Release Date: March 2012 AU & UK / Already out in US
Publisher: Simon & Schuster AU/UK / HarperTeen US
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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!