Author: Brodi Ashton
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: Everneath (Book 1)
Publication Date: January 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 370 Pages
ISBN-10: 0062071130 (Harper Teen)
ISBN-13: 978-0062071132 (Harper Teen)
Reviewed by: Emmy
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 and become Cole’s…
Quick & Dirty: This page-turning debut is filled with angst and hard feelings, making the characters innately lovable and intriguing to read.
Opening Sentence: I was picturing his face–a boy with floppy hair and brown eyes–when the Feed ended.
This book takes a mythological underworld and twists it into something new. The beginning, when Nikki “Becks” Beckett is in Everneath coming out of the Feed, made me shudder. It was creepily, skin-crawlingly perfect as a quasi-immortal-underworld, just as Park City was the perfect Surface backdrop. The Feed leaves you empty, feeling like you’re half of a whole. A shell of the person you were on the Surface, because the Everling that Fed on your emotions has taken you away from your body. Your memories, emotions and personality are all sucked away. And the Feeding cripples Forfeits physically too, so they’re put into the Tunnels (insert shudder here) to power Everneath.
But Nikki isn’t crippled by the Feeding; she comes out just like herself–though she wants to reconnect with Cole constantly to make the pain go away. She doesn’t remember anything about her past life, after a century in Everneath (six months on the Surface) all she can recall is a face without a name. He’s the one that kept her going through the Feeding. Don’t worry, this isn’t an amnesia book!
Cole wants Nikki to stay in Everneath. She made it through the Feeding as herself, and he’s been looking for centuries for his perfect match. When an Everling finds their match they can make a run for power–Nikki could be queen. So when she denies him, rejects the chance to live forever Feeding on others, he follows her to the Surface. Because if she doesn’t choose him, she’ll be sucked into the Tunnels, which Ashton describes as similar to–if not more horrifying than–being buried alive.
And then there’s Jack. He broke Nikki’s heart. The reason, along with a number of others; that she consented to being a Forfeit. All Nikki wanted was for the pain to stop, for Cole to suck it out of her. What she didn’t realize was the pain she’d be causing everyone by leaving. When she Returns for six months to say goodbye, Jack is there. Turns out her leaving may have affected him more than anyone else.
Evevrneath is filled to the brim with angst, which I’m a sucker for and helped bump up the rating. After the first chapter, when Nikki is in Everneath, the rest of the book just kind of plodded along as Nikki tries to live in the background of everyone’s lives. She’s trying to make memories to take with her into the Tunnels, and make up for the way she left things last time. There was a lot of repetitiveness with Cole’s character, who didn’t do a lot but show up in Nikki’s room. But that doesn’t make him any less a lovable villain (who knew there was such a thing?) and I can’t wait to get more into his character in book two.
With mythology retellings flooding the shelves, it was nice to read a book that stands out–even if I did still put my classical studies major to the test and figure out the ending, which made me cry for a good five minutes. Honestly, the characters are what carried the story. It was an easy read (even with all the shudders) and very, very enjoyable!
No good-byes. No second chances. No disappointing the people I loved. Or at least I’d be in a place where I didn’t care if I disappointed anyone.
But it wasn’t real. And I’d been down that road before. I knew where it led. With my lips against his, I reached a conclusion I’d been trying to avoid: the easy path in this whole mess would be to go with Cole, and I couldn’t let myself make the easy choice. I had to make the right choice.
With all the strength I could muster, I pushed him away from me.
His face was as shocked as mine felt, and his cocky grin had disappeared completely. “Nik… I–”
I held my hand up. “Don’t. That had nothing to do with you.” I forced myself to look him in the eye. I spoke deliberately. “It will never happen again.”
His face grew hard, and he gave me a smile that made him look sinister. “We’ll see about that.” he smile stayed on Cole’s face as he climbed out my window. “One of these days you should sample the emotions floating all around you. If you let me, I can so you how.”
“I’d rather produce my own. I’ll never steal from others.”
“Never say never, Nik. I won’t.” He leaned his head against the window frame. “I’m not giving up on you.” He shoved the window down and disappeared.
My fingers clenched the edge of my desk. His words sounded like a threat.
The Everneath Series:
FTC Advisory: Harper Teen provided me with a copy of Everneath. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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