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 into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor.
It's there that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city's most prestigious organisation: 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. Except for Morrigan, who doesn't seem to have any special talent at all.
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.
Ahh, how fun was this book!!! I had that 'this is going to be a good book feeling' right from the first chapter which caught me off guard with it's charming and whimsical vibe. But it wasn't just amusing or funny, it was creative and magical and felt wholly original. I was absolutely enchanted the whole way through, and the twists and surprises delighted me and kept me up in the night.
As for the characters? Some loyal, some mysterious, others have you guessing: who can you trust? What is their real agenda? So many of them were unique and fun to meet and a small contingent have already burrowed their way into my heart as new fave fictional characters <3.
I loved all the little sneaky fun aspects of Nevermoor. From the food they ate, to the houses, transport, the history and the lands, the annual celebrations, the way they do Christmas, the mythical creatures, all the little magical touches were just so fun to discover and explore.
The trials (I love a book with trials)! So fun, thrilling and unexpected. I loved the final trial the most, where the creativity and talent of the contestants was amazing. Jessica Townsend seems to have an unlimited pool of imagination on which to draw from ~ oh my gosh I loved it so!
It was also delightfully creepy ~ enough to give some small thrills and scares with certain scenes. There was an escalating sense of danger where I wanted to scream into the book and tell Morrigan to take care! Look out!
This is the kind of book that is both an immense pleasure to read and also the rare kind of book that can cause the readers imagination to take flight and daydream. Not only do you visit an incredible world, but afterwards, there's the possibility of the reader themselves opening up their imagination to creating their own wondrous world, where anything could take place.
The Trials of Morrigan Crow was a fave read of the year for me and I am certain it will be a new favourite book for so many (I've passed it straight on to my 13 year old daughter). I absolutely recommend this for readers of all ages (it is a middle grade book but with the transcendent charm of Harry Potter/Narnia for older readers as well). If you have nieces and nephews/children to buy books for for Christmas this is sure to be a hit :) I can't wait for Nevermore #2 ~ there is a delightful promise of so much more to come.
The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Nevermore #1) is available everywhere now!
Thanks to Hachette Australia for my review copy :)