I really enjoyed this book and can't wait to see what other things happen in the series although I'm a bit annoyed that the series is still in progress. It was fun and intriguing book for people who like book with a Harry Potter feel.
A cursed girl who escapes death and finds herself in a magical world, but is then tested beyond her wildest imagination 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.
- ISBN10 1478923423
- ISBN13 9781478923428
- Publish Date 31 October 2017 (first published 1 October 2017)
- Publish Status Out of Print
- Out of Print 8 April 2023
- Publish Country US
- Publisher Little, Brown & Company
- Imprint Little, Brown Young Readers
- Format Audiobook (CD)
- Duration 11 hours
- Language English
Holy freakin’ MOLY! This was absolutely incredible. I’m dumbfounded.
A middle grade book has to be truly special to keep my attention. I’ve had kind of bad luck with them lately. This had my undivided, complete attention, all the way through. More than that, I was enchanted.
Jessica Townsend you are a genius. I haven’t read something so magical in so long!
Amazing, brilliant ending.
Amazing, brilliant world building.
Amazing, brilliant character development!
I LOVE MORRIGAN CROW!
She is a BRILLIANT, heart warming, firecracker of a girl that you can’t help but fall in love with. She starts out knowing exactly “who she is-” one of the cursed children that cause bad things to happen to certain people in her vicinity. She also knows that she will die at midnight on the last day of Eventide, as all cursed children do. She gets blamed for the most ridiculous things, and must apologize constantly, which she often does with sharp wit that is barely noticeable- I love her!
That is, until a mysterious man, named Jupiter North, whisks her away to escape certain death, & brings her back to a place called Nevermoor. If she wishes to stay there, she must compete in 3 trials & pass each to become part of the Wundrous Society.
When she is brought to Nevermoor and told that she, is, in fact, NOT cursed... she loses her identity for she has NO clue who she actually is, now that’s she’s being told she isn’t cursed. She finds her true self within each new trial and every day at the Hotel Deucalion, and with her new friend, Hawthorne (the very first friend she’s ever had. He rides dragons. Sounds like a cool BFF to me
We have a child who is cursed, who is taken away to prove that she part of some magical society, and we have some characters who we are not quite sure are on the side of good or evil. The book starts out rather sad and dreary but that to be expected since the whole point of Morrigan is she a cursed child who will die very soon.
Things move along at a nice steady pace, with lots of information learned as we go along on the adventure. From Moriggan finding out bidding day and her being told not to worry about it. She gets to go along with her uncle and ends up getting the most bids. The excitement spirals on from their. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and will be reading the rest of this series.
Morrigan herself is a spunky, determined protagonist whom readers will love to root for as she attempts to earn a coveted place in the exclusive Wundrous Society, a group of intrepid adventurers with unusual talents. Her good points are nicely balanced by some realistic character flaws, such as occasionally doubting her own abilities or getting into spats with other children.
The plot is engaging and ties together several threads, including Morrigan’s quest to pass the tests to enter the Wundrous Society and her attempts to fit into her new home, as well as a more overarching plot about good vs. evil. I couldn’t help but keep turning the pages to see what would happen next, as well as to keep exploring Townsend’s imaginative world.
Nevermoor delighted me the entire time I was reading it. It’s only January, but I already think this is going to be a contender for one of my favorite reads of 2018, and I can’t wait for the sequel.
Originally posted on Once Upon a Bookcase.
Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend is just wonderful! It's full of charm, and is just completely magical! I really enjoyed it!
Morrigan as a character is pretty awesome. She believes she is the cause for all the misfortune experienced by the people around her because of her curse, because that's what everyone else believes, and they treat her accordingly. She's not really loved by her family. The opposite to what you expect from fantasy, Morrigan is special, but in a bad way. She's not a hero, she's not the chosen one, she's a girl just trying hard not to cause bad things happening to others. Then she is whisked away to Nevermoor, is told it's all rubbish, she isn't cursed (though she doesn't believe it), and is treated like any other person. Not special at all. She doesn't even have a knack - a special talent that is to be shared in the last of four trials to get into the Wundrous Society, the Show Trial. Although not having a knack is a worry, she revels in how wonderfully normal she is in Nevermoor, and how people like her, are nice to her, and want to be her friend. And Morrigan shows spunk, without being reckless; she's not a frightened little mouse, and she will stand up for herself. She's just great!
