Title: Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow
Author: Jessica Townsend
Series: Book 1 in the Nevermoor Series
Age: 8-12 (Middle Grade)
What’s best about it:
- Snarky, brave main character who refuses to meekly submit to her (at first) miserable life
- Morrigan’s worlds, both new and old, are beautifully evoked
- Subtle humor
- The contrast between her miserable hometown and her bright, joyful, accepting adopted home
- Complex characters
- First in a series
Find out more about it: Amazon’s order page
Morrigan Crow is cursed. Because she was born on Eventide, which occurs every eleven years, she’s blamed for broken bones, lost spelling bees, and almost every other misfortune in her dismal little town. Even worse, she’s doomed to die on the next Eventide.
Yet, when the ominous day arrives, a daring rescuer helps her escape to a magical city that judges her by who she is and what she can do, not when she was born. There’s only one catch. To stay safe in her new life, she needs to prove she’s worth it. Can she?
Most of the Middle-Grade books I review at least begin on modern-day Earth. NEVERMOOR: THE TRIALS OF MORRIGAN CROW doesn’t, but it was too good to pass by for a silly reason like consistency. Besides, Morrigan and most of the characters are very human with very human flaws and strengths.
The opening scene intrigued me, but it was Morrigan herself who kept me reading. Snarky and brave despite her miserable life and unloving father, she never gives up, even when facing imminent death in her hometown. Later, in her magical new home, she stumbles and makes mistakes. Still, she stays true to her personality and recovers because of her own determination, good-heartedness, and willingness to change her mind.
I appreciated that Morrigan’s life was more than just crisis after crisis. Things don’t always go how she wants, she’s tested in ways she never expected, but she has triumphs, like making her first friend ever, along with the difficulties. I loved watching her blossom in her adopted world.
Not only Morrigan is unforgettable. Almost all the characters are complex. The good guys have flaws, and the villains have either credible motives or at least one good trait. Even the non-humans have distinctive personalities. Together, they form believable communities, one grim and colorless, the second eccentric and welcoming.
The book’s humor was subtle, often snarky, and the author sustained it throughout—a difficult trick to pull off!
Finally, you’re in luck. If you like NEVERMOOR: THE TRIALS OF MORRIGAN CROW as much as I did, you can also read the remaining two books in this series.
For more reviews of funny middle-grade magical adventures/fantasies, read