Everneath by Brodi Ashton
Genre: Fantasy, Young-Adult, Romance
Series: Everneath #1
Publication: February 2nd 2012 by Simon & Schuster UK
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…
A slow building, intense and emotional story that leaps into action only at the end of the story. Nevertheless the story being slow paced, the story drew you in along the way and really immersed you into the world of Nikki and her struggles. In my opinion, if the book had been as pacey and pulling as the last quarter, it would have been brilliant. I have high hopes that the second novel will take a quicker pace to match where we left off.
Everneath is very much mingling the mythology of Hades and Persephone and Orpheus and Eurydice. I loved the aspects of mythology and the retelling of these tales because everything that surrounds mythology and history intrigues me and really makes me wonder about the existence of gods. For we may have the aspects of mythology, but Ashton really makes it her own with the new fantasy elements of Everneath and Everlivings and the idea of the emotions being used to support the life of immortality and the passing of emotions between people. It was truly an emotive and moving idea because whilst Nikki was losing her emotions to Cole in Everneath, she then had to have to rebuild herself and her personality once she got back to the real world, it’s a beautiful journey.
“Without his embrace, my body felt empty and hollow, as though we were one person, divided. Except it wasn’t an even division. He had taken away everything that made me … me. And I would only be me again when I was next to him. I wasn’t sure my body would survive on its own anymore I was no longer whole.”
For the story may be slow, but Nikki certainly touches the emotions and raises questions like no other female character. She’s had a really tough time, with the struggle in Everneath and then assimilating herself with the real world again after 100 years in Everneath really impacts on her and it’s interesting to watch her adjustment. However, I would have thought after 100 years some of her functions and ability to work in school would have been much more diminished because when you don’t practice a trait, surely you lose it? After all, in Everneath she didn’t really exist as a person. I suppose it wasn’t a realistic thought, but it’s something that I did ponder.
Her dependency on Cole was interesting because it was very much mentality and battle and this was the foundation for their relationship, whilst Jack was the support and the image that kept her strong and solid. I was never truly sure how real either of the boys were and the connection Nikki had, which I believe will be strengthened with the series movement.
The concept of the story is brilliant and I really thought we were going to get something dark and delicious and it wasn’t quite what I expected. I’d hoped with talks of hell and a recreation of Hades and Persephone we’d get a more brooding and sinister look than we got. And, I felt like Cole as the villain never really lived up and did anything that oozed a good bad boy or villain. I really wanted him to either do something to save Nikki or come out as being more bad, but he just seemed to saunter around. He really had the edge to be something and the cheeky tone, but he never really caught onto his full potential for me. I hope Ashton develops him more for the sequel.
“Look, Nik, I know you don’t like public scrutiny lately. If you stand off to the side all mopey and such, without a date, you’ll stick out like a nun at a strip club.“ He leaned in. “Trust me, I’ve seen one. A nun at a strip club, that is. Everyone was staring at her.”
This boy is just all around failed potential for me and I want a really hard core bad boy from Cole in the second novel that actually shows us his feelings for Nikkin more and whether they are truthful. However, I did appreciate his character the way he was and his rather sad, puppy demure caught onto me, and I was rather Team Cole.
One might moan that there is the dreaded “love triangle” in this novel, but for me, neither boy proved of much substance until the end. I was actually Team Cole for the duration of the novel right up until the last quarter where Jack started to take a more dominant role as a potential love interest and I connected with him and his story. For me, Ashton isn’t making it clear enough which boy we should be rooting for and that’s the only thing I hate about love triangles. I prefer strong, determined characters who the author clearly shows us who we need to root for. Other than that, I think the story holds promise for the second novel in the series.
The chapter titles at first annoyed me and I found myself becoming slightly exasperated at the count down of and flash backs.
September. Six months before the feed.
Six month before I went under.
However, I think the titles worked more effectively by the end of the novel when time was running out and the pace was picking up. The titles added to the increasing pace effect and I liked them more by the end than I did at the start.
Everneath’s ending is certainly one that demands a sequel and I was desperate to know if there was going to be one. Unfortunately I’ll have to wait until next year, but I’m thrilled to know Ashton is gracing us with another book to this series! The premise of the sequel Everbound sounds brilliant too!
The characters in my opinion have a long way to progress and I hope that the direction Ashton seems to be taking the series in, will only strengthen Nikki and make her a more independent and smart young woman, whilst Jack and Cole will grow into their own element with strengths and determination to woo Nikki as love interests. Overall, I think Everneath has set up a fantastic premise and given Ashton a lot of potential to work with for future additions to this series.
More stalking available here:
Let me know what you think!