Series: Everneath #1
Publication Date: 24th January 2012
Book Source: HarperCollins & NetGalley
Synopsis: 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...
I'm a sucker for a stunning cover and Everneath is right up there. But do the contents live up to the cover art?? Absolutely! Everneath is one exquisite addictive read.
With the recent surge in YA mythology retellings, Everneath is a breath of fresh air. Think Hades & Persephone, Orpheus & Eurydice but not a retelling as such; a unique story taking inspiration from these myths.
Cole's an Everliving, Nikki is his human Forfeit and so it begins, creepy undercurrent, emotional darkness, and a feed in progress. Nikki's been Cole's nourishment for a century in the Everneath (he's immortal but feeds off human emotion) and he's been her 'drug' of choice to numb the pain. Mixed in with the air of desolation is a certain fairytale quality, heightened by the obvious connection between Nikki and the dark-haired boy with chocolate eyes on the surface.
Cole is arrogant, morally repugnant, manipulative and darkly seductive, but there's flashes of light. It'd be pushing the friendship to say there's goodness there but I get the feeling Cole cares about Nik, in his own special way and not just because she's a tasty lunch. Then there's Jack. Nikki's love for Jack and her fading memories are what kept her sane in the underworld. I was touched by Nikki and Jack as a couple, their love is clear despite the misunderstandings and I didn't want the book to end without a happy ending ... hmm about that ;)
The timeline describing The Feed, Nikki's return to the surface as a husk of her former self, and the six months she's given to make amends in the mortal world is done seamlessly. Kudos to Brodi Ashton for writing emotion with such umm ... emotion. Seriously the emotion in Everneath is palpable, Cole's manipulation of emotions, the emotion in Nikki's relationships, even sucked dry of emotion you can sense the hollowness, the numbness. Beautifully done!
I'm not exaggerating when I say this is a stunning debut and a brilliant start to a trilogy I can't wait to continue.
Brodi Ashton has the gift of story telling but that ending ... uggh Ms Ashton you evil genius ... pure torture!!
Visit Brodi Ashton's blog to find out more.