Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Review: Everneath

Author: Brodi Ashton
Release Date: March 2012 AU & UK / Already out in US
Publisher: Simon & Schuster AU/UK  / HarperTeen US
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon / Book Depository
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 begins on an eerie, haunting note that sets the tune for the entire novel. Literally fused together with an immortal named Cole, Nikki has spent the last 100 years in the Everneath. While only 6 months have passed on the surface, the seconds tick by slower down below. All this time her heart has been tethered to Cole as he feeds off her every emotion in what his kind, Everlings, call The Feed, marking her as a Forfeit. And while this means she should have forgotten everything she once cared about, one face remained branded in her mind every day for a century: Jack Caputo. The memory of him saved her from oblivion, from forgetting her who she was and blindly following Cole into eternity. Now she's above the surface again, returned to her former life, but she has not escaped the Everneath. It's temporary leave. One way or another, she will return. By Cole's hand or something more sinister, in 6 months time they will pull her back under, forever.

Through flashbacks we see the vibrant, living girl Nikki once was. From her friendship with Jules to her deepening relationship with Jack. And also the moment Cole entered her life and how everything lead up to the one moment that changed her existence. The contrast between pre-Feed Nikki and post-Feed was dramatic, you could see just how much her time in the Everneath had drained her. Emotionally, she was almost a shell. But post-Feed Nikki is incredibly determined. She may not be able to crack a smile or let slip a tear as easily as she once could, but she is determined without a doubt to fix the damage she caused on the lives of her friends and family and to give them the goodbye they deserve. And maybe to even find hope amidst the doom, a saving grace from her one damning mistake before all hope is sucked  from her.

Cole intrigued me. In a frustrating, complicated way thanks to the many layers Ashton weaved into that emotion-stealing Everling. One moment you see a hint of vulnerability escape him and you can't help that your heart fumbles a beat, and the next he does something that makes you want to reach through and rip his head off. You can't fully hate him nor can you entirely love him. But as captivating as he was, there was only one boy who truly managed to steal my heart, just as he did Nikki's. JACK. Oh, Jack. He never gave up on Nikki, not for a single moment that she was absent from his life. Even when she returned after those 6 months without a single trace, he didn't push her or demand answers. He was so patient and tender in his approach - a small smile, a kind word. He reached out to her, despite the rumours, despite whatever had happened between them on that fateful last night and it was exactly what she needed. Exactly the right approach not to send her over the brink and straight into Cole's awaiting arms. Because he knew her, inside out and out and every space in between. They once shared a friendship and a love so strong that time does not stand a chance of undoing. And it was such an uplifting part of the novel to see as they began to explore the potential of a love that was never lost, but just lay hidden behind a few menacing shadows.

Her father, I wasn't particularly a huge fan of. I expected more of a concerned parental figure. Nikki did go missing for six months and she didn't exactly look her best upon return. But he was more worried about his election and the damage control he'd have to do with her reappearance than actually finding out the reason his daughter went AWOL. On the other hand, because it's almost impossible to talk about this novel without mentioning something I love, the mythology in Everneath is incredible. I love reading anything inspired by greek mythology, but not only does Brodi weave and twist the myth of Hades and Persephone into something as utterly captivating as the original, but she also incorporates the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice and a riveting element of Egyptian mythology that all blend together to form a stunning debut.

The gloomy cloud hanging above Nikki's head grows larger, darker and more ominous as the novel nears the end and the timer on each chapter ticks by faster and faster. One week left... two days... one hour.... can she escape the suffocating darkness of her eternity? Or will hope offer a flicker of light against the blackness? The ending will tear at your heart and leave you counting down the minutes until the sequel. Is it an action packed tale? No. Does that make it any less absorbing? Not in the slightest. Everneath is a quietly intense story of love, sacrifice, addiction, pain and loneliness. Brodi explores the gamut of emotion from the ugliest depths of desperation and power to the sweetest tang of hope and love. You'd be a fool or an emotionally dry Forfeit to miss this novel!


5/5 Golden Apples!

31 comments:

  1. JACK JACK JACK JACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love him so much! *pulls on heart strings* Can you believe how the book ended? So cruel. Anyway great review Brodie!

