The Biased Bibliophile‘s Spoiler-Free Review of Neverscape
Publication Date: 16 May 2023
Genre: YA Science Fiction/YA Fantasy
Series: Book Three in the Bewilderness Series
Rating: 5 Stars
A vengeful thief escapes the clutches of dark immortals to bring an omen to the world of its impending destruction.
Malidora claws her way out of the shadow realm beyond the boundaries of the universe, only to find herself stranded on the world of Kandom, where she uncovers the insidious presence of the Shadows. With newfound allies, Malidora sets out on a mission to stop the ruthless Gaith from harvesting the universe’s energy to unlock a path to all realms and dimensions. As she battles not only the Shadows but also the darkness within herself, Malidora pledges to save this world and, ultimately, the entire universe.
Review of Neverscape
If there was ever a book that represents why I love science fiction and fantasy so much, it is Neverscape by Kevin Cox! Out of Cox’s three books, this one is definitely my favorite, which officially brings my “favorite books” total up to four!
The novel follows Malidora, an intriguing character we meet in book 2, Shadowsphere. After she had helped Tavarian defeat the blight whidge, she was overtaken by the Nuthereals and transported to another world. On this new world she must navigate power imbalances in an attempt to survive. Her adventures lead her to meet new friends, defeat formidable enemies, and rise to daunting challenges.
While it’s difficult to pick a favorite aspect of this wonderful book, I think Malidora’s character wins that title for me. She is unlike any character I’ve read before, without falling into the stereotype of “not being like other girls.” Her flaws make her relatable, and the fact that she is aware of those flaws makes her character that much more powerful. Throughout the story, we get to see her evolve and grow. But my favorite thing about her is that her personality stays intact despite that growth. Too often, character growth results in a drastic personality change that, quite frankly, doesn’t make sense. In sharp contrast, by the end of Neverscape, Malidora is still the feisty and headstrong character we all know and love, with the added bonus of having evolved into a more complex and vulnerable person.
Additionally, the theme of ignorance that is woven throughout the book is stellar. Not only did Cox intertwine this theme with Malidora’s experiences, he also included it in the cultures of the people in the novel. There are a few different groups of people in the book, and each is distinct and unique, adding a lot of depth to the universe. Having the theme of ignorance relate back, not only to the protagonist, but also to many other characters in the novel, made it very compelling.
Finally, I could go on about this book for days, but the last feature I will mention is the force of Cox’s writing. Something that sets aside the great authors from the good is their ability to write moving lines that stay with a reader. I was elated to find many such lines throughout this book, often interlaced with philosophical ideas (which, of course, made the philosopher in me very happy).
As a whole, Neverscape is such a work of art! If you’re a fan of science fiction and fantasy, and you haven’t already read Bewilderness and Shadowsphere, you’re going to want to pick up a copy of each as soon as possible so you can start Neverscape when it releases on May 16th!