About the Book

Title: Darkdawn (The Nevernight Chronicle #3)
Published: 2019
Series: The Nevernight Chronicle
Swoonworthy Scale: 7

Cover Story: Evolution
BFF Charm: 100% That B
Talky Talk: F*ckarsery
Bonus Factors: Meta, Pirates
Factor: Not YA
Anti-Bonus Factor: TEABS
Relationship Status: For-eva-eva

Spoiler Alert: Red alert! Darkdawn is the third book in the Nevernight Chronicle. If you haven’t read the first books (Nevernight and Godsgrave) in the series, man your battle stations turn away now, as there might be spoilers in this review. If you’re caught up, however, feel free to continue below.

Cover Story: Evolution

There’s a progression to the covers in this series that ties nicely with Mia’s progression in the story. And although the cover of Godsgrave might be the most outwardly badass—those bloody swords, I mean—but this cover just radiates a queenly power.

I’ll still always like the UK covers (see NevernightGodsgraveDarkdawn) better, however. (Please don’t stab me, Mia!)

The Deal:

Since losing her parents at the hand of Julius Scaeva, Mia Corvere’s been through … a lot. She’s learned to be a vicious and unparalleled assassin, she’s fought her way to the top of the gladiatorial games, she’s taken her vengeance against the Red Church, Cardinal Duomo, and Scaeva himself. It’s time for Mia to take a break and appreciate all of her efforts.

But then Mia’s mentor, and Mercurio, the man who is, for all intents and purposes, her father, is kidnapped by the Red Church; it turns out that the Scaeva Mia killed was a double, and the real Scaeva has grabbed even more power in the Republic; her former lover, who was killed by her current lover, has returned from the dead; and her brother, long thought dead, is alive—and hates Mia.

A girl just can’t catch a break.

BFF Charm: 100% That B

BFF charm with Lizzo's face.

I do not want to be friends with Mia. She is ruthless and terrifying, and her friends are equally so. She’d just as likely huge me as run me through with a very large sword. But I also fully support her, and want her to succeed, and love watching her cut down her enemies on her way to essentially ruling the world. She’s the badassiest of badasses, and on a whole other level. I’m content to remain in my safe little life and just goggle at her adventures from the comfort of my sofa.

Swoonworthy Scale: 7

Mia’s found love in a hopeless an unexpected place, but she’s doing her best not to take Ashlinn for granted. The fact that Tric is back, however, puts a bit of a damper on things … and not only because Ashlinn killed him. There are some actual sexytimes in Darkdawn, but because of what’s happening in the larger plot, they’re always tinged with a bit of sadness and/or desperation. (Which is why the low number on the scale, even with the high level of hotness of the sexytimes.)

Talky Talk: F*ckarsery

Darkdawn continues along the path set up by Nevernight and Godsgrave, with all the brutality, irreverence, and crassness that I’ve come to both expect and love. Much of the book, however, I found myself waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop—after all, we’ve known since the beginning of this trilogy that Mia was “destined” to die. Still, Darkdawn is quite the adventure, and the combination of violence and humor continues to delight. I did feel like there weren’t as many footnotes, however, which was a bit of a bummer. The way this series breaks the fourth wall is absolutely incredible.

Bonus Factor: Meta

Darkdawn gets very meta, in a very funny, unexpected, and self-deprecating way. I can’t say that I expected it to happen (in hindsight, though, it’s not surprising, given this series), but it works really well and adds an interesting element to the development of the plot of this book.

Bonus Factor: Pirates

Captain Hook on his ship from Once Upon a Time

If Kristoff wants to write a whole series on the pirates of the Nevernight Chronicle universe, I am Here. For. It. Particularly one starring Cloud Corleone and his crew. He’s the very best kind of cheeky bastard with a hidden heart (think Han Solo, Nikolai Lantsov) and I need more.

Factor: Not YA

So … I’ve been incorrectly lumping the Nevernight Chronicles into the YA world when, according to Kristoff, these books are not YA. I should have realized this long before he spelled it out via social media, but mea culpa. (Those of you who’ve read these books can please stop rolling your eyes at me now.)

Anti-bonus Factor: TEABS

Painting of a woman holding a book lying on a green couch. Called "Decadent young woman. After the dance" by Ramon Casas i Carbó

I’m really going to miss diving into this series now that it’s over. It’s quietly become one of my favorites, and I’ll miss Mia and crew quite a bit.

Relationship Status: For-eva-eva

We’ve had our ups and downs, Book, but overall—it’s been An Experience that I won’t soon forget. You’ve cemented yourself a place in the darker corners of my heart.

Literary Matchmaking

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1)

Jay Kristoff’s actual YA books are a little less violent (and less sweary!), but no less cheeky. If you want more of the combination of humor and action, check out The Illuminae Files, written with Amie Kaufman.

Not Even Bones (Market of Monsters #1)

Rebecca Schaeffer’s Market of Monsters series is also about an unforgiving young woman’s quest for vengeance.

The Phantom Forest

And Liz Kerin’s The Phantom Forest is another interesting look at deities and death.

FTC Full Disclosure: I bought a copy of this book with my own money, and received neither a private dance party with Tom Hiddleston nor money in exchange for this review. Darkdawn is available now.

Mandy (she/her) is a manager at a tech company who lives in Austin, TX, with her husband, son, and dogs. She loves superheroes and pretty much any show or movie with “Star” in the name.