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    1. ^THIS! ^THIS! ^THIS! ^THIS!
      ♥♥♥

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    2. YES YES YES YES!!!!!!!! Oh my gosh. I think she TORE out heartstrings with that ended! And the fact we have to wait so long for the sequel? I think authors and publishers have regular meetings on how best to torment us *sob*

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  2. Glad you loved it as well. :) I can't wait for the sequel!!! :) :)

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    1. I am so happy we both read and loved it at the same time! <3 What do you say we grab a Time-Turner and hop a year ahead to steal the sequel? I like this plan.

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  3. Everneath was the first mythology retelling that I didn’t, well... hate. I loved the way the Brodi Ashton wrote the mythology into the story - it was a lot more subtle than it usually is, that was done really well.
    “You'd be a fool or an emotionally dry Forfeit to miss this novel.” Very, very true. But I’m a little disappointed that nobody made video reviews for the competition. Fab review!

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    1. Yay! So glad this one broke your 'mythology retelling' curse. Such an interesting combination she chose and wow... I LOVED her unique spin with the whole of Everneath!

      AGH. If I wasn't so camera shy I would have! I know Braiden is doing one. Hopefully more Aussie bloggers get behind it! <3

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  4. Eeee! Brodie! Yes *waves hands* THIS! All of it! Agreed! Completely! *steals your review* MWAHAHA!

    OK, seriously, I agree with everything. I've seen a lot of people say they NEVER warmed up to COle, or hated him, but I was intrigued. He's not as pure-evil and invulnerable as he seems. In his own way, he seems to genuinely care about Nikki, and I'm so intrigued as to what he's about... I also kind of felt for him... Nikki made the choice she did to go with him. He may have kind of misled her, but he seems to feel a closeness to her, and she's ice cold. I don't know... I actually kind of like him. BUt yes, Jack.

    Seriously, though, I'm at the point where she's seen McBitchy coming out of his room, then drives of and runs to Cole... is that seriously it? What he did to make her run away? BEcause, uh, we don't really know if he did anything, right? I so hope this explained.

    AND OH MY GOODNESS YES YES YES! Nikki's Dad is an ASSHOLE. ALL he cares about is appearances, and when he got angry with her after the party? For what? Doing nothing? Trying to settle back in and do what he wants--be a normal healthy teenager? I don't like the guy AT. ALL.

    And NIKKI! YES YES AND YES! Post-feed Nikki is so determined to make right what she can! I loved her for this <3

    OK, stopping now, but basically: ASDFGLKHIHAFHFSGDS! YES! You have this disgusting knack for perfectly articulating my thoughts and feelings on the books I read. I seriously want to, I don't know, eat your brian or something. Like Silas? In heroes? THEN I WILL HAVE YOUR SMARTS AND RULE THE WORLD! *pokes your skull*

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    1. I love when your comments are almost as long as my review. And I really mean that because your comments are WIN! <3 YES!! Cole. You explained it much better than I did. I hope we see a lot more of him explored in the sequel <3 I won't comment on whether that's it with "McBitchy" LOL. But I definitely get where you're coming from there.... I want to add more of what I think on all of that but you're still reading, so tell me when you finish!

      Also, BRAAAAIINNS? I secretly knew you were a zombie. I mean, is it REALLY such a coincidence that I meet you RIGHT before 2012 hits? We all know it's the year of the Zombie Apocalypse and you do the whole creeper thing at people's windows... you're scoping out nommy brains :S BUT EW. I forgot about Silas and his brain consuming in Heroes. YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE MY LOYAL PSYCHOTIC SIDEKICK. But REALLY you're getting me close to eat my brain and steal my plans for world domination... I'm hurt.

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    2. Ep! It is, Uh... Kind of not short, huh? Noooo! I loved your description of Cole! I was just agreeing. In a slightly verbose manner... BTW: did you know Harry Potter learned me the meaning of 'loquacious'? Fact. Hermione=WIN.

