Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 10 Oct 2017

Member Reviews

⚠️ Warning: Unpopular Opinion Ahead ⚠️

I was so excited about this book but unfortunately I’m in the minority here and couldn’t make it past 36%. There were too many obvious nods to other books so I ended up feeling like I was reading a list of the author’s favourite things. Amongst others, it was as if I were rereading Roald Dahl, Harry Potter, Mary Poppins, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and possibly rewatching a Gilmore Girls episode, but all mashed up and distorted.

I keep going back to it and can’t move on from where I left it. If I ever manage to finish this one I’ll update my review and will grovel to the author for forgiveness if I wind up loving it. At this point though, I just can’t try any more.

Thank you so much to NetGalley And Hachette Children’s Books, Australia for giving me the opportunity to read this book.
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Nevermoor has elements of several well-known and well-loved fictional universes. There’s the slightly kooky/offbeat vibe that would be at home in The Addams Family, the plays on words Jasper Fforde’s readers will recognise, and probably quite a few more besides.

But by far the similarity that stands out the most is with Harry Potter. Our main character is a cursed eleven-year-old, raised in a place where people keep their distance from her, and she’s whisked away by a tall and outrageous-looking man with his own special kind of vehicle into a land where things are more magical and bizarre and… just “more”.

Full review can be found at the below link.
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*thank you to NetGalley and Hachette Children's Books, Australia for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

4 stars.
Wow! What a surprise this book turned out to be! Ive heard that its ment to be the next Harry Potter and immediately I was just, 'nope....just nope.' Butttttt.....I think I may have been wrong! Yeah I know! But seriously, this was really really good! Its got everything you want in it and can I mention just how much I LOVE that cover! I just love it so much! If you are even a bit interested in seeing for yourself if this lives up to the hype, then read it! I have also just hear that this is to be a series?.... I hope so! I can not wait to read the next!!
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**Thank you to Hachette Children's Books (Australia) and NetGalley for sending me an ARC of this book in return for an honest review.

5 glorious stars!!!

I honestly wish I could give this book more stars. It has got to be one of the best I have read so far. Where do I even start? I found it utterly and deliciously whimsical. The worldbuilding was phenomenal. The descriptions and imagery used were visually breathtaking. I was swooped up into the story from page one. Jessica Townsend is a genius when it comes to writing. Her writing style is effortless and engaging. Her use of prose weaves a beautiful tale. I was just spellbound. I found myself wanted to read more and more. It's really hard to describe.

The MC Morrigan Crow is a delightful protagonist. I found her instantly likeable. She is adventurous, honest and unique. Reading the story from her perspective was really captivating. I could feel her emotions vividly. I got caught up in her world - her ordeals, her trials. Every part of the story felt immersive which was a pleasure. Even the minor characters were ridiculously enjoyable - Mr. Jupiter to the Magnificat, Fenestra. For a Middle Grade book, I was taken by surprise as to how much I liked it.

I also liked how the book encompassed all of these magical creatures and I enjoyed the history of Nevermoor. Not once did I come across any info-dumping. Any relevant details were related through the characters' dialogues which added an even richer experience for the reader. The book is also very atmospheric. When you read through the trials, you are swept up in Morrigan's journey. You can feel the spookiness or the enchantment of this imaginary world that Jessica has created.

The story is interwoven with many elements that make it engaging for the reader. We come across secrets, betrayal, action, humor and more. But at the heart of the story, the book is about friendship, family, and belonging. I think that's what made this book so endearing for me. Morrigan is clearly an underdog and you can't help rooting for her. I guess deep down everyone has that kind of longing. The reveals and plot devices were expertly done. As I said earlier, the author is a wonderful storyteller. I cannot emphasize how much I love this book. I just need the sequel like RIGHT NOW. I would thoroughly recommend reading this one if you love all things utterly silly and fantastical. :)
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If you don’t know the name Jessica Townsend, you soon will. The Queensland author has created a wonderful new fantasy series that could well fill the post Harry Potter void with her debut novel, Nevermoor - an adventurous story about a cursed child who, on the eve of her scheduled death, finds herself whisked away to a magical city with an invitation to try out for a prestigious organisation. 

