* Copy courtesy of Hachette Australia *
Jessica Townsend is the hottest debut Australian author at the moment and the writer of Nevermoor - The Trials of Morrigan Crow. Nevermoor is a fantasy novel for young and young adult readers and contains elements of magical realism, without the wands and spells.
Morrigan Crow was born on Eventide and consequently she is fated to die on the next Eventide, which happens to be her 12th birthday. Being born on the most unlucky day of the year means she is cursed. Morrigan knows she is going to die on Eventide and unfortunately her birthday is fast approaching, but just when all seems helpless, she escapes to a new place called Nevermoor.
Nevermoor takes off from the first page with instant world-building and it took me a while to 'get into it' to be honest. But once I began to relax into the world of Morrigan Crow, I could settle in and enjoy her adventure.
When I saw the cover (yellow font on a blue background and the presence of umbrellas), I worried that Nevermoor was going to be a Mary Poppins / Harry Potter / Peter Pan rip off. Fortunately my suspicions were swiftly allayed, so don't jump to the same inaccurate conclusions I did. Sometimes judging a book by its cover can be a mistake.
Nevermoor is already achieving amazing milestones in Australian publishing and 20th Century Fox has purchased the movie rights. Nevermoor is aimed at middle grade readers (aged 8-12) but is highly recommended for those who enjoy a young coming-of-age novel and the magic and creative whimsy of the Harry Potter series. It's the first in a series for young and old readers alike.
My rating = ****