Saturday, February 11, 2012

Everneath, Brodi Ashton

This cover is just... perfection. It's perfect
for the book—the smoke and shadows?
They mean something... All I'm saying.
Title: Everneath
Author: Brodi Ashton (author website)
Release Date: Feb. 2012 by Simon & Schuster Australia
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Paranormal
My Rating:1 star2 star3 star4 star

I'm fascinated by myth based stories—stories with an element of mythology, whether based around them or not. So once I got past Everneath’s gorgeous cover and read the blurb, I knew I had to read this one. I wasn’t disappointed. A beautiful, bittersweet tale interwoven with the elements of classic myth I love, Everneath is utterly enthralling and just waiting to get under your skin and into your heart... So it can break it.

From Goodreads:
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.
..

Six months ago Nikki Beckett disappeared. Tortured by her mother’s death, the injustice that followed, and a heartbreaking betrayal, she allowed Cole, a gorgeous immortal ‘Everliving’, to lure her away with the promise of emotional oblivion. The place she was lured? An underworld called the Everneath—the home of the immortal Everlings, beings who sustain themselves by feeding on human emotions. While Nikki’s been missing on the Surface only six months, one hundred years have passed in the Everneath during ‘The Feed’—the time when each Everliving gorges itself on the life force and emotion of a human ‘Forfeit’, leaving the human an empty husk, sucked dry of every last drop of emotion. One thing pulled Nikki through—a face. The boy she loved. Jack Caputo.

With the Feed finished, Nikki returns to the surface, physically whole, but an emotional zombie. She has six months to try put things right with the people she loved. Six months to say goodbye. Six months to memorise every line of Jack’s face once more. Because the Everneath has not forgotten her, and in six months it will suck her back under, bleed her dry, and sentence her to a fate that makes her one hundred year horror seem like a weekend in Disneyland. But Cole hasn’t forgotten her, either. And he wants her to make a choice...

Nikki:

Nikki is a remarkable character. She’s fragile, but she's brave and strong in her own ways, and, despite some of her past actions, remarkably selfless. Everneath is really the story of her journey to redemption. She walked out on her life. She left the people she loves. She ran away because life was too hard, it hurt too much, and she needed to dull the pain—and hell, surely that's something we can all relate to. She knows her temporary return and inevitable depature will cause more pain, but she wants to make things as okay as she can with what she has left. She doesn't really believe she deserves to be forgiven for the pain she’s caused, but her journey towards discovering there is such a thing as redemption is a beautiful one.

There’s a profound contrast between pre- and post-Feed Nikki. We’re shown the lead up to Nikki’s time in the Everneath in flashbacks, and although she’s hurting, she’s vibrantly alive; she feels with violent intensity. Then there’s post-feed Nikki: drained of emotion in the Everneath, she at first comes off as detached and cold, but as her six months pass, feeling begins to return, and the story heats up along with her. Relationships become more tense, the pain of leaving becomes more real, and Nikki stops feeling like an actor playing a part in her own life. She becomes real. It raises the stakes and adds to the suspense.

A Bad-Boy Who's Black as...

Cole. Cole is an enigma. A (literally) heartless creature who feeds on the emotions and life-force of human beings to sustain his immortality, he’s compelling. For many readers, he’ll be the person they love to hate, but I found him fascinating. Everlivings are supposedly incapable of feeling, but Cole clearly feels something towards Nikki. He’s selfish, calculating, and certainly amoral, yet for all the cold indifference, hatred, and blame Nikki throws at him for her fate, Cole didn’t choose to lure her to the Everneath, rather, she begged him to take away her pain (though it could be argued he didn’t discourage this). Nikki blaming Cole for her situation is like blaming a for the addiction: she chose it, knowing the risks. Through flashbacks, we see a funny, mischievous version of Cole, without the jaded lens of post-Feed Nikki. I loved Jack. I loved Nikki, but I’m desperate to know more about Cole. What’s his history? What game is he playing? What’s his deal? Cole has a bigger picture—some of which is hinted at—but Everneath definitely isn’t his story—it’s all about Nikki and...

Holy Jack Caputo, Batman!

We could call this a love triangle, but there’s only one man in Nikki’s eyes: Jack Caputo. The boy whose face launched a thousand shippers, and got her through a hundred years of emptiness. Jack is beautiful. Patient, kind, sweet and unerringly faithful and determined. There’s a reason Nikki’s helplessly in love with him, and a reason so many readers have come away from Everneath feeling the same.

The Verdict:

While interwoven with threads of classic Greek and Egyptian mythology, Everneath isn’t so much a retelling, as it is a very modern story with a very unique take on the origin of mythology. It looks closely at where the myths we know come from, and within its own mythology, posits that they all have basis in fact, however wildly distorted over the millennia. And what are Greek myths if not tragedies populated with sympathetic, ill-fated heroes and heroines?

A sad, quiet melancholy air hangs over Everneath. It is not a happy story. Leaving me with a multitude of unanswered questions, but nonetheless deeply satisfied, Everneath is a beautiful, bittersweet, suspense-filled tale of love, loss and redemption. Dancing effortlessly between heartbreak, eerie mythology and sweet romance, Everneath had me utterly entranced, and after its shocking conclusion, I can’t wait for more.

