Nevermoor: the Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend
This book had been on my radar for a while, which could mean only one thing: I had High Expectations. And for me, going into a book with high expectations is a Dangerous Thing. The amount of books I've ruined for myself by giving it high expectations is stupidly high, and so I opened the book with slight trepidation.
And, drumroll please... Nevermoor blew my expectations out of the water. It is SO GOOD.
Morrigan Crow is cursed: she was born on Eventide, and so is the cause of anything and everything bad or inconvenient. Seriously, people believe she is so cursed that the kid gets the blame for bad weather. I mean, honestly. Living in a society where futures are decided by whether or not a child is bid on by a school or apprenticeship, Morrigan knows that Cursed Children get no bids, as they will die on Eventide.
But then, quicker than an umbrella could be opened (see what I did there?), her life it turned upside down when someone bids on Morrigan (who, it should be noted, is only at the Bid Day ceremony for fun). Not only is this mind boggling on its own, but in a rarer-than-rare occurrence, she receives more than one bid.
With mild chaos in its wake, this startling (and, truth be told, frankly confusing) twist of fate is promptly followed with the arrival of Jupiter North (who may be one of my favourite characters ever, and only partly because he precedes taking off his hat with "don't be alarmed; I'm ginger"), and suddenly Morrigan is thrown into a deadly race against some slightly insubstantial wolves and riders (creepily called The Hunt), with Jupiter determined to get her to the Gateway (but the gateway to where, Morrigan has no clue).
And, with a thud, Morrigan arrives in Nevermoor, and life as she knew it is firmly left behind, as Jupiter informs her that she will be entering a competition to join a secret society. Unexpected trials pop up to challenge Mog — sorry, Morrigan — and all the while she is trying to figure out what her Talent is: the talent that would award her acceptance into the Wondrous Society, and stop her from being thrown out of Nevermoor and into the hands of The Hunt.
Start with a storyline that grips from the first chapter, mix in some wonderfully fun characters, a dash of impressive talents, umbrella-fulls of twists and turns, excitement and danger, and there you have it — the brilliant debut from Jessica Townsend.
This book is just the beginning of what will be a phenomenal series so watch out, and for goodness sake, get yourself a copy, stat.