Everneath by Brodi Ashton (Book Review)

January 14, 2012 Book Review, Young Adult 9 ★★★★

Everneath by Brodi Ashton (Book Review)Everneath by Brodi Ashton
Series: Everneath #1
Published by Balzer + Bray on January 24, 2012
Genres: Paranormal, Paranormal Romance, Retelling, Romance
Pages: 370
Format: ARC
Source: From the publisher through Netgalley
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4 Stars
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.

When I saw the description of this story on Netgalley, followed by the buzz and excitement around the blogosphere, I knew I had to read it. Since I was very young, I’ve always had an intense curiosity for Greek mythology. Then, when I minored in art history in college and studied Greek art, I learned a lot more about the ancient myths from the art that illustrated them. This book is centered around the story of Persephone’s abduction by Hades, God of the Underworld. Persephone was beautiful, and sought after by many—namely Hades. One day when she was out picking flowers on the plain of Enna, Hades emerged from the ground and abducted her. Her mother, Demeter (the goddess of harvest), wandered the surface of the Earth searching for her lost daughter. When she found out what happened, she was livid (as any mother would be!). Her extreme sorrow caused her to withdraw, and the earth became infertile. Zeus knew that this could not go on forever. He sent his son Hermes down to the Underworld to get Hades to release Persephone. Hades reluctantly let her go, but gave her a pomegranate seed before she left. Once she ate it, she was bound to the Underworld forever and had to spend 1/3rd of the year there. Whenever she was with Hades, her mother would not let anything grow, thus the season of winter was born. Pretty cool story, huh? I swear, I love mythology!

In the book, the Everneath is explained as being the space between the world we live in and the Underworld, where the Everlivings have found the secret to eternal life. But they must feed off of the energy of a human every 100 years or they will die. Enter Nikki/Becks. Cole convinced her, in a moment of weakness, to go with him to the Everneath so he could feed off of her for 100 years (which is only 6 months time on the earth). When the Feed is over (which is when this book begins), Nikki is allowed to Return to Earth for 6 months before she is to be sucked into the Tunnels to serve as a battery to power Hell. Or… she can go back to the Everneath with Cole and become an Everliving, and have eternal life at the cost of the lives of human beings. She hates both of her choices. This book is all about Nikki’s quest to find a way to beat Mother Nature and stay with her family and friends.

I really enjoyed the story. I loved the unique subject matter, and how the author was able to tie in so many elements of the Greek myth, while still adding in unique aspects that made it her own. The story itself is actually pretty beautiful. It’s all about love, loss, and courage. The easy way out for Nikki would be to go back with Cole and have eternal life. She’d even have a shot at being the next Persephone and claiming the crown, becoming queen of the Underworld. That sounds a whole lot better than eternal suffering in the dark, dirty depths of Hell. She can’t fathom the idea of draining the life out of others to save herself, though, so she has chosen the Tunnels. Actually, she could have gone straight there and not return to see her family. It would have been far less painful for her to never see them, and the results of their grief while she was gone. She decides to go back to make amends and say goodbye the right way, before disappearing again. Every decision she makes in this book is for other people. I admire that about her.

Cole’s kind of a slimy character, but I always find myself rooting for the bad-boy (at least for part of the story). In the beginning he seems so wonderful (and I wanted Nikki to choose him), but once we learn what he did to her we quickly root for the sweet childhood-best-friend-turned-boyfriend character, Jack, instead. I loved Jack. He ached for Nikki the entire time she was gone, and upon her return he is very understanding and supportive. He gives her the space she needs to recover, and lets her come to him rather than pouncing on her and demanding answers. That a really mature way to handle a situation like this, especially from a high school boy. He was just a really good guy.

The writing was enthralling, although a few phrases were used too many times. Everything in the story was delayed for “a few moments” or “a long moment”. Like, a character would say something and the other character would respond “after a long moment”. Or two people would hug for “a long moment”. That’s really my only complaint, about the writing, though. I’ve always been the type to not like hearing or reading the same phrases. It’s a quirk of mine. I enjoyed Ashton’s descriptive passages, allowing me to picture the Tunnels, the Everneath, and especially different peoples’ emotions. I also loved that this book takes place in Utah! I live here! I go to the setting of this novel, Park City, all the time! I loved being able to picture the streets they walked down… the Sundance Film Festival. It was kind of a funny discovery of mine, because no book takes place in Utah, so when I saw “Park City” in the book, I immediately wondered where in the World there’s another one! But then I saw the Utah Jazz mentioned, the Film Festival, the Weber River… the Timpanogos Caves… and I knew this story took place right here. So fun! The characters were also great, with lots of dynamic traits. We’re told very specific things about each character, so that by the end of the story you understand their body language without needing the author to explain it. I loved that. It’s like I was watching a movie in my head as I read the book.

I can see this book having a very wide appeal. It’s not mushy gushy, so I think the guys would enjoy it (if they can handle reading a book with that cover, that is! Buy it on Kindle, boys.). It’s not juvenile, so I think it could appeal to the adult fiction lovers out there. Greek mythology enthusiasts will eat this one up. Fans of paranormal romance (YA or adult) will love it. It’s a bit of a mystery that you need to figure out, which is always a plus. Music plays a big role in it, which pretty much nobody can complain about. The book is attacked from so many different angles, that it’s very versatile. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would! I’m very intrigued by the cliffhanger ending, and can’t wait to see what the currently untitled next book has in store for us.

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9 Responses to “Everneath by Brodi Ashton (Book Review)”

  1. Daisy

    I’m so glad the story lives up to the beautiful cover! :) And mythology geeks unite! I’ve been fascinated by Greek mythology since I was a kid too :) I am a bit wary of the cliffhanger ending, but it’s good to know that’s there before going in!

  2. Jessie Marie

    Ah, I’m so excited for this release.

    I’m pretty sure everybody loves mythology – even if they don’t know it. But Persephone is probably one of my favorites. And The Rape of Persephone almost made me change my major to art history + the classics. So I’m totally into this one!

    Awesome review. Now I’m way geeked for 1.24!

  3. Alexa

    Okay, I’m a billion times more excited to read Everneath now – it’s imperative! Also, we share that love of Greek mythology in common, though I’m a mythology buff in general… Egyptian, Roman, Celtic… pretty much any kind of mythology will get my attention :)

  4. Jana

    Daisy, it’s not as bad as some cliffhanger endings, but it is one nonetheless!

    Krazzyme, I’m glad you enjoyed it too!

    Jessie Marie – Yay! I think you’re right about everyone loving mythology. It’s so intriguing, and most of us are curious by nature! I hope you let me know when you put up a review. :) I’d love to hear what you think!

    Alexa, just another reason why we’re bookish sisters! Haha.

  5. Natasha Areena

    I agree with you on everything you said about Everneath. I drool over Jack. Jack’s love is so deep and real. And Cole. Oh Cole. I almost feel bad for him. It was hard to dislike him.

  6. Julia

    I didn’t like Cole from the beginning. I was curious about him (still am) but he really is kind of a dick.

    I didn’t notice the phrase thing, probably because I was reading so fast.

    I liked that use of the mythologies too. I thought it was a unique mix of Hades/Persephone (with Cole/Nikki) and Orpheus/Eurydice (Jack/Nikki). I loved the repetition of 6 months (which was how I was told the Persephone story… she didn’t eat anything except 6 pomegranate seeds so that is why she spends 6 months with Hades every year)

    It was very good, and the cliff hangers wasn’t too bad. Though I am sick of books with them..

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