While the influence of the Potter universe is no doubt there, think Hogwart’s Triwizard Cup, Townsend has carved herself out a unique word with a distinct voice. Morrigan Crow is fun, strong character that’s easy to cheer for while the plot is fast-paced and full of adventure. 

It’s a world you’ll want to return to again and again, so it’s a good thing that book two has already been announced for next year.
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I've heard Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow was the pick for Christmas, and it lived up to the hype! Australian author Jessica Townsend writes beautifully and it doesn’t hurt that the magic is very reminiscent of Harry Potter.  Honestly, it had me at the talking cat. All we need is book two, now!
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Note: this review will be published on my blog on 16.10.2017

Nevermoor is an enchanting tale that celebrates individuality and relishes in the extraordinary. Morrigan Crow and The Wunderous Society will undoubtedly capture the imagination of generations of children and adults alike. Infused with wonders and magic, this is a story that begs to be shared by parents and kids everywhere.

Morrigan Crow was born on Eventide, the unluckiest day of the year. Since birth, Morrigan has been told that she is cursed – doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday. As such, family members and society alike have held Morrigan and children like her at a distance – denying them affection and opportunities, despite Morrigan’s obvious display of vast intellect. Morrigan’s life truly begins the moment it was meant to end, on the eve of her eleventh birthday, when Jupiter North appears to extend Morrigan an invitation to Nevermoor.

The adventures Morrigan embarks on during her time in Nevermoor is filled with dangers and delight. Jessica Townsend’s creates a vivid and fantastical world in Nevermoor, where nothing is impossible and possibilities are endless. Within these pages you’ll find mysteries and mischief, magic and monsters, and a young girl who’s finally allowed to discover her full potential under the guidance of a loving mentor.

The most well-developed relationship in this novel is the one between Jupiter North and Morrigan. I loved their banter and effortless chemistry – and it’s a delight to see another character so invested in Morrigan and her personal growth. I also loved see Morrigan gradually develop confidence as the novel progressed. 
Morrigan and her tale gives me high hopes for the future of Australian fantasy fiction, it’s a breath of fresh air filled with well-loved tropes mixed together with imaginative ideas. Nevermoor reads like a perfect marriage between Harry Potter, Roald Dahl, and Mary Poppins – and I can easily see this saga amassing an adoring fanbase of its own.
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Miss Morrigan Crow has known since she was born that she will die on Eventide. Although she is the daughter of the distinguished Chancellor Corvus Crow the people of Jackalfax, her family included, will not mourn her passing. Morrigan is wonderful and whimsical eleven-year-old girl, who is desperate to find family and appreciation, all the while resigned to accept the responsibility for all bad luck that plagues Jackalfax. This is the dark reality of being a cursed child. On the eve of Eventide Morrigan receives an invitation to the Wundrous Society sponsored by a man named Jupiter North. Survival and Nevermoor await her.    

Morrigan Crow is a fantastic character. She finds herself as the blame of all kinds of disasters from a burnt batch of jam to a boy losing the spelling bee to the Crow’s gardener’s heart attack. But thanks to Jupiter she finds herself living in a hotel that adapts to its guests’ needs and mingles with a cast of crazy characters. She finds out that for her to stay in this wonderful world she must get into The Wundrous Society and in turn face four trails which aren’t what they seem.   

This is why I love middle-grade fantasy. I flew through this. It was so much fun and at times suspenseful. There something about this genre that allows the worlds to be innovative, creative and refreshing. Cursed children, brolly rails, secret societies, giant talking cats, magic trails and my new favourite holiday, Hallowmas. Townsend has mixed the whimsy of worlds like Wonderland and Whoville with the dark humour of Lemony Snicket. The Trials of Morrigan Crow is a wondrous adventure, which will ignite the imagination of any reader. 

