Nevermoor : The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend.

Morrigan Crow’s fate is to die at midnight on her 11th birthday. She is cursed by bad luck and is often blamed by the locals for anything that goes wrong the town of Jackalfax. Although I think she’d beg to differ! Her family feels she is a burden and all the while her mortality seems to hang over her.

Just as things start to become even worse for poor Morrigan, she is spirited away by a mysterious, dashing and ginger Jupiter North to Nevermoor. Her luck appears to turn when she discovers she has been chosen to take part in trials to join the Wundrous Society. This could mean being able to stay in Nevermoor forever and live well beyond her 11th birthday. But, to join she has to prove she can complete the tasks set out by the Society and also demonstrate that she has an extraordinary talent. Which could be a problem, as she doesn’t appear to have a talent, other than her cursed, bad luck…

I loved this book and found it hugely entertaining. I think the entire time I was reading Nevermoor I was wearing an enormous smile. There are plenty of laugh out loud moments, some epic snark and silliness and much adventure. Morrigan is such a misery at the beginning of the story, complete with Wednesday Adams fashion sense, mulishness and a deep longing for something better, something happier. The world building was unique and I kept having visions of a luxurious version of The Grand Budapest when reading about the Hotel Deucalion. Fab secondary characters and I am hoping Morrigan’s new friends get a little more page time in future books.

I think if you’re a fan of Dahl and Rowling you’ll see some parallels, but the story felt original and fresh. I loved it. I’ve even banged on at length to friends and family to go buy this not only for their children but themselves too! A clever, funny, smile on your face read that was hard to put down.

Grade A

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