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Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow

Written by: Jessica Townsend
Narrated by: Gemma Whelan
Series: Nevermoor, Book 1
Length: 11 hrs
4.7 out of 5 stars (75 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A breathtaking, enchanting new series by debut author Jessica Townsend about a cursed girl who escapes death and finds herself in a magical world - but is then tested beyond her wildest imagination.

Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she's blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks - and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her 11th birthday.

But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor.

It's then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city's most prestigious organization: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each boasting an extraordinary talent that sets them apart - an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests - or she'll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate.

Perfect for fans of the Harry Potter series and Neil Gaiman, this fast-paced plot and imaginative world has a fresh new take on magic that will appeal to a new generation of listeners.

©2017 Jessica Townsend (P)2017 Hachette Audio

What the critics say

"The magical elements are well-written and clever...but the core of this novel lies in Morrigan's realization of her own value, of being a person worth attention and affection. A dark, mystical, and emotional look at a girl who has a complex relationship with magic in a sophisticated and lushly described world." ( The Bulletin)

What listeners say about Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Quick, Fun and Magical Read

I want to start off this review by saying that this story strongly resembles Harry Potter. That is the reason I only gave the story a 3.5 star, I did not find it overly original. That being said I sped through this story in one sitting. I am already an avid Harry Potter fan so I did enjoy this story and the similarities did not bother me. That being said there were a lot of parts during the story where I could not deny the similarities between the two books. Nevermoor like Harry Potter has a great selection of supporting characters. I enjoyed all of the supporting characters and found that they added a refreshing touch to the story. If you are not eager to read a story that resembles Harry Potter then I would at least read Nevermoor for the characters. There was not a single character that I thought was poorly executed. I particularly adored Jupiter North, Fenestra and Hawthorn! I loved hearing the dialogue between Morgan and these characters. I would definitely say that the versatility and range of different characters that are presented in this story was my favourite aspect of the book. With all this being said I would still recommend this book despite the similarities to Harry Potter. It was a fun quick read and the last half of the book was exciting. I want to preface this review by saying that I am 25 years old Woman and I still enjoyed the story. I think that this book is a cute middle-grade story. While deciding whether to give this book a listen too I thought that it would be too young for me and I would not enjoy the story. With that being said I still enjoyed it. Overall, Nevermoor was a mix of some of my favourite middle-grade books. It reminded me not just of Harry Potter but Alice and Wonderland and slightly of the Hunger Games (the trials). I found Gemma Whelan's performance as the Narrator my favourite part of listening to this book. She does a great job with the different voices she uses for the different characters and was extremely engaging. Overall, I think that Wundersmith (book 2) will be better as a large portion of Nevermoor is setting the scene and creating the world. I will definitely listen to book 2 as I think that this series does have a lot of potentials and I am eager to see how Townsend expands on the world and the characters. I would definitely recommend listening to this book! ******I just finished the second book Wundersmith and I wanted to come back and edit this review. Definitely, read Nevermoor because Townsend expands on the world in the second book and the similarities to Harry Potter that bothered me in Nevermoor are non-existent in Wundersmith. This series has amazing potential and I will definelty continue to read it.*****

2 people found this helpful

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Great!

I really enjoyed this YA fantasy novel and especially loved the narrator Gemma Whelan (Yara Greyjoy from GoT). I love when I'm listening to a book and it inspires me to find things to clean so that I have an excuse to listen, and I don't even like cleaning! My house is spotless right now!

2 people found this helpful

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Love This Series

I stumbled upon this series. It is wonderful. I absolutely love it. I bought the entire collection for my mother and she is reading it for the 3rd time. I cannot wait for the next book.

1 person found this helpful

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Why'd do you hate Cadence???

Overall this audiobook is fantastic. I adore the book itself, and Gemma Whelan mostly does a wonderful job reading... with the unfortunately notable exception of Cadence's character. For some reason, Whelan gave Cadence this low voiced lisp and makes her sound really unintelligent. I love Cadence's character and found it distracting and annoying. I'm hoping that this is altered at least somewhat in the second book where she is a more prominent character, because it marred an otherwise delightful audiobook experience.

