by Brodi Ashton
Series: Everneath, #1
Publisher: HarperCollins / Balzer + Bray
Release Date: January 24, 2012
Age Group: Young Adult
Format: Finished Copy
Challenge: 2012 Debut Author Challenge
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Nikki Beckett--our evolving MC--has faced a life altering event before the book begins. For the previous six months she has lived in the Everneath, or the Underworld, as a forfeit to an Everliving--Cole. Now the Feed has ended and Nikki has six months to conclude her life before returning to the Everneath indefinitely.
Nikki as a character is easy to understand. She is counting down the months left of her life on the Surface, while dealing with the loss of her Mom (physically) and her Dad (emotionally). It all seems like a lot if you look at her loses separately, and so Nikki’s actions and emotions are easy to grasp and to understand--as her loss would be difficult for any one character. That would partly be why I found the need for a counterpart for Nikki, which just so happens to come in the romantic form.
The romance in Everneath was and has continued to be my favorite aspect to the story. From the start, I wasn’t sure which guy I should be rooting for--Cole (the aforementioned Everliving) or Jack (Nikki’s ex-boyfriend).
Cole could be extremely confusing; he is endearing and infuriating. I was constantly questioning his sincerity. Did he truly mean what he said and/or did? Or, was it is just another ploy to get Nikki to return to the Everneath with him? But, regardless of which way you view Cole he is a dynamic and vital character in Everneath.
Jack, Nikki’s ex-boyfriend from before her six months in the Everneath, stole my heart from early on. He still cares for Nikki deeply even after everything her six month disappearance has put him through, and is continually devoted to her. I fell head over heels for Jack mid way through and my feelings only increased as the story did. Yes, I even came to the point of missing him when he was not in a scene. He was my man.
Due to the addictive nature that I found the romance and the plot to be, I rushed through the pages, craving more--hoping for the best while preparing for the worst. Nevertheless, my heart still encountered many ups and downs, and a small dose of ache.
Mixed perfectly into the plot is the mystery, of which there is a fair amount concerning both the Everneath and Nikki’s pre-Everneath past. We glimpse our answers partly through flashbacks, which though secondary still provided most of my favorite scenes.
Eventually, all is known--for now at least--and Everneath comes to a climatic and bittersweet ending. Romantic, mysterious, engaging and heartbreaking--Everneath is a winner in my eyes.