Book Title: Godsgrave
Author: Jay Kristoff
Series: The Nevernight Chronicles #2
Date Started: October 9th 2019
Date Completed: November 28th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Adventure, Action
Quality Rating: Five Stars
Enjoyment Rating: Four Stars
Final Rating: Four Stars
Godsgrave continues on the story of Mia Corvere from the first book with just as much gore, sex and glory. I have to say I didn't enjoy it quite as much as the first book just because, with so much going on, it was so dense. It wasn't a bad thing for the story, and it wasn't a deal-breaker, but it was harder to read continuously.
Look, I need to take a moment to talk about how Jay Kristoff pulls off his twists because they're some of the few 'shocks' that I would actually give that name. There are some things that I can predict, and then there are some things I don't see coming at all, which is significant partially because a great deal of misdirection is used. He distracts you and makes it seem like something isn't important when it turns out to be the key to everything. But he also understands his readers. He is aware of their expectations both narratively, from genre to gratification, but also contextually. Kristoff knows the industry he works in and the other works it puts out, and he uses that to lead his reader down one path, implies they should be looking down another, and actually have the puzzle hidden behind a third direction altogether, letting all three converge at just the right time to be revealed. That's writing skill.
The tension works because violence and the threat of death are taken seriously in the story, so they have weight. Here's a little tip: don't get attached to anyone. Like anyone. Just because a character is named or instrumental to the story means nothing when this guy gets near them. And the tension also works because you know Kristoff is going to give you a conclusion by the last page. I can't tell you how satisfying it is to have a whole story arc and its goals achieved in a single book, even if it is part of a series. Kristoff knows how to add more questions rather than leaving things unanswered. He makes you want to come back for more rather than bribing with answers he's denied you.
Mia is interesting. Mostly because she's hard to predict. Not where it makes me question her consistency, but in a very human way that makes a unique spin on the very bloody, brutal world she lives in and the part she plays in it. She's hard and she's soft, and that's what's going to decide how this story ends more than her ability and luck. You don't often get characters like that. (I'd also like to thank Kristoff for some bisexual representation where a bi character actually has relationships with both genders).
With each instalment fulfilling its own narrative goals, I can't imagine what the last book in the series is going to be after it's done wrapping up its own story as well as the overarching epic that's been brewing for something like 1000 pages now. I hope it's just as jam-packed of everything, but I also hope I can't put it down.