Series: Everneath #1
Published by Balzer + Bray on January 24th 2012
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Amazon・ Good Books・Book Depository
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.
Everneath is a captivating story of love, loss, and immortality from debut author Brodi Ashton.
November Madness is what I nicknamed this month. With a variety of very interesting looking titles becoming available for galley grab, to many readers, it appeared to be a smorgasbord of literary delights.
Everneath is one such of these delights and, in my opinion, completely deserves the hype.
Becks, a seventeen year old girl, wakes up from a hundred year-long hibernation with bad-
boy supernatural, Cole. He’s been feeding from her to replenish himself, above the surface only six months have passed. Becks returns to her life a husk of her former self.
Emaciated, numb to emotion and damaged. She has six months to live before being dragged back into hell but she wants to see her exboyfriend, Jack, one more time before she goes.
If I were to find a movie to compare this book to, I suppose it would be a mix between The Labyrinth and Drugstore Cowboy (or The Man With A Golden Arm if you’re going to be persnickety). In fact, the whole book is a rather excellent drug metaphor. This hit home for me in a big way and was perhaps why I was especially moved and addicted (sorry!) by this novel.
The book is agonizingly beautiful in that Becks honestly struggles as a drug addict would and one could argue that all the fantastical elements in this book are Beck’s psychosis trying to deal with her recovery and past experiences. Jack was her love before The Feeding and Ashton breaks up the novel with several flashbacks to give us insight into Beck’s fall from grace. Cole, on the otherhand, is the perfect counterbalance. He is dark, seductive, effortlessly tempting. He is like a devil on Beck’s shoulder. He follows her everywhere trying to tempt her back. He has a weird relationship with Beck’s that is part dependency, part companionship that sufficiently muddies the usual moralities shuffled through in other such novels. It’s very clear, often, that Beck’s struggle to resist Cole is painful, sometimes a little nonsensical and takes an extraordinary strength of will and character.
Ashton weaves Cole’s character as being both despicable and yet sympathetic. It’s hard to entirely dismiss Cole as evil and yet you can hardly claim he’s good. He’s almost the culmination of almost every paranormal badboy douche who gets romanticized in these kinds of novels. Ashton takes that kind of character to his final conclusion and releases him upon her novel like a tornado. Yes, readership, there are boys out there who are gorgeous, dangerous, sexy-beyond-all-reason and effortlessly charming. But they will also suck you down into hell, suck you dry and in the end they just plain suck.
Jack is the excellent counter-balance in this novel. Damaged, yet loving and courageous he battles to keep Becks from being dragged back into the Everneath. Their relationship isn’t always strong. There’s so much honest emotion and history with these two characters that their relationship arc is solid and real.
I found the pacing of Everneath was smooth but fans of action and adventure books will probably find themselves itching for more. This is a book about people. People healing, people trusting, people trying to tear that all down again. There’s a plot and there’s a rushing timeline looming in the background but there’s not a lot of fists and falcon punches. Ashton’s writing is strong and serves well for this novel. Her use of imagery is great and she manages to create a rather unique and coherent mythology in this book.
But be warned, this is a trilogy and Ashton leaves her novel on a heartbreaking cliff-hanger of sorts. I am eagerly awaiting the sequel and this book goes on my to-buy list when released!
*This ARC was provided to me by HarperCollins. No money or favours were exchanged for this review – much to my chagrin!