Sunday, October 22, 2017

Fall Reading 2017 The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor, #1)


I've seen blurbs saying that fans of Harry Potter or The Mysterious Benedict Society would like this, and I can see where they are coming from in that recommendation. I would add the Charlie Bone series, since it also deals with children who are talented and recruited or trained. The idea of cursed children who are born on a certain day and always die before their twelfth birthday is very sad, and readers may have a hard time imagining how one of those children could even try to enjoy their life knowing when it would end. Morrigan is one of those children, but she is saved at the last minute and whisked off to Nevermoor. There, her patron Jupiter North enters her in the trials to become a member of the Wundrous Society. There are nearly 500 candidates, which are slowly eliminated from the competition as each trial comes. By the end of the year, only 9 will be given membership into the Society, and Morrigan is convinced that she will not be one of them. 

As readers, we get to experience all the amazement that Morrigan feels as she enters Nevermoor and takes up residence in the Hotel Deucalion. The hotel itself is amazing and magical; for instance, Morrigan's room changes as it gets to know her and adds details to make it feel like home. There is the Brolly Rail where commuters hang onto loops with their umbrellas and then jump off at their stop and float down to the ground with their umbrella acting as a sort of parachute, and don't even get me started on the duel between Father Christmas and the Queen of Yule on Christmas Eve. There are vampire dwarves (at least one), large talking cats, and tons of other odd and exotic creatures. And there is also the Wundersmith that some people say was banished 100 years ago, but may still be causing trouble in Nevermoor, along with the mysterious Mr. Jones who turns up in unexpected places and keeps telling Morrigan that his employer will take her as an apprentice if she decides to change patrons.

Middle grade readers who enjoy tales of fantasy and magical realms should definitely try out the Nevermoor series, beginning with this first book. I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

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