Townsend hasn’t only created a relatable protagonist and an amazingly creative world; she also created a cast of amazing secondary characters. These characters are all well rounded and aren’t just there as props to support Morrigan. Jupiter North is really the child at the heart of this story. He is a mysterious man who is an explorer, hotel proprietor, member of the Wundrous Society and Morrigan’s Patron and guardian. I adore Morrigan and Jupiter’s friendship, mostly how the roles seem reversed with Morrigan being the reserved and sensible one. Along with Jupiter, we have, Fenestra the talking Magnificat, Jupiter’s broody nephew, Jack, a vampire dwarf, an opera singer whose voice summons woodland critters and Hawthorne, Morrigan friend and fellow competitor in the Wundrous Society trials. I adore all these characters and they have—Hawthorne and Jupiter especially—become some of my all-time favourite characters.  

I have a feeling this book is going to create a new generation of readers much like Harry Potter did when I was a kid. Please, pretty please can we have some kind of TV or film adaptation! I need to see Nevermoor in Technicolor! All I can say is it’s going to be a long wait for the squeal and my Wundrous Society Invitation.
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An absolutely fabulous book that should be on every tween's Christmas list as well as young adults and even adults. Ms Townsend has done an awesome job of building a world that is utterly believable and filled with characters of every kind - I was incredibly sad when I turned that last page but completely relieved to know that this is just book one. 
Morrigan Crow is going to die - she even knows when and in fact it might not be such a bad thing as she has been leading quite a cursed existence. Born on Eventide the most unlucky of all times Morrigan has known that she had a limited time span to live and that all things that have gone wrong from the day she was born in the sphere of her existence have been blamed on her. It will, of course, be put right when she dies at midnight on her eleventh birthday. 
However, things go a little astray when as this time approaches the marvelous Jupiter North appears and requests her to travel with him to place known as 'Nevermoor'. A place mysterious and magical when anything can and does happen. With only death awaiting her and her family seeming to have little care for her, Morrigan quickly escapes to 'Nevermoor' where the adventure really begins. It is here that Morrigan discovers she is to undergo a set of trials in order to join the 'Wundrous Society'. If she does not succeed than she will be sent away from 'Nevermoor'. 
What a rollercoaster ride - will she pass this test or that test? Who is on her side and who will try to stop her? What is Jupiter really up to? Who is the strange old man she keeps bumping into? You just have to dive in and hold on tight as you cheer Morrigan all the way.
There are such beautiful descriptions of the people and places that you can't help but play out the story in technicolour grandeur in your mind. All the characters that people 'Nevermoor' are super from those that inhabit Jupiter's hotel to the other children competing for a spot in the 'Wundrous Society. This is a great start to a series from an author who I imagine will only get better. Bring on book two.
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For Morrigan Crow life is going to be short as it is guaranteed she will not reach her 12th birthday. Morrigan is considered a curse child and is blamed for everything that goes wrong.  She spends most of her young life writing letters of apology for making someone’s life a misery and trying not to be a nuisance to her father. Yet, there is something special about Morrigan. On the eve of her death, an enigmatic red headed man named Jupiter North arrives and offers Morrigan a chance to live.  There is just one catch she is going to have  survive a series of trials that just may kill her anyway. 
Townsend has created a magical world that it well-crafted and exceptionally well realised.  Nevermoor leaps of the pages as you explore the hotel, travel along the streets and come to understand a little about the Wundrous Society. You are also introduced to deep social and political complexities that are gnawing away at this wonderful place. There is something not quite right, that is unsettling everyone and everything. 
The central character is Morrigan Crow who is feisty, brave and a little bit stubborn. Caught between two worlds, Morrigan wants to belong, to be part of a family, to have people she can trust. I liked Morrigan, she has a lot of gumption and you know she still has more to growing to do.  Jupiter North threatens to steal this novel; he is a complicated character with a great deal of flair. The supporting characters are wonderful and all have their own personality and quirks. 
Naturally there are comparisons with the Potter series but that does the book a great disservice. Townsend has created her own unique world with its own structures and functions. It is real, it is wonderful and there is some darkness waiting to reveal itself. 
For me there are smatterings of Diana Wynne-Jones, Neil Gaiman and Roald Dahl. There is charm, whimsy, humour, trepidation and just a little bit of fear, A great debut novel.
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A delightful, whimsical and purely imaginative fantasy, Nevermore is sure to capture the attention of readers of all ages. Nevermoor is reminiscent of Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia and The Unwanteds, and yet has a quality that is unique to this charming story. I was captured by the very first chapter, enchanted by the mysterious and colourful Jupiter North, and intrigued by the magic of Nevermoor, but it was the brave heroine of this story, Morrigan Crow, who truly won my heart.

