Everneath (Everneath #1)

By Brodi Ashton

Publisher: Harper Collins/Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: January 24, 2012
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Source: Publisher

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. BLast 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.
ut 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…

Goodreads Summary

Following several emotional upheavals, Nikki Beckett seemingly vanishes off the face of the planet, leaving behind her father and brother, best friend Jules and her boyfriend Jack. What none of them know is that she’s been taken to the Everneath where she’ll spend the next hundred (Everneath) years while the Shades Feed from her emotions until she’s sucked dry.

When the hundred-year Feed ends, Nikki wakes still youthful and Cole, the boy who brought her to the Everneath is convinced that she is the one who can be the Queen. There was a face that she held in her mind during the hundred years though, one that draws her topside and away from Cole – but not before the Shades mark her, damning her to return to the Everneath one way or another.

The face she couldn’t forget was her boyfriend Jack and when she’s dropped back topside, she finds she’s been gone six months. She’s a shell of her old self, drained and emotionless from the Feed and everyone assumes she’s a junkie – her dad makes her pee in a cup. She can barely speak to anyone, including Jack. Cole came back up too, trying to convince her that she needs to come back down with him before the Shades come for her, taking her someplace horrific that she won’t ever be able to escape from.

The story’s told in flashbacks, starting with Nikki and Cole in the Everneath then moving forward, mixed in with random pieces from Nikki and Jack’s relationship. At least in this book, there is no love triangle. Cole is an Immortal and he targeted Nikki long before he took her to the Everneath. I can’t say I ever liked him, but I don’t know how bad he really was. I think Jack of all people made me question Cole’s motives. There was no question he’s ambitious and wanted the throne in the Everneath and he was a creep pretty often but he was pretty obsessed with Nikki. It’ll be interesting to see where he goes in the next two books.

Jack. Jack, Jack, Jack. How much did I love him? I swear I could feel his pain coming off the pages. He was so gentle with Nikki when she came back and I loved reading the flashbacks and seeing him in happier times. It bothered me that during the current storyline he was so sad for a lot of the story. It made a lot of sense and had my stomach in knots but I wanted the poor guy to have a break sooner. He was so selfless – I feel sorry for Cole if he’s going to be competing with Jack for Nikki at any point.

The best word I can think of to describe the feeling of the book is bittersweet. In the flashbacks with Jack, Nikki is happy and there’s an innocence that contrasts so sharply with the defeated, frightened Nikki that it’s almost painful to read sometimes. I was glued to the story and loved the characters but at the same time, depressed by the lack of hope so often that I’d actually find myself crying during some of Nikki and Jack’s conversations.

I don’t think I can even tell you how happy I was when I went to grab the book’s information from Goodreads and saw that this was going to be part of a trilogy. I’m not going to spoil it but this ends on what I’d consider a moderate cliffhanger, one that had me turning the pages thinking, “please, please, don’t let her leave it there!”

My Summary: Despite the emotional rollercoaster this book took me on – and the pile of Kleenex sitting next to my chair – I did like reading this and I will pick up the next book in the series. I’m absolutely caught up in Nikki and Jack’s love story and I want to know what it is that’s motivating Cole. The author has me hooked on the Everneath and the mythology and I’m hoping the next book will take us down there to do some exploring.

My Rating: B-



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