I’ve been seeing a lot about this book and how it’s the ‘next Harry Potter’ – apart from featuring 11 year olds introduced to magic, I don’t think they have much in common. However, this doesn’t stop Nevermoor from being an absolute delight of fun, darkness, magic and mystery!
Book: Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend
Read before; The first couple of chapters from the library, then I decided to get my own copy
Ownership: Hard copy, from Mostly Books
First things first, this book is so much funnier than I was expecting! It made me laugh out loud several times, even at the beginning, where Morrigan is beset by a curse and her horrible family. The author has a wonderful way with pithy one-liners that will make you snort-laugh.
But the fun really starts when Morrigan meets Jupiter North, and is whisked away to Nevermoor, which is a really inventive world. The Hotel Deucalion is an awesome setting, with a wide and wacky cast of characters, each more fascinating than the last. I loved Fen, the giant cat, and Frank, the vampire dwarf. Each of the new characters is easy to fall in love with, and I could easily just have read about the day-to-day life of the hotel! I also loved the Wundrous Society gardens, with its unique weather that is just a bit more. I think someone has some experience of Oxford’s microclimate.
However, in order to stay in this magical place, Morrigan must gain entry to the Wundrous Society, by passing four increasingly difficult trials. These are fantastic to read about! I loved the twists in meaning given to each one, so that the objective was not immediately apparent. They give great structure to the book, as Morrigan trains for each one – it’s a great way to keep the pacing up.
There is darkness in this book, notably in Morrigan’s realisations about her family (and also the somewhat terrifying interlude with zombies), but somehow Nevermoor manages to stay light-hearted and zany. I’ll be interested to see if future books keep this tone, or if, like with Harry Potter, they get darker as Morrigan grows up.
Whichever way it ends up, though, I’m definitely in. I loved Morrigan, I loved everyone at the hotel, and I’m hooked to see what happens next! Four out of five cats!