Nevermoor: The Trails of Morrigan Crow By Jessica Townsend.
- Format: UK hardback, 374 pages.
- Publisher: Orion Childrens Books.
- Release Date: 12th October 2017.
Blurb: Enter the Wundrous world of Morrigan Crow and Nevermoor – the most fantastical children’s release of the year.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. It’s then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city’s most prestigious organisation: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each boasting an extraordinary talent that sets them apart – an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests – or she’ll have to leave the city and confront her deadly fate once and for all.
When Morrigan first steps into the land of Nevermoor, one of the first things she is told by her mentor Jupiter is ‘Step Boldly’ which I feel sums up the essence of the story quite well. Actually, when I first picked up Nevermoor, my train was stuck on the tracks (for 3 hours) and I was already stressing that I wouldn’t get my university reading done for the next week but there was Nevermoor sitting patiently in my backpack waiting to be read. I needed to ‘Step Boldly’ at that moment and know that, yes I am a university student but I’m also a person who adores children’s literature and reading for fun! I needed to realise sometimes I have to take a break and be fine with that! I’m glad this was my first encounter with Nevermoor and even though it took me a week to complete it reminded me I’m not a robot!
Our main protagonist is Morrigan, a girl cursed with bad luck and is doomed to die on her eleventh birthday – rather tragic isn’t it? That is until the rather eccentric Jupiter arrives just in the nick of time to save Morrigan from ‘the hunt of smoke and shadow’ and whisking her away into the world of Nevermoor with a chance to join the Wunderous society. But to be granted the membership into this mysterious selective society that means the candidate must pass three trails and even then only the top 9 candidates will be allowed in. Very exclusive and as Morrigan knows little about Nevermoor it is all about whether or she can succeed.
I want to go to Nevermoor, even if I can’t get into the Wunderous Society I’d just love to live there because it sounds so wonderful – really it sounds like something out of a Studio Ghibli film and I adore Studio Ghibli films! Jess’s writing really makes you become engrossed with characters and their lives, also the world building was brilliant! Especially within the Deucalion, Jupiter hotel and Morrigan’s home in Nevermoor! Also, the Brolly Rail which I would love to try and travel on! Jess’ has the ability to take characters with minor roles or rare appearances and still create the idea of them being larger than life. One character for me which I felt she did this too was Nan, who appears a minimal amount but I am really intrigued by her character and hope to see more of her in the sequel! (Really excited as it comes out this year!)
Now onto the story itself because this is much more than Morrigan’s attempt to join the Wundeorus Society and remaining in Nevermoor. Rather the villainous fairytale figure of Nevermoor, the Wundersmith. Morrigan’s relationship with Jupiter’s nephew Jack, although it doesn’t go completely smoothly through most importantly Morrigan’s relationship with herself and her family. You see as Morrigan has been known as a cursed child in her world this has resulted in not only her being mistreated severely by those in her town, being blamed for all that has gone wrong in their lives. Which has meant her father continuously having to compensate them while still trying to remain in political power. With apparently no desire to have a relationship with his daughter, nor does his new wife or his mother. Though out of all of Morrigan’s family, I feel her grandmother is the only one who genuinely cares for her.
Throughout the story we see Morrigan grow so much, not only as she enters the trails but growing into the person who she was meant to be all along. Despite her family and her town’s attempts to stop this from happening due to their need to feel ‘safe’ from a child who is cursed – due to no fault of her own – to bring bad luck to those around her. Although it is obvious that her spirit has been starved, upon her arrival in Nevermoor she begins to flourish. It’s lovely to read.
If you haven’t read Nevermoor then this is the time to go and pick it up as it just recently came out in paperback – the hardcover is gorgeous so I advise purchasing both copies. Let me know what you thought of Nevermoor if you’ve read it, or if you’re going to read it because I’d love to know your thoughts. Below I have attempted to create an aesthetic for the book as I’ve seen loads of people doing this for dozens of books and wanted to attempt one myself and what would be better than starting with Nevermoor!