|This cover is just... perfection. It's perfect|
for the book—the smoke and shadows?
They mean something... All I'm saying.
Author: Brodi Ashton (author website)
Release Date: Feb. 2012 by Simon & Schuster Australia
Age Group: Young Adult
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.
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.