Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff

Posted On 18 September 2017

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Godsgrave – what an absolute blast of a book, packed with action, drenched in blood, sweat and tears and full of surprises.  Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed this, it’s a great second instalment in series with not a whiff of ‘middle book syndrome’ to be found.

At the start of the story we have a dual timeline that follows Mia working as an assassin, and captured by slavers and on her way to training to become a gladiator.  I do enjoy dual timelines and I think this one eventually comes to a head in a most satisfactory way.  I won’t spoil the enjoyment of discovery for you but suffice to say that Mia is still hell bent on revenge against the two men responsible for the death of her parents.

I’m not going to really elaborate on the plot too much but discuss other things that I really enjoyed about this instalment.

Firstly, I must address the footnotes.  I made no secret of the fact that they weren’t my favourite aspect of Nevernight – however that was very much due to the formatting and that particular niggle has been resolved wonderfully here.  Each time a footnote appears the text is hidden, clicking on the footnote displays the content.  I really liked this as you don’t lose your place in the book.  Just a small thing but it did make me happy I can’t deny it.

Secondly, this story firmly takes us to an alternate Rome resplendent with Gladiatorial games and more to the point the training and competition that act as a fore runner to the main event.  I loved the training school, the trials and tribulations and the friendships that sprung up – in spite of Mia’s protestations to the contrary and determination to remain aloof.

Thirdly, the action, the drama, the pace.  All amazing.  You can barely put this book down because it’s constantly cranking up the level and forcing you to stay amongst the pages.  Put simply it’s an exciting and exhilarating book to read.

Finally, the characters.  Kristoff certainly made me care about them and I love that in a book, that choked up feeling when you’re so worried that something bad is going to happen to your favourite characters.  This book definitely puts you through the wringer in that respect.  And, I loved the darkin characters – they bring a wonderful argumentative banter to the pages and the whole darkin element is quite fascinating to read about and I’m pleased to say is developed further here.

Criticisms.  Well, nothing major to be honest.  I think the writing is different in this book, the pacing certainly is and I think the author has tried to cull his tendency towards ‘purple prose’ – frankly, I like the descriptiveness and, okay, flowery writing, so, whilst I wasn’t disappointed to see that this book was a bit more to the point, I would equally have been happy with the more ‘wordy’ approach of Nevernight.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this.  It was highly entertaining, gripping and had twists and turns that I didn’t see coming plus it packs a great emotional punch.

Highly recommended – although I think you must read Nevernight first.  I don’t think this would be as good without the background of the first.

I received a copy through Netgalley courtesy of the publisher for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.