AUTHOR: Brodi Ashton
PUBLISHER: Balzer + Bray
MY RATING: ★ ★ ★ ★ (4/5)
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.
Initially what made me want to pick up Everneath was the fact that there is an underlying Hades & Persephone story within the story. However, if you’re picking it up specifically for the Hades & Persephone aspect, I’d say don’t bother. It’s there, and it does have a strong feel to it, but it’s not as good as some of the others that I’ve read. That being said, I would still absolutely recommend this book for it’s own story.
Nikki Beckett has spent the last century in a dream-like state within the Everneath – a realm for the Everliving beings that survive by draining the souls of humans for energy – after offering herself to an immortal named Cole to feed upon. When Nikki wakes up, she is told that it is uncommon for a human to survive a feeding and she is offered the chance to become an Everliving. Supposed to have forgotten her life before, Nikki remembers a face, a face that has stayed with her the last century. She declines the offer to become an Everliving, returning to her life on the surface for a matter of months before she must meet her inevitable fate; banished to the Tunnels of the Everneath as a soul to power the realm.
Her time back at her home is spent trying to redeem herself with Jack, the face she remembers so clearly. Cole keeps popping up to remind Nikki that she still has time to change her mind and return with him to the Everneath, but Nikki continues to refuse the offer. As her romance with Jack is rekindled, we learn the reasons behind Nikki’s choice to go with Cole to the Everneath, and her struggle to find a way to remain on the surface with the one she loves.
Ultimately, this is a novel that revolves around the romance of Nikki and Jack, so if you’re not into romance, then you’re probably not going to enjoy this book. But the romance is SO GOOD. I didn’t think that I was going to enjoy Jack as a character, but he really surprised me. The characters are really what makes this novel so great because they feel like real people and they’re not perfect.
“In the dark, dank world of the Tunnels, I would call upon this memory. And there would be a flicker of candlelight. If only for a moment.
I closed my eyes, as if my eyelids were the levers of a printing press, etching fibers into my mind. Memories were outside Cole’s reach. As long as I held them, memories were mine and mine alone.”
I also had a soft spot for Cole’s character. Although I wasn’t rooting for any sort of romance between Cole and Nikki, Cole still felt just a little misguided to me. Like he could still redeem himself. Nikki has a very interesting struggle as well as she has lost the ability to feel strong emotions, and her relationship with Jack really helps her to work through those struggles. That being said, Nikki still has some heavy inner struggles when it comes to what she thinks she deserves, what her friends and family deserve, and whether or not she believes in redemption.
“It doesn’t matter who fills it, as long as the debt is paid.”
Initially I didn’t think I would like this book. I couldn’t decide whether or not I really liked Nikki and her pessimistic view on things (though she undoubtedly has reason to feel this way). It read a bit slower paced, and I hated every interaction Nikki had at school when she first returned to the surface. Now I can see that it did really help show the growth in her character and the effect her “anchor” had on her. By the time I got to the end I was in full fledged tears, and I needed to know more.
I can’t wait to read the sequel to this book. I’ve heard the series only gets better from here, and I’m really hoping that’s true. If you’re looking for a book on Gods, love, and immortality, you’ve come to the right place.