Nevermoor: The Trails of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: Middle-grade Fantasy
Publication: October 31st 2017
Personal Rating: 5/5
A cursed girl 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. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each boasting an extraordinary talent that sets them apart – an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests – or she’ll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate
“The point is—as far as the Society is concerned—if you are not honest, and determined, and brave, then it doesn’t matter how talented you are.”
In Nevermoor we follow Morrigan Crow, a young girl who grew up believing she was cursed and destined to die at age 12. Her life took a turn for the better when on the night of her death a flamboyant gentleman, Jupiter North, comes to her rescue with the promise of taking her to somewhere safe with a side of adventure. Soon Morrigan is swept away and starts new challenges in the world of Nevermoor.
I wish people would give more credit to middle-grade stories. This story has a Harry Potter feel, but it is truly its own thing. It is a tale of magic, mischief, wonder, and acceptance. And give you all the same emotions one gets when reading Harry Potter for the first time.
The beginning of this middle-grade adventure is a rough, as you are drowned in an abundance of word building and information. But after page mark 50 or so, it slows down and new information is given out as part of the plot’s progression.
Nevermoor is nothing like Hogwarts, Nevermoor is a city in a new reality that shares many of our world’s reality, but with magic. Magic in Nevermoor is everywhere, flowing through people, animals, objects, and life.
Ms. Townsend gives us a world full of wonder and characters who are as real you and me. No one character felt the same, each one with their own individual quirks, goals, and personalities.
While in Nevermoor, Morrigan must complete a series of trials in order to become part of the Wundor Society (an elite group of individuals who are known and seen as the best of the best and you must prove yourself worthy to be part of it) and allowed to stay in the country. You see, Morrigan is an illegal immigrant and people (the police) want to deport her because Jupiter North snuck his little pupil in.
For it to be considered a children’s book, Ms. Townsend covers very heavy topics: family abuse, trust and forgiveness, believing in oneself, and the notion of refuge.
Ms. Townsend writing is crisp and oozing with detail and magic in every sentence. To my personal preference, it leaned a lot to a descriptive storytelling and it was beautiful.
This is not the “next Harry Potter” because Nevermoor is it’s own thing, much like HP was. Nevermoor is the next Nevermoor, and more people need to read it because the story is fresh, the morals are important, and Morrigan is a fantastic introverted character who learns her worth after years of emotional abuse.