About My Book Reviews

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend


Series: Nevermoor (Book 1)

Title: The Trials of Morrigan Crow

Author: Jessica Townsend

Published: 2017

Genre: Fantasy

Grade Level: 3rd-5th Grade



Read by: Gemma Whelan

Length: 11hrs

Recommend: Yes!


Blurb (from goodreads):

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.

Before this fate could arrive, Morrigan is rescued by a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North. He whisks her away to 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 organization: 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 to confront her deadly fate.


My Scores:

Writing Style: Top Notch

What can I say? I’m a sucker for a gloomy character. The internal dialogue of the MC, Morrigan Crow, is so much fun to read! Like Wednesday from The Addams Family, she was spooky, depressed, and full of dark humor. (Normally, this would go under characters, but the MC’s POV set the tone for the novel).

I also love how well the dialogue is written. How the adult characters spoke to our MC really reminded me of the frustrations I felt as a child, never being told the whole truth for my own 'protection.'

Characters: Memorable

As previously mentioned, the MC is a lovely, well-crafted soul to meet. She is smart, jaded, and completely relatable. If you have ever felt like everything wrong with the universe was all your fault, then you will find it hard not to give a piece of your heart to this character.

I also like that the adults have a role to play in this novel, rather than being conveniently gotten rid of. Our MC’s patron, Jupiter North, is the most developed adult character. He is a classic absent-minded professor, equal parts lovable and frustrating. I also love his moody sidekick, the Magnificat!

I wish some of the other characters, like the MC’s best friend, Hawthorne, and the MC’s grandmother, had gotten more development. But overall, each character is unique, have well-crafted dialogue, and are a joy to meet!


Plot: Predictable

Here’s where the novel has a little trouble. At times the pacing is too slow (for example, the Christmas scene). At times the world-building needs more explication (I still don’t think I quite understand what eventide is… It never made sense to me, but maybe I’m just thinking too much like an adult.)

The worst thing is that I kept comparing it to the Harry Potter series. As hard as I tried not to, there were just too many similarities. Unfortunately, Nevermore failed to be quite as good (shocking, I know). The villain just isn’t as scary as Voldemort. The world-building isn’t taken as seriously. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with a little whimsy (like a giant, talking cat), but sometimes it gets a little too whimsical (like some of the knacks). Lastly, unlike Harry Potter, Morrigan just doesn’t seem to be as effected by her trauma as she should be (which is one of my pet peeves). 

The plot follows a classic plotline that surrounds the chosen-one trope which I have read countless times before. That’s not to say that someone younger won’t enjoy it – I’m just saying that it was predictable to me. 

Overall: Enjoyable

Overall, it's an enjoyable read, but I don’t have any intention of continuing on in the series. The only reason I bothered to finish the novel at all is because I’m a sucker for a gloomy, dark-witted MC. The plot just didn't hook me. 

Goodreads Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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