Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Review: Everneath by Brodi Ashton


Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Series: Everneath (#1)
Pages: 384
Publisher: January 24th, 2012
Published: Balzer & Bray
IBSN: 9780062071132

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...

After being tempted into the Everneath, an underworld where immortals feed on human emotion, in a moment of weakness, Nikki Returns. She gets just six months before she's pulled back. Six months to explain, to apologise, to say goodbye again. Or six months to figure out how to cheat fate.

So Everneath was intriguing in the way it focused less on the paranormal lore -- which was well-realised and well-implemented itself -- and more on the contemporary themes of letting go and accepting consequences. I'm sure fans of both PNR and contemporary novels will find this compelling.

Nikki returns to give a proper send-off to her family, but hardly mentions them. So much transition scene is skipped over that she probably does spend a lot of time with them, but it's hardly referenced. Ditto Jules. What could have been so touching was pushed aside to make room for romantic relationships, when more platonic relationships are still vital to fleshing out a character.

But apart from the occasionally twinge of annoyance when her neglected loved ones were mentioned, I liked this book much more than I expected to.

Nikki's narration was very readable, with a voice that was quiet but not passive. She was constantly growing from all of her trials. Between the her that we see past tense snippets of and the present her, she's matured so much. She took the easy way out almost a year ago, and now she understands that was the absolute wrong way to approach her situation, but doesn't dwell on it. She's learned to accept her mistakes, but is also determined to avoid them now. 

And although a romance featuring as the main plot has always rubbed me the wrong way, that of Everneath wasn't just designed to add a swoon factor. Cole and Jack were the difference between her staying easily complacent with herself and her trying to grow into the version of herself she'd like to be. Their dynamics were realistic and reflected these roles they played. It was never about who she loved more (barf) but who she wanted to be.

The pacing was smooth and fast, skilfully portraying how quickly time passes with a frightening deadline looming. The plot twisted, and the denouement really was the best part of the story. The ending was impressive, foreshadowed but not expected, and left the story open to continuation but still with a sense of resolution.

Everneath is a novel I'd recommend to most fans of the Unearthly series -- it's a paranormal story with more weight on the realistic. Ashton created dynamic characters you could become invested in and a story well worth the time you spend reading it. Don't dismiss it like I almost did based on the cover that in no way reflects the contents.


Ailsa said...

Very interesting to hear your opinions on this book - I feel like you gave me more of an idea of what the story is actually about, what actually happens in the book, than some other reviews have.
I don't know if I would buy this book, but it does sound quite an interesting idea, so I would probably check it out if I found it in the library.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

Nomes said...

Skye, I had assumed this would be just another book in the market (of girl on the front cover/not for me type of books)

but i am kind of EXCITED for this now

loved your thoughts on this one :)

Chloe Booklover said...

I agree with Nomes - I reaqlly saw this as just being another "girl in a dress" book, but it actually looks interesting! Great review :)

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