by Brodi Ashton
Original Publishing Date: January 24, 2012
Length: 370 pages
Obtained Via: Amazon Kindle as a Daily Deal
Format Read In: Kindle Ebook
Summary from Goodreads:
Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath. Now she’s returned–to her old life, her family, her boyfriend–before she’s 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 precious months forgetting the Everneath and trying to reconnect with her boyfriend, Jack, the person most devastated by her disappearance–and the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s just one problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who enticed her to the Everneath in the first place, has followed Nikki home. Cole wants to take over the throne in the underworld and is convinced Nikki is the key to making it happen. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back, this time as his queen.
As Nikki’s time on the Surface draws to a close and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she is 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 queen.
I’ll admit I was hesitant to pick up Everneath. I was compelled by the summary, but I was afraid the book would fall into some of the stereotypes of paranomal YA that I have a hard time handling; specifically, that it would encourage jerky behavior from its male leads and uphold that type of behavior for a love interest. Luckily, the book totally exceeded my expectations.
I loved that the premise on this book was based upon Greek mythology. I’m not as familiar with mythology as I would like to be, so I haven’t read as many stories with that focus, but I appreciated how the story was adapted based upon Nikki’s character. I’m sure if I knew my mythology even better I would be able to see more nuances and allusions, but even with my limited knowledge, I found the idea of everlivings fascinating and beyond horrifying.
Nikki is at times, quite a mess of a character, but she’s also compelling. She definitely has some self-destructive tendencies, but can also be really self-determined and convinced what she’s doing is right. I think I would have been slightly annoyed with Nikki at times except I could never stop feeling sorry for what had happened to her. The idea of someone else feeding off your energy for a century, leaving you a broken shell, is enough to make me literally cringe.
Jack and Cole are both fantastically written characters. They’re both intriguing in their own ways while being complete opposites of one another. Jack is the perfect, steady character that Nikki really needs when she returns, even if things between them are incredibly awkward at first. I like that at first we don’t know exactly what Jack’s role is, since the book is told from Nikki’s POV. I felt like I was figuring Jack out as Nikki was figuring him out for the second time.
There is just so much going on in Everneath(in a good way!). You can read it as a mythological retelling, or as a story of the foundation of love, but there’s a lot of undercurrents about the price of immortality, what constitutes a human being, and who heroes are. These aren’t all themes that might be evident on a quick read-through, but they’re definitely prominent enough that I feel they should be acknowledged. These underlying tensions are really what compels me to the series, and why I want to keep reading.
Final Impression: I wasn’t sure if I would like this book or not, but I liked the different take on mythology that I feel isn’t explored as much as some other lore. Even though Nikki had some pretty self-defeating behavior and thoughts sometimes, I never felt like I didn’t get where she was coming from. The way the characters are written and the subtle themes that run underneath this work make this a 4/5 star read for me.