So this book came out in May of 2012 but the new hardcover is coming out later this year. I loved the cover and the summary sounded interesting so I requested a copy from Netgalley. I’ve also read one of his other books, Cuckoo Song, and I found it incredibly enjoyable so I thought why not give this book a try. In the end, I’m very glad that I did.
*I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review and that fact in no way affected my review in any way*
In Caverna, lies are an art — and everyone’s an artist . . .
In the underground city of Caverna, the world’s most skilled craftsmen toil in the darkness to create delicacies beyond compare. They create wines that can remove memories, cheeses that can make you hallucinate and perfumes that convince you to trust the wearer even as they slit your throat. The people of Caverna are more ordinary, but for one thing: their faces are as blank as untouched snow. Expressions must be learned. Only the famous Facesmiths can teach a person to show (or fake) joy, despair or fear — at a price.
Into this dark and distrustful world comes Neverfell, a little girl with no memory of her past and a face so terrifying to those around her that she must wear a mask at all times. For Neverfell’s emotions are as obvious on her face as those of the most skilled Facesmiths, though entirely genuine. And that makes her very dangerous indeed…
When I started this book I honestly thought it was going to be all about a guy and his cheese and that kinda made me less excited to read it. But then I decided to keep reading in the hopes that it would get better, and it did!
This book takes place in an underground city where the citizens have to learn how to show emotions on their face. Those who can make a multitude of faces are among the rich and powerful. I found this concept incredibly interesting and even though you aren’t told why they cannot form faces naturally it makes for an interesting plot device.
The main character, Neverfell, is young and it definitely shows. She can be immature and causes disruption throughout the book. If this was done repetitively then it would have been incredibly annoying but the author took care not to make her an annoying young teen. Neverfell is thrust into situations that she has no control over and she handles them just as well as you would expect a 12-14-year-old would, if not better.
I’m not going to spoil anything in this review because I think that it will take away from the novel and doesn’t really need to be discussed, at least not now. I will say that I found the ending a little predictable. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t like it, though, it was a good ending to a good novel.
I recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy and wants a quick read that they don’t have to become incredibly invested in. This is the kind of book that you can read while reading another series, which is what I did. It doesn’t require much thought and while sometimes that won’t work for a book, it definitely does for this one.