[alternative title: OMG THIS DYSTOPIAN IS ACTUALLY SO CLEVER OMG!]
Hello, guys! How’s everyone doing on this beautiful Sunday? I had a good amount of free time on Saturday, so I managed to prepare some reviews for this week in advance – go, me! Hahaha! In resume, the next posts will probably be scheduled, but I’m here all the time to talk, so please free to comment your heart away and I shall answer as soon as the time zones allow me to! ❤
But enough jibber jabber, I have important business with this post: dear readers, please meet Nobody’s Goddess, first book from the Never Veil series, by Amy McNulty!
I had read this book earlier this same year, but it was so mind blowing I couldn’t find the words to write a review – also, Amy told me the third book would be out in October, so I allowed my brain to be stunned for months and only made a re-read to accompany the last book in the series. Best decision ever ❤ Oh, I got this particular copy from Chapter by Chapter when I participated in their blog tour for Nobody’s Lady =) Thanks again, guys!
They say there is a man out there for every woman – in this case, quite literally.
Noll lives on a good sized village with a rather peculiar trait: men’s lives are dedicated to serve women. Or, more specifically, their respective goddess. Until they have their love returned for the women of their dreams, the men have to walk around in masks.
This is only the tip of the iceberg: women can choose to reject their men, but they will have to live alone and knowing no other men will ever love her. Also, if a woman without direct blood ties sees a man that has yet to have his love returned without a mask, the man will vanish within air.
Things have been like this forever, but Noll is sure it’s some kind of curse. She never quite fit in with the village girls, preferring to run wildly with the small boys, playing at wrestling and wars. One by one, the curse claimed her friends. As they found their goddesses, they abandoned Noll and everyone else. All her friends, except Jurij. Her beloved Jurij. Her sister’s man.
As things get out of control in Noll’s life with the approach of Jurij’s marriage, Noll accidentally falls into the waters of her favorite cavern… And finds herself at her own village, thousands of years ago. She finally has the chance to change her destiny, but at what cost?
Just remembering those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂
Can I just start by saying OMG? Because I think that’s an exact definition for Nobody’s Goddess from beginning to end, seriously. This book stole my breath away twice in all the right moments and the cliff hanger on the last chapter would have killed me both times if I didn’t have the next book on me as well, haha! I’m not a huge dystopian fan, but this book has brilliant dystopian touches mixed with a lot of fantasy and OMG Amy McNulty is just totally ingenious writing anything she wants to! I promise I’ll gather my shit together and start my analysis, but this was a high-five stars book! ;D did you see what I did there?
Ahem, now that I’m more controlled, let’s talk about narrative: first person from Noll’s perspective. I can sense some jaws dropping from people that follow me for a while, as I just gave five stars to a book in first person and be prepared to feel your jaws dropping lower: I fought with Noll almost all the time. Our love/hate relationship was epic and extreme, but still I loved the book. The story was just too good, even with all the rage in Noll’s head, haha! The pace of the story is also really good and very fluid.
The plot was brilliant. McNulty plays with her reader, dividing her twists in two categories: the ones you see coming and the ones that take advantage of your self-satisfaction at being right about the sequence of happenings in the story and push you to your knees in the ground until your face is touching the earth too. She understood so well my double personality about being able to guess and being unable to guess things, I just want to hug her. Tight. And never let go.
The fantasy/dystopian aspect of the story was marvelously developed and McNulty created an unique world, discussing at the whole time the genres wars. Are women better than men? Are men better than women? No, for both things. Each time one genre has too much control over Noll’s village, things go terribly wrong and I loved it. This whole series is a lesson in human equality of all kinds, but I’ll develop this argument better on my review for the third book, haha!
Now, characters. I hate Noll like, with a force. The teen angst present in this book was, in my opinion, her best moment, as it was allied with ignorance and made her bold besides stubborn. I also didn’t care for her family or Jurij – in fact, I hate Jurij too, more than Noll. The only characters I loved in this book were the lord, whose name will be kept in secret due spoilers, and Alvilda ❤
Also, I wanted to comment on the change of covers of the series right before the release of Nobody’s Pawn, the last volume:
I particularly already loved the first cover, but the new version is so much more passionate! I loved the model and the art ❤ In fact, I won’t shut up about it on Amy’s inbox, haha! She must have already blocked me at this point or started screaming just to see the word “cover” on texts, haha!
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that McNulty brought me something new when I got to read Nobody’s Goddess. It wasn’t about Noll’s teen angst, it wasn’t about the love, it wasn’t even about the gender equality. It all came down to what we decide to do with the choices we are given. No one ever thought they had a choice to fight the system, but Noll chose exactly that. No women had ever dared to confess their loves for other man that weren’t their own and Noll chose to do exactly that. No one ever questioned the way things were before and things only got to change when Noll set them into motion. Don’t get me wrong, she’s one of the most selfish people I have ever seen, but she is brave, she is daring and she changed her fate.
I honestly think that, in a time of so many uncertainties for the whole world, it’s important to remember we are still free to choose, even when everything points you to a “choiceless” path. If we think hard enough, we can always find the perfect solution for our sufferings – we just have to accept the consequences of our actions later. It’s easier to say you won’t take action because there isn’t anything you can do to make things better, but trust me when I say the only thing we can’t fix is death. Most of the time we are indeed powerless in our environments and it sucks on galaxies levels, but Noll shows us that, if we keep ourselves centered and keep trying to do the right thing, we will eventually have what we want. Not because life rewards us, but because we conquered it.
Wow, am I not incredibly deep those last few days? Haha! Sorry, I’ll end up making you guys wish I wasn’t back at all, haha! Maybe I just need to go back to therapy or to write a self-help book and win shitloads of money. Whichever comes first, haha!
I chose some quotes from the book to woo you into reading it, so let’s finish with them =)
“It wasn’t much, but I controlled what the wood would be. And no one told me I didn’t really get to choose.” – Noll
“A few well-placed stabs from Elgar The Blade to his abdomen might ‘improve my temper’.” – Noll
“I was cursed by the gift of choice.” – Noll
“I could live without love. I’d accepted that by now. I wasn’t sure I could live without freedom.” – Noll
“I feel compelled to do anything I so much as think you want done. It is a battle within me not to slit my own throat at this very moment.” – The lord
And this winning lines between Noll and the lord of the castle:
The Lord: You were born to torment me.
Noll: I think the same of you.
Overall, if you like YA, Fantasy, Dystopian and heart gripping plots, you have to add Nobody’s Goddess to your bookshelves right now! ❤
Thanks for bearing with the philosopher me once again and for reading yet another overly long review! George R. R. Martin rubbed off a little in me since the challenge, ugh. See you around and love you, guys!