Monday, 30 January 2012

Review: Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Everneath by Brodi Ashton
Released: 24th Jan (US) 2nd Feb (UK)
Publisher: HarperCollins (US) Simon&Schuster Children's Books (UK)
Rating: 4/5

Goodreads description:

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..

My thoughts:

I was dragged into this book from the very first chapter--it draws you in, making you wonder what's going on,desperate to find out more. It was a really clever beginning. It's rare that I'm drawn into a story so early on, and this was definitely one of those times.  I love the back and forth narration--allowing you to see the present and the past at once. It was less confusing, removed the need for endless exposition and kept the story interesting. It wasn't hard to follow because each section was clearly labelled. I loved how it counted down the time left in her Return--it added a frantic feel to the story that I appreciated. 

I really liked Nikki. Her struggle to regain the emotions she thought she'd lost forever was really touching, as was her desire to make amends for leaving. I connected with her pretty much immediately. she was a really sympathetic character. She had resigned herself to her fate, but not in a negative "I've given up" way. She was strong, she resisted Cole despite the attractiveness of what he offered her, and I really respected her.  The only thing that bugged me about Nikki was the reason she went to the Everneath at all. It felt more like a plot device than a genuine reason. Plus, whilst I loved the absence of emotion in the present scenes, I felt this sometimes spilled over to the flashbacks, removing some of their impact. Having said that, this technique worked really well in the present. Funnily enough, they were still really emotive. I ached for Nikki, for the emotions she did feel and struggled with, for her emptiness. For her pain at interacting with Jack. 

Jack and Cole may seem like the traditional 'good' and 'bad' boy characters, but both are so much more. Jack is sweet, considerate, understanding and yet at the same time he's pretty tough. He's not all goody-goody and he's not a doormat. I was almost swayed over to the goodside (I said ALMOST) as a result of him. Cole was...confusing. and confused. He has trouble understanding and expressing the fact he had feelings (what kind of feelings I don't think anyone knows) for Nikki and so fell back on traditional badboy behaviour (snark, smirks, jealousy-inducing actions). I liked that the boys were a bit more layered and a bit less stereotypical. They were recognisable as typical YA love interests, yet different enough that I didn't find myself sighing in annoyance at yet another interchangeable boy. 

In fact, that's the main thing I liked about Everneath. It followed the formula, but it diverged from it in ways that made it interesting and unique and yet didn't feel like it was being different for the sake of it. The solution to Nikki's problem wasn't easy to find. There was no convenient internet page will all the answers (seriously, I HATE that. The internet has ruined research in stories). The answers had to be pieced together gradually, from different sources and with increasing urgency. 

My absolute favourite part was the second-to-last chapter. So brave. So much happened in that short space of time, and I was left thinking "wow, I can't believe she had the balls to end it like that!" But then I read the last chapter and realised it was going to be a series and felt...a little disappointed. Like the author had backed out of the ending she really wanted. I mean, it's good there's going to be MORE but...I really liked what I thought was the ending. That's mainly what lost a point for me...

Overall, Everneath is a fascinating read. The characters are well developed, the story is the paranormal, mythology-based fiction we all love with careful twists and a delightful lack of cliches. It's beautifully and cleverly written, a must-read for anyone. 

Everneath has already been released in the US and is released in the UK on the 2/2/12 by Simon & Schuster UK. 

13 comments:

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    1. I'm really looking forward to reading this one! :)

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  2. I've heard good things about this book. The past and present alternating sounds really interesting. I'm glad that the author clearly labeled them for less confusion.

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  3. Brill review!
    I think I'll have to give this one a read.

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  4. The solution to Nikki's problem wasn't easy to find. There was no convenient internet page will all the answers (seriously, I HATE that. The internet has ruined research in stories) I hate that too! When the MC goes to Google, types in something ridiculous like "fire, CA, wings" and them magically understands something, that was usually quite obvious from the start. SOMEtimes the internet research thing is done well, but most of the time...no. Anyway, so glad you loved this one! The love interests and story sound great too, and I'm intrigued by the second-to-last chapter now! Can't wait to read it. Great review :).

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  5. I'm really looking forward to reading this one! :)

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  6. Every time I see that cover I want that dress. Have entered a competition to win one based on it...so there's a slimmest chance I could own it (certainly couldn't afford to buy it).

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  7. Amazing review! I so agree with you, especially on that goddamn Everling who successfully managed to conflict my heart and the sweet boy who stole it <3 And YES! I hate when the answers are so Googleable. I like my MC to get put throung the ringer and have to put in the hard work to find out :D Cannot wait to see where Brodi takes this story next!

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  8. I reviewed this book today too. But I couldn't really put my feelings into words. You did a much better job.

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  9. Your review is the third I have read today insisting I read this book! Not helping my TBR organised pile.

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  10. I can't wait to read this one! I'm glad you mostly liked it. It's nice to have a character who you can respect. Can you think of any bad boys who don't rely on the smirk/jealousy factor? I can't right now.

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  11. I totally and completely agree with you that Nikki's reasoning for going to the Everneath in the first place was a little...not disappointing...but undramatic?? I'm not sure how to explain it...her reasoning wasn't that big of deal. Or at least that's what i thought. And the last couple of chapters where insane! I was surprise Ashton ended it like that and i *knew* it was going to be a trilogy! Very unexpected/a last minute decision on that character's part! Awesome review! :)

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  12. Oh I agree with the countdown, it totally made things frantic with wondering what would happen. And also agreed that her reason for going there in the first place was a little weak. I was like "what? why would you do that??" But yes, generally this was a really interesting book that totally dragged me in.

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