The book tells the story of Morrigan Crow, a girl born on Eventide, who’s fated to die at midnight on her ninth birthday. She is spared when rescued by a mysterious stranger ,and after they are chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, they escape to a secret city called Nevermoor.
Morrigan’s rescuer, Jupiter, owns the eccentric Hotel Deucalion and has chosen Morrigan to contend for a place in the city’s most prestigious society. The young girl must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each boasting an extraordinary talent.
I think you can all agree that the hype was unbelievable for this book. I’d been hearing about this novel since at least the beginning of the year, which gave me plenty of times to go through the Seven Stages of Hype. While the stages are a little different depending on whether you like the author before reading the novel with said hype, if it’s a part of a series, or if people you know have read it, these are the Stages of Hype I endured with Nevermoor.
Stage 1: Excited Announcement
When this book was being announced to the general public, there was already so much excitement. Aussie authors were excited, publishers were excited, and everyone in the bookish community soon caught on. It was this announcement that kickstarted the hype. Whenever I scrolled through Twitter or Instagram in the months after, I’d be reminded of the perpetual excitement surrounding Nevermoor every second date from cover reveals and posters and events.
Stage 2: ARCs / Proofs
In this stage, booksellers and bloggers started to receive advance copies of Nevermoor and build the hype by sharing photos of it and letting everyone know how amazing it is. That stage was when I actually considered selling a kidney — or my soul — for a copy of that book. I wanted Nevermoor more than I wanted the sustenance to survive. Kudos to the publishers and everyone who promoted this book.
Stage 3: Pre-Release Goodies.
As I work at a bookshop, we received all the promotional goodies a few weeks before the official release of Nevermoor, which included a fictional letter and a sampler. Of course, as soon as these goodies came in, I neglected serving customers to devour the few pages we were given. And I took a few letters and samplers for safekeeping as well, of course. I loved Nevermoor from the first page of the sampler, and it made me desperate for more.
Stage 4: Fear
But then the excitement began to be released by fear. Fear that this book would fail to live up to the hype. That I’d be the only one who didn’t enjoy it and I’d be shunned from the bookish community. I really wanted to love this book, but I know what too much hype can do to the reading experience. I didn’t want it to affect how much I liked Nevermoor, but I also feared it was already too late.
Stage 5: Frustration
In the last week or so leading up to the release of Nevermoor, I found that I’d moved on from the excitement and the fear, and instead I was filled with a kind of frustration. Not a day when by in the lead-up to the release that I didn’t hear about this novel, and I was just sick of the posters around the bookshops and the countdown and the gorgeous dark blue cover that seemed to follow me wherever I went. I knew I’d still end up reading it, but the hype was just so in my face by this stage that I couldn’t breathe.
Stage 6: Acceptance
But, of course, when I was working at the bookshop on the day Nevermoor was released, I couldn’t help but be swept up with the hype all over again. There were boxes upon boxes of this book, along with an amazing display that lit up. Of course, I couldn’t say no. I was a little sceptical about whether it’d like up to the initial excitement, but I wanted to get into it ASAP nonetheless. I also heard that one of the characters was inspired by Doctor Who, so that aided in my speediness in picking it up as well.
Stage 7: Screaming
I’m still so in awe of this book — of its ability to capture me from the very first page and instil the same sense of wonder within me as when I read Harry Potter for the first time. It was magical and beautifully-written, and a book that I just didn’t want to end. Nevermoor is Harry Potter meets Doctor Who, but with its own distinct and unique serving of magic. It’s undeniably the best middle grade novel I’ve read all year.
My favourite thing about Nevermoor was the characters. Each of them were so vibrant and interesting, and I loved being taken on this wonderful journey with them. But of course, my favourite character was Jupiter North — a distinctive mix of a few of the Doctors from Doctor Who. Part of my love for this character was his humour and his quirkiness, and his interactions with Morrigan were the best parts of this undoubtably brilliant novel.
This book was also so unexpected. There were magical surprises around every corner, and the tournaments and tests Morrigan had to past were equal parts exciting and compelling. I absolutely devoured this novel, simultaneously wanting to read it all in one sitting and also never wanting it to end. But it’s also the little things that were the most unexpectedly wonderful aspects of this novel — the giant cat, the magical umbrellas, and the frankly amazing hotel. I loved everything about it.
Ultimately, Nevermoor is a fun and whimsical middle grade novel that will fill you with childlike wonder that captivates and enthrals. I adored every single page, and I’m already eagerly awaiting the second instalment. Nevermoor is a novel that children and adults alike will devour, leaving them wanting to share the magic with everyone they know. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
How does hype affect you? Do you usually like or dislike a book more if it has a lot of hype? Have you read Nevermoor yet? What are some of your favourite middle grade novels? Are you going to read the second book in this series? I’d love to know!
Thanks to Hachette Australia for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!