Morrigan Crow is a cursed child, doomed to die on the last night of the age, Eventide. But before she can meet her untimely end, she is whisked away by the strange and colourful Jupiter North, who takes her to a magical, secret city called Nevermoor. Here she discovers that Jupiter has put forward her name as a candidate for the illustrious Wundrous Society - but to gain entry she must first pass four trials. However, Morrigan soon realises that while the other competitors each have a special talent (from dragon riding to magical singing), she herself does not (being cursed doesn't count). Morrigan must discover her talent and pass each trial if she is to stay in Nevermoor. 
Nevermoor is so well written. It was a delight to read and fun to read aloud (I read the first few chapters to my middle-grade book club and they loved it. They are also slightly mad at me because now they have to wait ages until they can read the entire book for themselves.) Nevermoor also has superb world building. It is the kind of magical and quirky place where umbrellas assist in transport, vampire dwarfs sulk in smoking rooms (never used for actual smoking, of course), and children compete in dangerous trials to gain entrance into the Wundrous Society. There are magical creatures, some familiar like unicorns, vampires, and dragons, and some quite new, like the Magnificat (a giant, talking cat) named Fenestra. Wunder is the magic that powers both Nevermoor and the world from which Morrigan first came, and there is so much more to learn about Wunder and what it can do.

The characters in Nevermoor are just as bright and detailed as the magical setting. Firstly, Morrigan, with her strange black eyes and propensity for wearing black. She has been raised knowing she is cursed, that she must die on her ninth birthday and that her curse impacts all those around her. For these reasons she has never known love from her family or friendship. Being rescued by Jupiter and starting a new life in his magnificent hotel, The Deucalion, gives Morrigan her first chance to make friends. Morrigan is brave despite her fears, kind despite the treatment she has received all her life, and has a wonderful sense of both imagination and humour, making her an immediately likeable character. I believe both boys and girls will connect and empathise with Morrigan. Jupiter North is an amazing character. With his bright red hair and beard and colourful choice in clothing he pops right out of the pages. He is an explorer, member of the Wundrous Society, magnificent hotelier, and a bit of a trouble maker. He too is exceedingly kind and makes a fantastic mentor for Morrigan (even if he is a bit vague sometimes). There is a also whole host of fantastic characters in Nevermoor, from Morrigan's new friend Hawthorn the dragon rider, to the gleefully evil singing Noelle, not to mention the Wundersmith.

I know readers will love and delight in this magical story - I certainly did. I predict great things for its future (it will make the most amazing inspiration for Book Week costumes), and I can't wait to read the next book in this series. 

The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
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When I read this was to be the next Harry Potter I couldn't help but scoff. So many have tried & failed to capture the magic that is HP.
I have to admit this came close. I really enjoyed it! It was magical & fun with great characters! It was new & fresh with some elements similar to other great books but also different enough to make it a fantastic original story. I will definitely keep reading the series! Very proud of this amazing new Australian author!
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