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.
The Bookish Bro Says
Before I talk about Nevermoor, let me talk about middle-grade books first. Middle-grade books have a special place in my heart. Their target audience are kids roughly between the ages of eight and twelve, but that has never stopped me from picking up one (or four) of these books and enjoying their contents, even though I am three times the target market age. MG books make such good “breather” books for me because, just like my usual YA fantasy books, they contain a lot of magic and adventure, but minus the angst and inappropriate romances and complicated politics that feature heavily in YA. They are such easy reads but with beautiful world building and lovable, memorable characters; I can’t help but keep coming back to middle-grade books because of it.
Anyways, let me get on to talking about Nevermoor.
Remember that moment when you read the first Harry Potter book and you get to the part where they enter Diagon Alley, and it’s such a crazy, whimsical, magical, out-of-this-world place that you can’t help but feel overwhelming wonder? That’s how I felt when I read Nevermoor, especially when Morrigan was taken to the Hotel Deucalion (doo-kei-lien). The hotel and it’s many wundrous rooms, whimsical decor, and memorable staff are some of my most favorite parts of the book.
And the Hotel isn’t the only thing that reminded me of the Harry Potter series. A lot of the characters also did. So as not to give too much spoilers, I won’t mention who they are here, but some of them reminded me of Professor Minerva McGonagall, Albus Dumbledore, Hagrid, and even Filch. You’ll have to read the story to find out who they are!
Warning : Minor Spoilers May Be Ahead
Read on only if you don’t mind spoilers or have already read the book.
Here are some of my favorite Hotel Deucalion features:
- The Smoke Parlor – A room that creates smoke for different emotions and needs. So far, in book one, it hasn’t produced the same scented smoke twice.
- Morrigan’s Bedroom – the bedrooms in the hotel change and adapt, depending on the person using it. It’ll be bare when you first use it but once it gets to ‘know’ you, it’ll change and provide you with what you need, like a hammock instead of a king-size bed, or it’ll produce a fireplace if you need one. Sometimes, it provides you with things that you didn’t even know you needed.
- The Chandelier – there’s a chandelier inside the hotel that grows and turns into a specific shape/form. It also falls out at some point in time, but it regrows, like a tooth pushing out baby teeth.
Aside from the wundrous hotel, I also enjoyed the trials that Morrigan faces while staying in Nevermoor. The first one, in particular, was quite intriguing and unique for me. I won’t go into too much detail on that one as it is a major part of the story. I also quite loved one of the modes of transportation in Nevermoor; the Brolly Rail Transport. It’s a fascinating way of travel where one uses an umbrella (which I think is where they took the name Brolly from).
There are some characters that I absolutely hated, but I think that’s what makes a good book. To have characters that you root for, and characters that drive you crazy. A good diversity of both goes a long way!
Let me end this review by saying that if you loved Harry Potter and are into Middle-Grade books, you’ll absolutely adore Nevermoor and its cast of characters as well. Go check it out when you can, and don’t forget to pick up the sequel, Wundersmith, while you’re at it!
Jessica Townsend lives on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. Her pet fascinations include public transport, ancient cities, hotels, opera singers, Halloween, secret societies and gigantic cats – all of which have weaseled their way into Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow, her award-winning first novel released in 2017. Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow, the second book in this record-breaking series, was released in 2018.