Title: Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow
Author: Jessica Townsend
Target Age Group: Middle Grade
*Review contains no spoilers
“Morrigan’s night held only one possibility. Like every other child born precisely eleven years ago on the last Eventide, when the clock struck midnight she would die-the eleven short years of her doomed life complete; her curse finally fulfilled.”
This is a story about an eleven year old girl who is cursed. She lives in a city in which everyone blames every bad event on her. Morrigan’s family does not seem to care much for her and even seem to be looking forward to her demise. The date of Morrigan’s death is known to everyone because of the fact that she is a “cursed child,” which is someone born on an date called Eventide.
Only, when Morrigan is supposed to die, a mysterious but good natured man named Jupiter North shows up at her doorstep to take her away to a town called Nevermore. It turns out, Jupiter has chosen Morrigan to be a contestant in a competition to win a spot in The Wunderous Society. She is competing against hundreds of other children whom all seem to have a special talent. Morrigan is unsure as to why Jupiter chose her as his apprentice because she seems to be a very ordinary girl.
During her time in Nevermoor, Morrigan stays at a magical hotel that Jupiter owns. A giant cat, vampire, enchanted objects, and various other wonders objects and people reside at the hotel. The reader watches Morrigan make friends and enemies during her trials which all tie into her overall adventure.
Plot and Setting:
I loved this plot. I am not usually a middle grade genre book reader but this book may have changed my outlook on the entire genre. Townsend brilliantly builds a magical world that breathes whimsy and starlight. I have heard a lot of people compare this to Harry Potter. I can’t comment on that since I have only read the first book in the HP series. However, I can imagine people are referring to a feeling this book gave them that is comparable to the nostalgia of Harry Potter. The best way I can describe this book is cozy. A great book to read on a rainy day. Jessica Townsend builds her world so vividly. it is not overly descriptive, yet I can see the world perfectly in my head.
Oh and there is such a cute Christmas scene in the book that made me want to immediately put up my Christmas tree and stare out my window while it snowed.
I did not see the twist coming but I wasn’t trying hard to figure it out. I was too busy enjoying the story and the dialogue. If I wanted to try and guess the ending, I probably could have because once I finished the book, I thought it was fairly obvious.
I love these characters! They all have their own unique personality which all plays a large part in the story. How they all behave and interact is weaved so well into the plot. I would love to see this book adapted to a graphic novel.
Jupiter North is by far my favorite character. He has great one liners and the reader can feel his charisma through the pages. Having an adult character closely interact with a character that is a child can come off creepy but this is not the case at all with how the characters’ relationships are built in connection with their personalities’.
Fenestra, the Magnificat is my second favorite character because her dry personality is my entire mood on most days. Who doesn’t love a sassy giant cat?
The dialogue is another part of this book that made it come to life for me. The interactions and personalities shine through the writing style of Townsend.
Pacing is such an intricate part of a book for me. Some people prefer their books to be plot driven while others enjoy a character driven story. For me, there has to be balance but a huge factor is the pacing. A good story with slow pacing and too many details will have me DNFing books like its my job. This is another category that Townsend excels at. It wasn’t super fast pace where so much was happening that I couldn’t keep up. She takes us on a journey that is a stroll, speed walking, stroll, running, speed walking again, stroll, fast paced. We never walked or crawled through this story. There was always something interesting happening.
READ THIS BOOK. It is adorable, fun, whimsical, magical, and just made me so happy.