Monday, May 19, 2014

Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Everneath #1
Published January 24, 2012 by Balzer + Bray
Hardcover, 370 pages
Borrowed from library

Everneath is based on the Hades-Persephone myth which you probably already know. Basically, in this world, there is something called an Everneath which isn't exactly Hell but is this Underworld layer beneath the Surface (Earth) and there are these beings (Everlivings) that have discovered the secrets of immortality who live there. They're not human but they need to feed in order to sustain themselves and they feed off of humans' emotions. And these humans who allow themselves to be fed off of are called Forfeits. Our main character Nikki is a Forfeit and she has just endured the Feed (what the Everlivings call the feeding period) with Cole - this really emo, sassy dude. She's given the choice to return to the Surface for six months after the Feed and she does so because during the Feed, she just kept on seeing this guy's face in her mind and she just HAS TO KNOW WHO HE IS. So she returns but she can only stay for six months before she gets sucked back down to the Everneath, this time FOREVER. Unless Nikki finds a way to jump around it...

Um... Colour me CONFUSED because I still cannot fully wrap my head around this book even though it's been a good three weeks since I finished this. Seriously. What even happened??

For the first time in a while, I jumped into Everneath without any expectations of anything whatsoever. 
I saw this at the library and just felt in the mood for a new series and something a little different than my usual contemporary. Thank goodness I did not pick up the second or the third book, because I feel like that always happens to me. But yeah, I totally went on a whim with this one and even though this book wasn't the greatest, it definitely was a rewarding experience to get into something sans all the other opinions I usually have accumulated from reading reviews when I start a book.

I should mention, to be fair, that I was in a reading haze for a large part of this book.
Don't ask me what a reading haze is because I'm afraid even I don't know. I can't really describe how I was feeling while I read this book. It was just that I felt this tremendous pull inside me to read SOMETHING so even though I wasn't 100% feeling Everneath, I zoomed through it which is so unlike me when I'm not totally into a book. And for me, it was like "yeah, I read the book but did I really read the book because it went by so fast". I don't know if that makes sense. Moving on.

The main reason why I was not feeling this book was because I felt so in the dark.
When I started reading, even though I had done a Goodreads search on it, I had this niggling feeling in the back of my mind that this was not the first book because it starts at a place where I felt like a previous book, if there was one, would have ended. I almost feel like there should have been a novella or something to start this series off just to provide some more background information. Because goodness, was it hard to keep up with the book! The beginning was okay because the whole Everneath and feeding off of people was pretty straightforward for me, though I never did get why there was the option to return to the Surface, why Nikki had to return to be Queen, why there had to be a new Queen, what exactly the Tunnels were... And yeah, I just have a lot of questions. I don't know if this is a product of the speed at which I read this book but I'm just MISSING SOMETHING. This whole world just did not make sense to me. Am I the only one?

Nikki was boring.
I mean, I get why she was the way she was - all emotionless and such - because she just came back from the Feed and her emotions are drained and she's exhausted. OKAY I GET IT. But I don't know if that's license to have a really one-dimensional character, in my opinion. She just didn't really have a personality. 

Also, the love triangle. Could you even call it that?
Now I, for one, am not a person to condemn something before I even see a bit of it through. Which is why in general I'm pretty open to love triangles and I firmly believe that they CAN work given the right circumstances. But goodness gracious, the synopsis for this book makes it sound like a Twilight-esque love triangle and dude, we do NOT need to go back there. In reality though, it wasn't so much a love triangle because from square one, it was always about Jack. But something about their relationship just didn't work well for me. I didn't quite see the chemistry there.

And now about Cole, the second "love interest".
Right off the bat, it's clear Nikki couldn't give less of a shit about Cole now that Jack is back in the picture so I wouldn't really call him a love interest, but he is there. For some reason, I found myself really intrigued by Cole. He was unpredictable and though I wish he was more fleshed out, I appreciated the complexity in his character and how there always seemed to be a much deeper meaning to everything he did. And the fact that there seems to be a little bit of affection Cole has towards Nikki makes the story really interesting. I mean, he's painted as the bad guy but there are times when I had second thoughts because some of his actions made it seem more like he was just looking out for Nikki. 

Everneath was just an okay read for me. I felt really in the dark about what was going on for the majority of this book and I ended up with a LOT of questions. There were also a lot of other things I had trouble with like Nikki's character and the romance between her and Jack wasn't something I believed. Everneath did get really exciting in the last quarter but for me, it was a bit like too little, too late. The ending, in all honesty, was predictable and didn't really do anything to balance out my mixed feelings. Not sure if I'll continue with this series.

fans of modern-day retellings, especially ones that are based on Hades and Persephone

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