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Ahhhhh!

Sooooo good! I love everything about this book. The characters, the setting, and all the vibey, magical, happenings. What a fantatst read! "Step Boldly!"

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Bad

So bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad ah so bad grr ugh rr unh

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Awesome

I really loved this book. The story was fun, the narration was spectacular, it was a bit predictable, but overall it was a fantastic experience!

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Delightful Read!

Thoroughly enjoyed this story! Lots of curious twists & turns, and delightfully performed. Looking forward to the next in the series.

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I'm charmed

That is one of the best narrator I have ever seens. love love love it

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The narrator is AMAZING

I can't get over how amazing the narrator is. I also can't get over the fact that some people gave the performance less than five stars. What is wrong with you people? My goodness. She does so many different voices AND accents. It's actually mind-blowing to me how good she is. Great book too!

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  • Susan Tunis
  • 2018-08-07

There's no excuse for how much I enjoyed this book

Full disclosure: I am a 49-year-old childless woman, and I LOVED this novel. I read it the first time because of my job as a bookseller... but I read it the second time purely for my own pleasure. When our sales rep came to pitch this title to us at the bookstore, he basically called it "the next Harry Potter." Yeah, I've heard that before. But honestly, of all the middle grade fantasies I've read in recent years, it most captures that same sense of fun and wonder of the Harry Potter novels. The story is about Morrigan Crow, a young girl who is not only cursed, but doomed. She is saved from her fate at the last minute by an eccentric character named Jupiter North and whisked away to Nevermoor. There she lives in Jupiter's hotel, which is populated by giant talking cats, dwarf vampires, and other colorful and highly entertaining characters. But there's a catch--in order for her to remain safely in Nevermoor, she must compete for one of the few coveted spots in the Wundrous Society. This first novel in the series is a great introduction to Morrigan's world, and it's denizens. Gemma Whelan does a great job with the performance--highly animated, but not cartoonish. I absolutely love putting this book in my customers' hands. And clearly I am a very immature woman, because I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of the second book in the series!

64 people found this helpful

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  • Constance Jenkins
  • 2018-03-18

A bit over-hyped but still a good read

Disclaimer, this book is aimed at middle school and I am an adult. This review, then, is really geared toward adults.

I had heard how wonderful this book was and heard phrases like "the next Harry Potter".

It isn't. Well it might reach the same level of commercial success, but it is not of the same quality as the Potter books. I think it might even be unfair to this book to make the comparison.

It is actually a very good book. it doesn't have the depth or the well developed characters of Potter, but it is a good read with humor and adventure a plenty. The characters are likeable (or despicable in the case of the villians) but without much depth.

My only read complaint is that Morrigan is supposed to be eleven years old but comes off as much older. It makes the occasional really poor child-like decisions she makes jarring. It really is a minor enough quibble.

I did enjoy the book, even as an adult, and will very likely read the next.

40 people found this helpful

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  • Thomas C.
  • 2018-10-03

Music interlude not needed.

The music interlude at the end of each chapter killed the flow of the story and was out of place. Story was interesting and surprising

