter. We don’t learn that much about the eccentric member of the Wundrous Society in this book, so I’m looking forward to reading the next book and finding out more about him. So far, all I can tell you is that I love him. There are many interesting characters in this novel, and I couldn’t possibly talk about them all. I would say I love them all, but I don’t. You’re also not supposed to, for that matter.
All in all, this book is so much fun. It was a delight to read, and I enjoyed every single second of the experience.
I could go on forever, but all you really need to know is that this novel is fantastic. Even if you don’t love middle grade, or fantasy, I hope you’ll give this a try.