Review Blog

Nov 15 2017

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

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Lothian, 2017. ISBN 9780734418074
(Age: 8-13+) Highly recommended. Nevermoor will be compared to Harry Potter. There is an unloved child with unknown powers, a journey to a parallel world with new friends and bullies as well as an eccentric but kind mentor. The front cover even states that "Readers will feel as though Harry Potter is meeting Alice in Wonderland" (Kirkus).
Indeed, there are many similarities but Nevermoor and its main character, Morrigan Crow are able to stand apart and be enjoyed in their own right.
Morrigan Crow is a deemed cursed child, someone who only brings bad luck to all around her and will die on her 11th birthday at midnight on Eventide. Her family are cold and uncaring but she stays stoic and greets each negative incident with an almost detached humour.
On the depressing night of her ordained death, Morrigan is rescued from the evil "Hunt of Smoke and Shadow", by her unflappable and charming mentor Jupiter North of the Wundrous Society.
She journeys to Nevermoor and lives in the fantastical Deucalion Hotel owned by North and it is here Morrigan meets a variety of interesting characters such as Fenestra the giant Magnificat and Frank, a vampire dwarf - or is it a dwarf vampire.
Morrigan begins a friendship with Hawthorne, who is her greatest support during the series of trials she must pass in order to remain in Nevermoor. She is competing against hundreds of other children who will all display their particular talents. The problem is Morrigan has no idea of her own gift.
This is Jessica Townsend's first book (and obviously a first in a series) but at the Frankfurt Book Fair she received requests for publication from at least eight major publishing houses.
There is so much to recommend this book, the combination of magic and humour, the wonderful activities of Nevermoor such as the delightful Christmas celebrations and the unique, amazing rooms at the Deucalion. The characters and scenes are vivid and very theatrical. Morrigan herself is a wonderful heroine, steadfast and brave while making witty comments about the goings on around her.
To the fans of Harry who mourn the end of the "Hogwarts" world", I invite you to join Morrigan in Nevermoor. I believe you will not be disappointed.
I highly recommend this book to anyone 8 to 13 + years old.
A small trailer for the book is available.
Jane Moore

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