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… – Goodreads
While not my favorite read from this year, Brodi Ashton deserves credit for this unique use of the Hades and Persephone myth. Rather than directly retelling the story most of us are familiar with, she has created her own world around it with the Everneath and its Everlivings.
The book kicks off with Nikki Beckett’s return to the Surface, the regular human world. She has been gone for six months in human time but, for her, it has been a century that she has spent in the Everneath. What pulled her into this other world? A boy, of course. Why has she returned to the human world? Another boy, of course. This is very much a romance story, with Nikki attempting to reconnect with her former boyfriend, Jack, while the immortal from the Everneath, Cole, tries his hardest to take her back under. Jack and Nikki’s relationship was sweet, but I found myself feeling lukewarm about them together. As for Cole, I didn’t like him much either. He was rather pathetic, actually, though I did somewhat understand his desperation to get Nikki back. Overall, I was iffy on the romance stuff.
I was really surprised by how quiet and melancholy this book was. A lot of it was Nikki’s internal thoughts and feelings and this girl feels SO MUCH. She has many regrets, and her time back in the human world is limited, so there is only so much she can do…talk about angst!
Everneath also had a slow pace to uncover all the details of her journey to the Everneath and back. The book alternates from the present to the past, which I found a little frustrating at first, but it soon kept the story moving forward.
Everneath briefly touches on the relationships Nikki had with her family, specifically her dad, and the effects her absence had on her best friend. I think the story could have heavily benefited from exploring these relationships further. Romance is great and all that, but I thought this particular book could have easily had more depth if it had included a bigger focus on these ties that Nikki once had. As it was, I didn’t think Nikki’s dad reacted strongly enough to her absence and return, coming across as seemingly self-absorbed. Julianna, Nikki’s best friend, came across as mostly apathetic as well and a bit of a pushover once Nikki attempted to reclaim parts of her life. Again, this is a relatively slow moving story, but I do think Ashton could have had a stronger emotional impact if her characters had simply reacted more.
There are several predictable points in the book and the ending is one of them. It was spelled out very obviously early on and, when the moment arrived, I had a “That’s it?” moment. Still, while I wasn’t wow-ed by the events and characters in Everneath, I am invested enough to want to continue on with Nikki’s story and see the conclusion of it all. I know other readers will enjoy this book far more than I did, too, so definitely give it a try if it’s on your radar.
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