Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow, by Jessica Townsend

Might we finally have a worthy successor to Harry Potter?? An advanced readers copy of this book was presented to me by a sales rep, along with approximately thirty ecstatic reviews. I, of course, remained skeptical. Three days later, upon finishing the book after midnight while my boyfriend snored beside me, I count myself among its enthusiastic fans.

Morrigan Crow is a cursed child, born on Eventide in the Republic, destined to die at midnight on Eventide twelve years later, whilst in between being held accountable for all sorts of other people's misfortunes. But Eventide comes a year early and Morrigan, though disappointed, is resigned to her fate, only to be suddenly whisked away by an insouciant redheaded man who saves her from ominous specters of hounds and horses nipping at her heels. Through a portal they enter Nevermoor, and Morrigan's life is utterly changed.

Morrigan herself is a wonderful character: clever but not obnoxiously so, kind but with a healthy dose of defensiveness, brave but not foolhardy. She's believable, and so are the characters that surround her in the fantastic city of Nevermoor. Father-figure, brother-figure, best friend, nemesis, and various supporting characters provide fun and excitement. My own personal favorite is Fen, the Magnificat. The city (as well as the rest of the world) runs on Wunder, a sort of magical electricity that delights but can also be used for nefarious purposes. My one complaint would be that the girl we're meant to believe is up to no good is one of the few described as "dark skinned." While she may turn out to be not so bad in the end, it's a bit troubling to me that the one of the few "bad guy" characters we have throughout nearly the whole book is also the only dark skinned one. Someone in editorial should have been a bit more sensitive to that overtone. Otherwise, though, it's a really fantastic read, sure to fly off the shelves once it's released for the holidays.

Pre-order it here!!


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