Author: Brodi Ashton
Series: Everneath, book 1
Genre: Fantasy YA, Mythology
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Published on: January 24, 2012
Challenge: Debut Author Challenge, YA/MG Mythology Challenge
Summary: Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she’s returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld…this time forever.
She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can’t find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.
Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.
As Nikki’s time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she’s forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath with Cole.
EVERNEATH is one of the books that I’ve been looking forward to for a long time, friends. First of all, THAT COVER. The pretty! But second of all–and most importantly–this book just sounded so GREAT. I nerd over mythology, and I nerd over debut authors with books that sound as promising as EVERNEATH. And mostly, EVERNEATH lived up to my expectations of awesome. Woot!
Let’s start with the characters. For the most part, I thought they were great. Jack was AMAZING. He was sweet and swoony and flirty, and his attachment to Nikki was obvious and so important to both him and the story. I crushed on him something fierce, guys. Seeing him in Nikki’s flashbacks was so nice, but it was great to see him in the present, too, struggling with Nikki’s return and his feelings. *SWOON* Cole, the baddie, was an interesting mix for me. I know we were probably supposed to dislike him, and mostly I did. Not always, though. As a villain with a soft spot, I thought he was spot on. Sometimes he was obviously trouble, and sometimes he was struggling with his connection to Nikki. But I sometimes had difficulty buying his feelings. I couldn’t always tell how genuine they were. In the end, though, I thought the guys were well-done and interesting, and I CAN’T WAIT to see what’s up next for them both. Thumbs up!!
Now. Our girl Nikki. She was something of a conundrum for me. There was just…something about her that kept me from LOVING her. It’s mentioned a few times that her Feed in the Everneath with Cole has basically stripped her of her ability to feel much of anything because she’s basically empty inside. She has a hard time–although it gets better–perceiving emotions, or feeling them herself (the first time she laughs is kind of a moment, and she has trouble crying). As the narrator, I think this is a tricky thing because I had a hard time connecting with her emotionally, simply because she was supposed to feel nothing. This totally fit within the context of the story though, so applause for believability in that sense. But I did have a harder time relating to her or feeling her pain because it needed to come across that her emotions were kind of dulled. And it did. I have big hopes for her though.
I will also say that the mythology–literally, the myths themselves–got the teensiest bit confusing. Sometimes it was Hades and Persephone, sometimes it was Orpheus and Eurydice, sometimes it was Isis and Osiris. There were a lot of stories at play and while they all basically mean the same thing, and they all sorted themselves out by the end, it always took me a second to get it straight in my head which mythological angle the story was taking whenever one or another of them came up. But I’m a nerd for the myths, so reading about all of the different stories, and seeing them reimagined in this clever way was MAJOR FUN, and I am really looking forward to seeing where the stories go in the coming volumes, because the foundation they set here was FAB.
And the ending was SUPER! So much action and ALL THE THINGS happening. It was fast-paced, with some reveals and some more questions. YAY! So even though there were things about EVERNEATH that weren’t perfect, I was very entertained and totally fascinated with the mythology. I’m completely in it to win it with this series because there’s still so much at stake for everyone, and I LOVE high stakes! All in all, a great start from a new author who has hooked me for sure!