Everneath by Brodi Ashton.
Hardcover, 370 pages.
Published January 24, 2012.
Published by HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray.
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.
"Everneath" is a captivating story of love, loss, and immortality from debut author Brodi Ashton.
This is another book about which I'm not really sure what to say. I enjoyed it, but not immensely. It wasn't as exciting to me as I'd heard it was, and it didn't draw me in as much as it has many others. That said, I didn't dislike it either.
I really liked the premise of this one. I'm a huge fan (read: nerd) of mythology, especially Greek, and I absolutely loved that this was both a modern re-imagination and a source of information about myths. I really wish there had been more of the Greek and Egyptian mythology involved in the story because I loved seeing how it all tied into the plot and the idea of the Everneath.
I thought the plot moved very slowly. Nikki's return to the surface is very quick and then the six months of her return seem to drag on through the rest of the book. There is not a lot of action in the story. It involves a significant amount of Nikki thinking or sitting quietly, and Cole trying to talk her into returning to the Everneath with him. There were a few more fast-paced scenes, but I always felt like they were over too soon.
Another aspect I did enjoy, though, was the back and forth between the present time and the time before Nikki's descent into the Everneath. I liked that not everything was bluntly explained right from the beginning. I had to read more of the present to get more information about the past. This I really appreciated and helped to keep me going in reading the novel because I was very interesting in how Nikki got so hurt that she went to the Everneath in the first place. I think this was a smart move on Brodi Ashton's part.
When it comes to the characters, I had mixed feelings. I liked Jack, Nikki's old boyfriend, a lot, and I only liked him more as the story went on and he was continually shown to be a big sweetheart. Cole pulled me in at times, but overall he felt too much like the bad guy trying to get in the way of love for me to really like his character. As for Nikki, well... I don't know. I never really connected with her, although I did get interested in the same mysteries as she did. She felt very passive. I never really saw a strong motivation from her to make the most of the six months she had before her forced return to the Everneath. She was a bit of a disappointment.
Overall, this book was not what I was expecting after seeing many rave reviews. It wasn't a bad book - there were definitely things I appreciated and enjoyed - it just didn't excite me. There were things I felt were lacking that I wish had been there. I will probably read the sequel at some point, but I am certainly in no rush.