An enormous thank you to Simon & Schuster Australia for providing a review copy of Everneath!

21 comments:

  1. I loved the contrast between the old and new Nikki, how she was forced to cope with her situation. Although I must say, as a character, I definitely preferred Cole over Jack, and I can’t wait to find out more about him. To me, Jack was a little boring, too much of a stereotypical YA good guy.
    I was so surprised by this book. Finally I’ve found a mythology retelling that I don’t want to rip to shreds!

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    1. Yesss! You've summed it up pafaitement!
      the contrast between pre/post Nik was amazing, and heartbreaking, and yes Yes YES about Cole! I'd heard so many ppl talking about how they weren't Cole fans any everything, I expected to hate him... but I LOVED him. I want Nikki and Jack together. They're perfect for each other, but Cole? I just want more ole.

      Hehe! SOOO glad you liked it! ♥

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  2. Like you, I'm fascinated with all kinds of mythologies, and Everneath's use of mythology is what originally drew my interest. I also like the idea of a main character undergoing such a major emotional change. I have to admit that the whole love triangle thing kind of put me off this book, but I've heard enough good things about it to give it a shot, especially since one of my blogging friends was kind enough to send me her spare copy!

    I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed it as well!

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    1. Ooooh, Natalie! I'm with you: I am NOT a fan of love triangles, so I was kind of trepidatious, but there really isn't a love triangle here: true story. It's not even a spoiler--there's only one man in this world and the next for Nikki ;)

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  3. I.must.read.this.book.now. Besides the GORGEOUS cover, your review is JUST THAT AWESOME it makes me WANT TO READ THE BOOK NOW!!! <3 Cole, Jack, Cole, Jack, now I can't choose. Well I haven't read the book anyway but HOLY JACK CAPUTO: Love that phrase!!! I love Greek mythologies as well so I hope I'm going to enjoy this A LOT!

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  4. Wo! I had no idea it was a sad story =S and Cole and Nikki and the shocking end! aaaaaaaaah!! why have I not read this one yet> sniff!! so much to read sniff! so little time =(
    aaah! sniff sniff!! I need vacations T__T...

    awesome review like always my dear! muah!

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    1. Ooooh, Natalia! I KNOW you'll love this one! I can FEEL it! I SO know what you mean about needing vacation :(
      *sigh*

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  5. Argh!!! This book sounds amazing and I really need to read it now!

    Great review :)

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    1. Aw, Chrissie! THANK YOU! *hugs*
      I really hope you love it!

      Delete
  6. Ohh, great review! Gosh, you make me want to re-read it. But... I don't know if my heart could take it! Lol. Too many heartbreaks can't be good and that ending... Gosh, I want the sequel nowwww.

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    1. Aww! *hugs* thank yooou!
      I KNOW, right? My heart couldn't take that ending again, either :(
      </3

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  7. Lovely review!! I didn't enjoy this book but I loved hearing why you did. It makes me wish I saw the things you did in the book. I agree on the Cole point though, he certainly is an enigma and poses some very interesting questions! I did enjoy its unique take on mythology too, I thought it was one of the finer points of the book. x

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    1. Definitely one of the finer points :)
      I really liked how it wasn't really a retelling, as it was kind of a take on where those myths come from? I really liked that ;)

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  8. HEE!!! 'Holy Jack Caputo, Batman!' <333

    You always, always manage to nail every review you write, especially of the ones I already love because I'm just sitting there nodding my head, fingers twitching to go pick up my copy and reread. And damn, you make me even MORE Team Cole! *runs to Jack's arms for a Caputo fix* Cole is such a fascinating character who I hope we see explored more in the coming books. And ASHJDDSFLDHJLHD THE ENDING. THE ENDING. DAMN THE ENDING *SNIFF*

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    1. Hehe! It's like... I REALLY like Cole. He's fascinating, and I'm SO intrigued, and I actually do LIKE him. I don't think he's a 'bad' guy, I think he's kind of amoral, but he does have good characteristics? But Nikki and Jack are like Rose and Dimka... and I don't really want Cole for myself, but I do want him to be OK and happy... and hopefully to stop being evil and be a NICE boy? He has it in him! I know it!

      Also: EEE! Thank you! *hugs*

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  9. Grr, I've been trying to win this book for weeks. So many blogs are giving it away but I never win. I'm going to have to buy it. I love myth related books. Though I'm nervous on how sad this book is going to make me.

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    1. Awww! *crosses fingers for you* hope you get it! It's surprisingly dark and... hmm... sort of somber for YA? SO hope you like it!

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  10. This book catches my eye every time I am on my nook, rummaging through the nook store. Now that I have read your review I can’t believe I passed it up so many times! I like how it doesn’t start out all normal and happy, it’s like you enter at a point of turmoil and distress! How exciting! :D

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    1. Seriously, though, is the cover not distracting? I had it on my desk, and I kept randomly stroking it O___O
      I couldn't help myself!

      SOOOO hope you like, Darlene! xx

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  11. EEeeee. You have no IDEA how much I want to read this book. It sound amazing. I love Mythology, and I'm pretty sure I'd love it. Can't freaking wait. Wonderful review, Sarah.

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    Replies
    1. Oooh, Mesa, do you have it? I think you'll really like it! I hope you get to read it SOOOOOON!

      Delete

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