Reading Level: Young adult
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Series: Everneath #1
Source: ARC provided by publisher
Cover: Hello Clarice! Seriously, this cover is so envy worthy it's sickening. From the second I saw this cover I knew it was going to be Greek mythology and I also knew I had to have it. The red is sort of romantic and the smoke adds an element of mystery. Yes, Balzer + Bray. A thousand times yes.
First Sentence: "I was picturing his face-- a boy with floppy brown hair and brown eyes--when the feed ended."
Mini-Review: Going under has never looked so tempting.
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...Review:
Equal parts passion and pain, Everneath is a bittersweet re-telling of the Persephone myth like you haven't read before. Weaving complex mythology, awesome characters and intense emotions effortlessly together, Everneath sets itself apart from the crowd. Merging both the past and present with a ticking time line adds plenty of tension and it's hard not to get sucked up into the story where the stakes are laid out from the beginning.
Nikki Beckett has had a tough year. Dealing with the loss of her mother is something she isn't really ready to face. So when a chance comes to get out, she takes it (there are other factors but I don't want to reveal too much). Dealing with a character that is so upset, I worried Nikki might be mopey but the author sets that straight quickly. What I loved about Nikki is that she is willing to accept responsibility for her mistakes and wants to do whatever she can to make what little time she has left right. Sometimes this makes her a pushover but she's already done enough damage and right now, her only goal is to make things right and the people she loves happy. I liked Nikki's voice and how soulful she was. Her observations felt deep and unique on to her own. Though I did get a bit annoyed that she was keeping things from people, I loved that she decided to trust those she loves too.
Going into this novel, I really thought I was going to get another love triangle and this is not the case. While I can understand why Nikki went with Cole to the Everneath, there is really no competition. Jack had me from the get go. I'm a sucker for best friends falling for each other and Jack and Nikki are are great example of this. For me, they echoed Jay and Violet from The Body Finder series by Kimberly Derting and Decker and Delaney from Fracture by Megan Miranda. Their friendship felt whole and like it existed before we came along to this story. Jack was always thoughtful and sexy and sweet. It's hard not to fall for him. Which makes Cole's attempts seem shallow. I will say that I could see Cole's appeal and I believed that he cared for Nikki. I'm interested to see where his character is going in the next book.
What set Everneath apart for me was the unique world and history the author set up for this well known and often imulated myth. Re-imaging the river Styx, how the Underworld works and what it looks like are just some of the things the author has thought of to change. I liked the back history to Everneath and what Cole and his band are. I did get confused in the middle as to Nikki's role and if she was something supernatural herself, but Ashton is able to clarify. I was also really impressed with the beauty of Ashton's writing. I felt like I was marking every page because of something gorgeous or funny or meaningful. It's inventive and emotional and exciting. Everything I could ask for in a read.
At first, I found the switch in time between the present and past a little jolting. But after a couple times, I started to realize that the author was utilizing important pieces of the past to show us the entire story and it started to flow a lot easier. Plus, Ashton did an awesome job of portraying Nikki's voice pre-Feed (that is, in the past) as very different from the girl she is now. This helped the transitions to be smoother and I felt the bits in the past also added to tension rather than detracting. The ending of this novel is so bittersweet and beautiful it has me dying for the next book. I'm just saying that if Cole offered me the next one in exchange for going to the Everneath, I'd seriously have to consider the offer...
Everneath reinvites the mythology its telling with creativity and complexity.With characters your going to fall in love with and an intensely passionate and realistic romance, it's hard to put down. Even though you are told the outcome from the beginning, your heart will be racing to the last seconds to see if Nikki and Jack can find a way to beat fate. Either way, going under has never looked so good.
I startled. It was him. Jack. The boy who had gotten me through Hell.--Pg. 11 of "Everneath" by Brodi Ashton
I knew the smell of mowed grass and mud, and the chill of icy rain on my skin, and the sound of Jules screaming in my ear, would be grafted onto my soul and become part of the irremovable things about me. The stuff that memories are made of.--Pg. 21 of "Everneath" by Brodi Ashton
"I remember what boys in high school were like. Especially the kind like Jack Caputo."/"What kind is that?"/"The kind that doesn't even walk a girl to the door."/I rolled my eyes. "Well, he would have, but he had to go drop off his other dates. There were three of us."--Pg. 59 of "Everneath" by Brodi Ashton
"You don't give my job enough credit. It's really hard to convince a girl to follow me. The average pickup lines don't work so well. 'Hey, wanna get coffee? And then spend an eternity getting the life force sucked out of you?'"--Pg. 62 of "Everneath" by Brodi Ashton
He smiled widely. "Sorry. I always feel like this after a set."/"Like what? Like you have the sudden urge to pick up teenage girls and throw them around?"--Pg. 121 of "Everneath" by Brodi Ashton
"Okay. Friends talk. Friends help each other."/ I nodded./ "Friends don't eat friends' souls."/ I smiled. "Got it."--Pg. 223 of "Everneath" by Brodi Ashton
But as I watched him drive away, the front end of his car still twisted from the wreck, I knew that there were no perfect moments left. When Jack found out the truth, it would be too late.--Pg. 258 of "Everneath" by Brodi Ashton
Cole just smirked at me. "Hate. Such a strong feeling. A next door neighbor to love."--Pg. 282 of "Everneath" by Brodi Ashton
I am as much of a ghost to him as he is to me. We are a breath away--and a world apart--from each other.--Pg.370 of "Everneath" by Brodi Ashton