      Aaaah, no! Now I feel bad! You can keep your brains, promise! *pats head* I'm sorry! *whimpers* I just kind of thought they'd grow back like Cheerleader's. No? Sometimes my own brain no worky O___O

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  5. I agree with EVERYTHING. From loving/hating Cole, to sweet patient Jack, and Nikki's less than engaged dad. And the weaving of mythology--loved it! And then the ending *clutches heart*. The horrible thing about reading ARCs is having to wait soo long for the next book D;

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    1. Oh this is one time I am glad not to have read an ARC! Although, it's actually not out until March here in AUS and UK as opposed to January in US. Which likely means we'll get it later.... oh my heart, as if it hasn't suffered enough! :(

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  6. BRODIE!!! ♥ OMG, this review made me swoon all the way 'tillthe end!!!! I need to read it now!! I don't know what else to say besides AWESOME!!!! So happy you loved it, Brodie! I hope I'l;l love it as much as you do too! :)

    Celine @ Forget-me-not

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    1. AWW thank you, Celine!!! You like making me blush :) I am so excited for you to read it, I really think you'll love it! Tell me when you get your hands on a copy!

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  7. Got this book in the mail last week, and I've read a few reviews that mentioned they didn't like the whole Cole/Nikki/Jack dynamic in the book. Your review has given me new hope though! So many book bloggers have really enjoyed this one, so I'm hoping I will too!

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    1. I suppose I can understand why people aren't big fans on the Cole/Nikki/Jack dynamic, but what I loved was the layers Brodi carefully weaved into Cole. He doesn't openly admit certain things but she shows it to us in subtle ways and it was done so well! But damn... one page I want to hug him, the next I want to him him over the head. In a "I hope you still live" kinda way ;)

      Can't wait to see what you think, Nat!

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  8. I TOLD YOU THIS BOOK WAS AMAZING! *fangirls* YES YES YES! JACK YOU LITTLE CUTIE! *grabs*

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    1. YES YOU DID AND I AM GLAD THAT YOU DID FOR IT ENCOURAGED ME TO READ IT SOONER!! But hey now, no Jack stealing! There's enough of that beautiful boy to go around *snatches*

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  9. Great Review!! Totally agree there is something about Cole. He sometimes looks hurt, he's a bad boy but something has happened to him.

    Long wait for book 2. I think we will all be dive bombing it when it's out:D

    Michelle

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    1. Thanks, Michelle! Oh yes, he's a bad boy with a heart hiding under there somewhere.... don't think we can't see it, Cole!

      Haha HECK YES! We'll all have to have a blogger meet up and attack bookstores on day of release :)

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  10. Yay! I'm glad you liked it so much! I'm really intrigued now and am happy to say... My copy arrived YESTERDAY!!!!!
    Yeee! Excited to start it now!!

    Great review as always!

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    1. YAY!!! Now go read it now now NOW! Alright, fine, you can do that unnecessary thing called 'study' and maybe finish your current read, but.... oh FINE. Just tell me when you start :)

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    2. Haha. I will make sure I do. The same goes for Cinder... and Shatter Me... and Statistical Prob.... hmmm... should deffo get on to the reading thing soon xDD

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  11. OMG Brodie!! I've ALREADY read this but your review makes me want to read it AGAIN. stop that. I can't just go about rereading books, no matter how amazing they are. I agree about the dramatic difference between pre and post-feed Nikki, I think the flashbacks worked so well at showing that, and Cole truly is an ENIGMA.

    The Cait Files

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  12. I'm just about to start reading this one, and I've heard such great things that my expectations are pretty high! A lot of my fave blogs are giving Everneath all the stars, so I hope I love it too!!

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  13. i so so so so so so so so so so so so so soso so so so want want want wat this1

    i can't say anything else ^_^
    amazing REview

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  14. I AM SO CONFLICTED!

    I think my copy should be in the mailbox by now (I haven't checked in ages) but going to see would require me changing out of my pajamas and actually, um, moving. WHAT TO DO?

    I am loving this trend of guys that are bad but not completely bad. Ahh, three-dimensional characters :) So lovely.

    I can't wait to see how this one turns out! Fabulous review AS USUAL. For real though, stop writing such good reviews. I can only swoon so many times a week.

    Sonia

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  15. I love your review! It's perfect. Seriously, you said everything I wanted to say myself. And I definitely agree about her dad! It was a bit... odd. And ahh, the ending... I think my heart broke. I'm DESPERATE for the sequel! Neeeed.

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  16. I love how much detail you put into this review, Brodie. It's PERFECT! I really enjoyed this book myself even though the ending was a heart-breaker. I can't wait to get hold of the next one now! :)

    Sam @ Realm of Ficton

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  17. I absolutely cannot wait to read this one! Seriously, Brodie, you have a way with words. I feel like I need this book NOW. Can't wait - awesome review! :)

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