However, it's her patron Jupiter North who I loved! Oh, how I adore him! He reminded me very strongly of Doctor Who - not any Doctor in particular, just a possible future regeneration. He's quirky, eccentric, and such an oddball. But also intelligent and wise and very caring. He owns a hotel, the Deucalion, that has magical bedrooms that transform to suit who sleeps in them, and other fantastical rooms that just put me in mind of the Tardis. I have to say I really wish we saw more of him, but he is a very busy Wundrous Society member, and has things to do. I also loved Head of Housekeeping, Fenestra the Magnificat - a giant talking cat who is always in a bad mood, Frank, the vampire dwarf, who is always just a little mischievous, and Dame Chanda, another member of the Wundrous Society, an operatic singer who attracts woodland animals, beautiful and classy and glamourous (who reminded me a lot of Nana from Sing). Nevermoor is full of such fantastic characters, and I loved getting to know them all.
The trials, though, weren't as big a deal as I expected them to be. They weren't quite as "difficult and dangerous" as I was expecting. Although Morrigan herself got worked up about them, they felt quite tame. This is a children's book, though, and I'm sure to younger readers, the trials will leave them sitting on the edge of their seat. But as the trials are in the title of the book, I expected them to last a hell of a lot longer than they did. They were over pretty quickly, and, for me, felt anti-climatic. I just expected more, especially when Morrigan will be kicked out if she doesn't pass them. But I also expected them to be more of an event, whereas they felt like just another chapter. As I've said, the book is full of charm, and I did enjoy reading it, but having finished it, I also think it was a little slow. There are lots of chapters where nothing much of any import to the overall plot happens. Of course, something is always happening, something delightful and captivating, but more often than not, not anything that makes a difference to the story - it's just life in Nevermoor, life at the Deucalion. But as I enjoyed it all, I don't know if it's really a bad thing. It will all definitely wow the younger readers.
The link made to the Harry Potter series is apt but also unfair, I think. I can understand why the link was made, there is something familiar about Nevermoor, and it's quite easy to see the parallels - a miserable child who is treated badly by their family, who is whisked away by a strange man to a magical place where they are accepted - but I do think making the link between any book and Harry Potter can create certain expectations that the reader shouldn't have. Harry Potter is huge, after all, and I think putting that pressure on an author is really unfair. Despite the few similarities, Nevermoor isn't Harry Potter, the story is completely different - Nevermoor is its own story, and one that should stand on its own merits. And it's completely enchanting.
Nevermoor definitely feels like a children's book, but that's not to say it doesn't have crossover appeal. Adults who enjoy reading beautiful and charming children's books will enjoy Nevermoor, too, but it's not a book that feels like it's for all ages. The writing is completely captivating, and I can imagine it being a great book for parents to read to their child; the child being awed by the magical things that are happening, the adult being drawn in by the writing and the wit, and just how lovely it is.
A really enjoyable read, and I'm really looking forward to seeing where the story goes in book two!
Thank you to Orion Children's Books for the bookseller's reading copy.
A fun read, with sufficient intrigue and interesting world-building choices.
3.5 rounded up because it's really good for a middle-grade book.
The Trials of Morrigan Crow is a fantastical, wondrous and whimsical adventure. Eleven year old Morrigan Crow is an unfortunate child and the origin of mayhem who will come to pass on the eve of Eventide. Morrigan is a wonderful young lady, intelligent and whimsical although resignated to accept responsibility for Jackalfax's outrageous predicaments. On the even of Eventide, Jupiter North offers Morrigan salvation, accompany him to Nevermoor to compete in the Wundrous Society tournament. Morrigan is sceptical but intrigued nevertheless and steps boldly into the enchanted world. Throughout the narration, we discover Morrigan is a young woman who has never known a sense of belonging. Her father has remained cold and distant while the citizens of Jackalfax believe Morrigan to be a blight upon their community. In Nevermoor, Morrigan is considered to have entered illegally and the authorities are determined to send her home.
Jupiter North is a mysterious, bearded man and a member of the prestigious Wundrous Society. Jupiter is the proprietor of the distinguished Hotel Deucalion, a debutante Patron and Morrigan's guardian. A remarkably diligent man, Jupiter is an integral aspect of Nevermoor and often called abroad on official business. The Hotel Deucalion is home to a wonderfully, eclectic assortment of characters. Fenestra the talking Magnificat, Jack the sullen nephew of Jupiter and a vampire dwarf throughout the wondrous and fantastical floors, the smoking room with scented vapour to ignite the senses, the hall of shadows where imagination will run amok.
Competitor and friend Hawthorne is a delight. He and Morrigan become inseparable friends and a tremendous support throughout the competition. The Wundrous Society tournament consists of four stages to assess the children of Nevermoor. Shenanigans are inevitable with hundreds of competitors in contention, deception and terribly treacherous children determined to be victorious. Darkness descends over Nevermoor when the villainous and unpleasant Wundersmith inconceivably is causing pandemonium. Despite being banished.
The Trials of Morrigan Crow is whimsical and atmospheric, the epitome of fantastical and imaginative fairytales. Delightfully written and a breathtaking debut from author a Jessica Townsend.