17 people found this helpful

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  • Frances
  • 2019-05-24

NOT like Harry Potter - a bit Alice in Wonderland

This story has been compared with Harry Potter, and I can see where that comparison comes from. It shows the amazement, delight, and fear of an 11-year-old child unexpectedly transplanted into a more magical realm. Harry's wonderment at discovering Diagon Alley, later Hogwarts, and boredom in Professor Binn's class (even magical things can get dull), are emotional notes this story hits and hits well. Harry Potter, however, solved mysteries. He figured things out, and went out of his way to take heroic action. By contrast, Morrigan Crow frets about things but never figures anything out (or is given the tools to) until they eventually come to a head and reveal themselves to her. She enters every one of her trials with very little sense of what to expect and no preparation on her part. Like Alice in Wonderland, Morrigan is buffeted about from one mad situation out of her control to another. She has very little ability to influence the overall direction. Whimsical elements appear regularly that seem to serve no purpose other than to create whimsy. For example, Jupiter claiming that his full name with all of his titles attached is his "nickname", leading to a brief debate with Morrigan about the purpose of nicknames. It's because his nickname is so long that his friends call him something else "for short." Fretting a lot and being baffled by illogic are more Alice's traits than Harry's. Also like Alice, dealing with certain doom is one of Morrigan's most impressive traits. Faced with the absolute certainty that all is lost and she is going to die, probably painfully, she finds it in herself to keep moving forward and not give up. Of course, Alice in Wonderland is a dream, which explains both the craziness and her lack of panic, as threats in dreams are often less frightening. Morrigan doesn't have the advantage of facing danger that isn't actually real, so she seems to simply have more than an average amount of never-give-up in her personality. At the end, as various story threads are picked up and tied together, both Morrigan and the reader are able to understand what has been going on and why, at least in part. I could see the possibility opening for Morrigan to start to have some real agency in her story, now that she's not acting blindly. If that happens, it will be in the sequel. I debated giving the story aspect a higher rating, as the world building was lovely, and the characters fun if somewhat maddening at times. But this felt too much like the story existed to establish the universe and the characters, and not to be its own story. We got some great character development for Morrigan and others, which could pay off in the sequel(s) if she gets the opportunity to be the hero of her story.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Sandy A.
  • 2018-08-08

Good children's story

I think this was on sale so I bought it to listen to. I am not a child, but I enjoyed the book. A lot of children's magical stories tend to be carbon copies and I didn't get that feel with this one. It was original enough to leave you wondering what was happening and what would happen next. A good read, even for adults. I hope Jessica Townsend writes more of this series. I enjoyed the reader Gemma Whelan too. She probably added to the enjoyment of the story because she was able to bring more to the story in how she read it.

5 people found this helpful

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  • rebekah higgins
  • 2018-06-10

Very Enjoyable

I loved the characters and story overall and the narration was great! My only critisism was that I think there was way too much repetition in the build ups before each trial, repeating "the same stakes" too much. I love the Morrigan character, real with a snarky edge and emotion to her. A lot of very fun imaginative scenes in here and the voices for the bitchy girls was spot on. I was happy to listen to a story where the protagonist is an 11-year-old girl who has some real depth and a sense of herself. I love it that her best friend is a boy. This is a great listen. Worth the credit.

5 people found this helpful

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  • PIELOVER56
  • 2017-12-30

AMAZING.

I LOVED this book. Even though this book just came out, I got it as soon as I could. I read it every single day. I can't wait for the next book to come out. Although, I heard that it took Jessica Townsend 10 years to complete Nevermoor: The trials of Morrigan Crow, so I'm not betting on her next book coming out any time soon. I would definitely recommend this book, it was filled with so many twists and, the characters and settings were so detailed. In case you were wondering (which you probably weren't) why my title has a period at the end, it is because that is all I have to say about this book. It was AMAZING.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Paula S
  • 2018-03-22

Amazing story!

I’ll have to admit this story started slowly and I was a bit confused at first. However, it picks up quickly and is a wonderful tale of Morrigan Crow and how she discovers where she really belongs and who she considers her family. She does go through some angst and anxiety as to how she is going to ultimately stay in her new home but she does discover how wondrous she can be in the end. I loved the mixture of magic and the elimination trials throughout the story. It’s the right amount of both that makes it a grand adventure to read. I’m looking forward to the next book and I hope Gemma Whelan reads it as well....she was masterful at reading this book and all the voices she used for the characters was masterful! Thank you Jessica Townsend for a great book!

7 people found this helpful

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  • Angela
  • 2019-06-23

Neat story, annoying narrator

I liked the story however the narrator could not do other voices for anything in the world.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Andrew
  • 2018-08-07

Harry Potter-esque

I think that this book is a great foundation for a new world with a lot of potential. I am curious to see how the author will develop this world in the next book. It was a good read overall, would have given more stars if it had been a bit more cohesive.

1 person found this helpful