Written by Brodi Ashton
Series: Everneath #1
Published by Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: January 24th 2012
Genres: Classic Retelling, Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Source: Los Angeles Public Library
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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.
Everneath is a captivating story of love, loss, and immortality from debut author Brodi Ashton.
Everneath is loosely based on the Greek mythology of Persephone and Hades and of Orpheus and Eurydice with mentions of the Egyptian gods Isis and Osiris. The story starts 6 human months after the feed where the main protagonist Nikki awakens after being sent to the Everneath (or the Underworld). The Feed or Feeding is the way an Everliving (those immortals that live in the Underworld) can continue their immortal lives by stealing/feeding on the emotions and memories of the living (humans). The feed lasts for a hundred years which is like 6 months of human time. Once you have been fed upon, either the sacrifice dies, becomes old, or in rare cases, survives. When a sacrifice survives, she then has a chance to become the Queen of the Underworld, with her Everliving King. If the sacrifice survives, however, she becomes old, she is then taken by the shadows and is brought to the Tunnels (Hell, if you wish). The three main characters of the story are Nikki, Jack, and Cole.
Cole is the Everliving that took Nikki into the Everneath and bonded with her by taking all her emotions and memories. They spend bound together for a hundred years when Nikki was able to leave the Everneath by keeping a thought/memory of her human love alive. She is then taken over by a shade and awakes in a mini-mart in their town 6 months after the was supposedly gone. She then tries to repair her relationship with her family while staying away from Jack and trying to repair her life. This basically comprises most of the middle part of the story with the end resulting in Nikki staying above and Jack going to the Tunnels.
Now, on to my review. I was surprised that I liked the story of Nikki and Jack even though I had serious problems with the inconsistencies and the impossibilities of the whole story. Let’s start off on why I liked it. The premise of the story IS intriguing. I was curious about how the author would execute the Persephone and Hades’ story. Another thing that I did like about the story is the way Nikki comes off as a relatable character, although there are just times that you just want to bash her on the head for being so stupid. Jack, on the other hand, comes off as a love-struck boy that apparently hasn’t forgotten Nikki at all with Cole, adding to the romantic tension. I see Cole as the perfect bad boy and secretly wish that this was a love story about Cole and Nikki.
I love how the author gradually introduced us to the backstory by giving flashbacks of Nikki’s memories 6 months ago. It was integrated in a way that did not deter or confuse the reader and I was able to follow through without digitally flipping the pages back or forward to get what the author was trying to say.
Despite my liking the whole story or shedding a tear or two (it may just have been my raging hormones or something *shrugs*), I had problems with the story. I just didn’t get why no one put an Amber Alert out for Nikki when she went missing, why her father, being the Mayor of Park City didn’t do anything in his power to find his only daughter, why everybody accepted that Nikki came back from Rehab when there were no signs of her acting like she needed to go to rehab before she went with Cole. The only bad behavior I saw her do was going to concerts with Cole and his band which was not really bad at all since I went to concerts as a teen and was never in any risk of going off to rehab! *Sigh* True, she pretty much flipped out when she found out the hit-and-run driver who killed her mom got acquitted AND she caught Jack cheating on her. That could have been a catalyst but still…
I also thought that the whole time Nikki was pining away for Jack and not talking to him the whole middle part of the book was pretty stupid. I mean, I am pretty straightforward and with her not talking to him was just stupid. Jack, on the other hand, I also expected him to confront her and ask her what her baggage is. I know guys don’t do the confrontation thing but with him saying that he loved her, I thought that would prompt a confrontation.
Now, let’s talk about Cole. I thought that he was the hero in the story! He had all the makings of a bad-boy alpha hero and I would have liked the story be based on Cole and Nikki. True, he stole from Nikki but that would have made an awesome love story instead of Jack and Nikki’s meh romance. As a villain, Cole didn’t do much of anything; just stalk Nikki like crazy and appearing in her room uninvited (what is it with creeps appearing in girls rooms uninvited? THAT is not romantic!). I thought that was serial killer/rapist creepy.
I recommend this book to those enjoy the following books: