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…
EVERNEATH is a modern twist (not a retelling!) on two Greek myths: the tale of Hades and Persephone and the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice. In it, Nikki has Returned from the Everneath, or Underworld as it is commonly known, for 6 months so she can say goodbye to her family and friends before she disappears for good. Had she known what she knows now, after spending a century in the Everneath with her Everliving host, things would probably be different. EVERNEATH is just raw. Everything about it pulls at your feelings and takes you on a wild roller coaster ride (I’ll be honest, most of the ride is down) of emotional swings. It’s THE book that grabs you and refuses to let go, even after you are done. Ashton executed the emotions of her characters flawlessy in it; I felt the utter bleakness and despair Nikki felt upon her Return and her hope when she thinks she may actually have a chance at defeating the Tunnels (more on those on a sec). I loved Jack, he was the quintessential, all-American dream boy. I don’t think we get that enough in stories anymore. And where I initially thought he was dense and obtuse, he wasn’t! He surprised me a little in that regard. I also enjoyed the dynamic between Jack and Nikki very much. There was obviously a lot of history between them, wrapped up in a deep-rooted friendship that seemed very hard to break. Oh, Cole. Cole, Cole, Cole. I liked you, but I hated you. I didn’t understand you, but I think you liked it that way, didn’t you, Cole? Cole was such a dark, bad boy, the kind every girl gets dreamy-eyed about, but honestly, in my head I was always yelling at him to GO AWAY! Is he a villain or isn’t he? I can’t decide so I will let you be the judge. I’ve seen authors try to write flashback scenes and fail. Brodi Ashton manages to do it masterfully. I was never once confused because it’s laid out exactly where and when we are. The scenes were also dispersed at flawless intervals throughout the novel; it was like watching a movie in my head when the scenes shifted. I enjoyed that immensely. The overall sense of the story was foreboding. I enjoyed the tone of the novel a lot! It was very dark, even when it was hopeful, and I loved how Ashton described the Everneath, especially the Tunnels. The descriptions of being in them actually made me feel claustrophobic, and I think she was going for that. And THE ENDING….!!!!! OH. MY. GOD. I am still blown away by EVERNEATH. What a story! Brodi Ashton, let me bow down to you for a job well done, because…WOW. Please hurry up and write the second, because I don’t think I can live much longer without it!
He leaned forward and said, “Tell me friend. Is there more for us?” I looked at my feet. “There’s everything for us.”
Publisher: Harper Collins / Balzer + Bray Publish Date: January 2011 Genre: Young Adult/Paranormal Fantasy
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