“Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow” by Jessica Townsend

Thinking Nevermoor was probably overhyped, I avoided reading it for as long as I could. But the book is mentioned so often by bloggers and booktubers I follow that I got curious. It wasn’t until I read the Captain’s review of it that I decided to give the book a try.

I placed the book on hold at my library, which had it on order, and was glad that I was first in line to receive it. I began reading as soon as I got it and was immediately sucked in. I enjoyed visiting Nevermoor.


Middle-grade fantasy


Nevermoor, book 1



Quick overview:

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow is a middle-grade fantasy novel about a girl, Morrigan, who everyone believes is cursed because she was born on Eventide, an unlucky day to be born. Children born on this day are blamed for everything that goes wrong within their vicinity…or town. (Morrigan is blamed for every misfortune.) It’s also said that cursed children don’t live past age 11 because they die at midnight on their 11th birthday when the Hunt of Smoke and Shadow comes after them. (Morrigan dreads this.)

Though Morrigan is from a well-to-do family, she does not live in a loving household. Her father cares only about his job as Chancellor of their town and her step-mother is often insensitive to Morrigan’s needs. Her grandmother shows some care for Morrigan but is not the warm, friendly type. As Morrigan and her family sit at dinner in the hours leading up to her 11th birthday, they are visited by a strange man called Jupiter North, who convinces Morrigan to leave with him to escape the Hunt of Smoke and Shadow.

Morrigan is whisked away to an amazing city called Nevermoor, where Jupiter sponsors her to enter the Wundrous Society, a prestigious organization for individuals who possess interesting knacks (supernatural abilities) that can be applied in useful ways. To be accepted by the Wundrous Society, Morrigan must past four tests, one of which includes displaying her knack. But Morrigan has never shown signs of possessing an interesting ability. Jupiter strongly believes in her but as the tests draw closer, Morrigan becomes worried that all will not go as planned and she will be forced to leave Nevermoor. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

Erm… that overview probably wasn’t the best. It’s been a while since I’ve written my own, so it will take some practice for me to get good at it. Anyway, let me tell how much I enjoyed this book.

Nevermoor is the first novel I’ve read that’s promoted as being similar to Harry Potter and that comes close to being true about that. I loved it for this. It’s silly and fun and has a strong sense of wonder. Its plot is similar to the Harry Potter story: an unloved kid learns she is special and finds a new family and place where she’s not only accepted but is considered special. Even the villain is similar to Voldemort because people avoid saying his name.

Now you might read of all those similarities and think that the story copies Harry Potter. It doesn’t. Nevermoor is its own thing, but if you are a Harry Potter fan focused on finding what’s similar between the two stories, you will notice the similarities. I, however, enjoyed Nevermoor as its own thing. I like the quirky characters, the setting, especially the Hotel Deucalion, and how Morrigan develops throughout the story and forms close friendships.

Morrigan is my favorite character and I enjoyed reading from her perspective. She’s stands up for herself and others and is even a bit feisty at times. Though I liked Jupiter, he annoyed me because he’s evasive and for a while I thought he might be evil. Fenestra, a Magnificat which I understand to be a large-than-a-human cat that can talk, was interesting because she made me wonder what other creatures are in this world (so far dragons and witches are mentioned).

I love the world of Nevermoor and would like to learn more about it (like how does the people who join the Wundrous Society differ from witches). My favorite setting is the Hotel Deucalion, of course, which I’d love to see, especially the chandelier. It made me wish the book was illustrated. And that’s the thing: Like the Harry Potter books, Nevermoor so captivates the reader that the reader wishes the world was real or that she could visit it. The events held in Nevermoor sound exciting and amazing. The Black Parade sounds like a great celebration and makes me think of a Halloween carnival, and I’d love to see the Battle of Christmas Eve between Saint Nicholas and the Yule Queen. That chapter was one of my favorite moments in the story. The next is when Cadence asks to be remembered.

Yea, this was a good one and I’m glad I gave it a try.

Overall: ★★★★☆

It’s quick. It’s fun. If you enjoy middle-grade fantasy novels, then I highly recommend you try this one.

Buy | Borrow | Bypass

29 thoughts on ““Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow” by Jessica Townsend

  1. Yay! So happy to see you enjoyed it. I’m assuming you’ll be picking up the second book? I totally agree, while the similarities are obviously, Nevermoor is its own story & can stand on its own merit. I too loved the eccentricities of the characters and world. The hotel setting was another favorite. I cannot wait for the 3rd book 🙂


  2. I love this! I am reading this with my son at the moment, just a few pages a day when we get a moment and I am so excited to get further into this book as I have heard so many great things. Your review made me even more excited, thank you for sharing. I guess sometimes those over hyped books do turn out to be great….

    Liked by 1 person

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