Series: Everneath #1
Published by Balzer + Bray on January 24th, 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Mythology, Young Adult
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…
Wow. That’s the best way to start this review. Brodi Ashton delivers on this beautifully original paranormal romance. The story, shrouded in mystery that unravels at just the right pace, will keep you reading until deep in the night.
The story is rooted in Greek mythology. I’ve always been a fan of the Persephone myth. It’s my favorite of all the Greek myths. Persephone is my favorite goddess. I think that helped a lot with being sucked into this story. But it worked so well. The execution was amazing. The concept was really original, creative, and well constructed.
So the story tells the tale of Nikki, who was tricked to follow bad boy Cole into the Everneath (underworld) to let him Feed on her (not vampire type stuff, energy sucking stuff). It simultaneously tells the events leading up to her descent into the Everneath and the events during her six month Return (before she is sent back to the Everneath forever). That means a lot of time jumps (or flashbacks, I guess). I’m amazed by how much this didn’t bother me. Each scene, present or past, revealed one more element of the mystery surrounding the Everneath and Nikki’s decision. Therefore, each scene sucks you in and keeps you reading. The pacing is just wonderful. You gradually get more insights into this world, and before you know it you’ve been absorbed by the whole story and can’t stop reading until the end.
There is a potential love triangle. Which, just as the time jumps, I usually hate. But not here. Wow, Ashton, you really did a remarkable job. I digress. The love triangle is different from your average love triangle. Both love interests have distinct personalities. With Cole, you’re tempted by the hints of redeeming qualities, while at the same time desperate to know what he’s scheming. With Jack…. oh, Jack. It took a while for me to understand the history behind their relationship (at first I thought it was ridiculous, a ‘normal’ girl dating the quarterback, like wuuut?) but as that gradually got revealed, wow. I just want to hug him. And, yeah. It’s a love triangle that kind of has me dying for more (wow, that never happens) — although I am more on the Jack side of things.
Aside from it being a love triangle, this book screams paranormal romance. Which, also, is something I usually do not like. The novel is very romance-centric – which usually I hate (I want depth, story, action). God, this book is surprising on so many fronts. Because I was so sucked in, I didn’t mind. Any of it. You may have converted me, Ashton.
The only negative thing I can say about this story is that the pacing (which, again, I found to be perfect) does mean that character development and depth also gradually comes about – it took me quite a while to actually get a sense of who the characters were and what they were like. It’s not the strongest connection I’ve ever had to characters. But overall, the story was so well executed that this doesn’t bother me as much as it might in another novel.
Summing Up:Overall, I’m amazed. Ashton can take some of the most hated plot elements and make you love them. Her pacing, story telling, and world building will blow you away. The ending cliffhanger will leave you heartbroken and desperate for more. I NEED that sequel, Everbound.
Do I even need to mention how stunning that cover is?