Author: Jay Kristoff
Series: The Nevernight Chronicle, #3
Page Count: 526
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Original Publication Date: 2019
Genre(s): New adult, Fantasy
Mia is on the run—per usual. She’s just become the victor of the greatest game in the Republic. She’s also just become the most wanted assassin of the Republic after murdering Duomo and (who she thought was) Sceva. Now, with her bratty brother Jonnen in tow, she must escape Godsgrave without getting killed by Luminatii soldiers, Red Church Blades, or just bad luck in general. When Mia discovers Mercurio has been captured by the Church, she makes it her mission to rescue him, followed by actually and finally murdering Julius Sceva. But destiny might have other plans for our Mia, the girl with a story to tell…
Honestly, I don’t even know where to begin. Finishing a series is always hard on me, but reaching the end of this one was a punch to the gut. I was not ready for Mia’s story to end, and I feel like not reading another book for 10 years. That’s how bad this book hangover is!
I’m obviously being dramatic. I will 100% read a book every day. It will just be painful.
Darkdawn is the third and final book in the Nevernight Chronicle series. It follows the same writing style as the previous two books: third-person omniscient, alternating perspectives, extensive footnotes. It picks up immediately where Godsgrave left off, and it is a WILD RIDE from start to finish. I’m going to discuss things that happened in Darkdawn, as well as the series as a whole, so let me say this one more time: SPOILERS AHEAD.
This is a magnificent series. Each book written in the same style, giving off the same vibe, with one major mission cascading from book 1 to 3, but each book had its own plot just as interesting as the previous book. Darkdawn was everything coming together: all the characters (still alive, that is) from books 1 and 2, good and bad; all the loose ends wrapping up; Mia’s mission finally complete. Though we do lose many characters in this book, I would say it still has a happy ending. Especially if you’re a Mia/Ash shipper. All of us Mia/Tric shippers actually had our hearts ripped from our chests and are dead now. Thanks, Jay.
As a series finale, Darkdawn was perfect. I didn’t have any major issues with any of the books, to be honest. I liked seeing everything come together to finish out this series. I like that all the assassins from Nevernight mix with the gladiatii characters from Darkdawn, and that new characters still found a way into my heart, like my pirate boi Cloud. I liked seeing the “bad guys” get what they deserve, but also mourned all my beloved characters who die (I will never be over Eclipse okay). And we all knew Mia would die, thanks to the opening of book 1, but were any of us really prepared for that?
I’ll get to the ending. First, I want to say something about the writing. Jay Kristoff is absolutely one of my favorite writers. After reading and loving The Illuminae Files, I made it a point this year to read as many of his other books as I could. I actually thought I would hate this series, but somehow it’s become one of my most treasured. I love that his writing is so detailed and his worldbuilding so strong, but that he doesn’t take himself seriously. Ever. I mean, he breaks the forth wall so many times in this book, and I love it. He makes fun of himself. He’s such a real person and I really do admire him for that. Because honestly his books are amazing and so underrated. I didn’t quite understand how or why the Nevernight books were being written within the books, but I don’t even care, like, what a cool concept!
Okay, now onto the Tric / Ash dynamic. I have a LOT to say about this, but I’ll try to keep it brief. I was all heart-eyes for Tric in book 1. When Ash killed him, my soul died. “BUT HE CAN’T REALLY BE DEAD,” I told myself, “JAY WOULDN’T DO THAT. HE’LL COME BACK!” And then in book 2 I, along with Mia, somehow fell for Ash. However I think I was just happy Mia was happy. Because after Ash killed Tric, I really hated her. And then Tric is back from the dead, literally clawed his way back to life for Mia, and she turns him down for his murderer. Like ????????????? WHAT! So, Mia basically says she loves Ash because Ash reminds her of herself. But that’s after Ash puts it in her head, telling her “you’re no different than me, killing people to get what you want, blah blah.” HOWEVER. I don’t think Ash and Mia are alike at all. Ash had a messed-up childhood, sure, but she just killed whomever, no regrets. Let’s not forget she really wasn’t all too concerned about Mia’s well-being in the beginning of Godsgrave, folks. And, you know, MURDERING TRIC. But Mia, though she kills a lot of baddies, she tries to save people. She tried to save Jessamine. She saved her fellow gladiatii. She didn’t kill Ash when she had the chance. She’s not like Ash at all. And besides, Mia was only with Ash because Ash killed Mia’s lover, Tric. And yeah, Ash apologized in the end, but she did brag about “getting Mia” throughout the whole of book 3. So, yeah. I was not happy that Mia ended up with Ash in the end. Can you tell?
Okay, I’ll wrap this up. My feelings and thoughts are now known. This is a really, really good series. And you need to read it if you haven’t yet. It’s dark. It’s vulgar. It’s gory. It’s explicit. It’s amazing. It’s heart-pounding fun. It’s heartbreaking. It’s just SO GOOD. But if you want to know my true and final thoughts on the matter, arcing from book 1 to 3, it is this—three simple words that sum up the entire series: Tric deserved better.
LISTEN GUYS, TRIC LITERALLY HAD THE WORST UPBRINGING, THEN FELL IN LOVE WITH MIA ONLY TO BE MURDERED BY HIS FRIEND, CRAWLED HIS WAY BACK TO “LIFE” FOR MIA ONLY TO DISCOVER SHE FELL IN LOVE WITH HIS MURDERER, FINALLY ACCEPTS THAT MIA WILL NEVER LOVE HIM SO HE KILLS HIMSELF, AND THEN WHEN ASH DIES HE LITERALLY HELPS HER CRAWL BACK TO LIFE SO SHE CAN STILL WIND UP WITH MIA IN THE END.
TRIC. DESERVED. BETTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!