Title: EverneathSeries: Everneath #1Author: Brodi AshtonPublisher: Simon & Schuster Childrens BooksPublication Date: 2 Feb 2012
Source: NetgalleySynopsis from Goodreads
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..
This is one of those books that makes you look at life in a new way with more appreciation. We all have bad times in our lives but what would you do to get rid of that pain and despair. To agree to go to the Everneath, a place between our world and Hell, is the equivalent of signing your own death warrant, suicide for wimps. This is just what Nikki agrees to do, be feed on for 100 years by an Everliving, Cole, in order for him to continue existing.
Nikki should not have survived the feed, it drains all your emotions away leaving you an empty shell. The Everliving are what can be thought of a vampires of the soul, sucking away everything that makes a person individual leaving behind an empty husk. Yet, Nikki survives making her a valuable commodity to Cole. Nikki is given 6 months back on Earth to spend with her family, to deal with all the pain and misunderstandings that took her to the Everneath in the first place. The 100 years spent in the Everneath is equivalent to 6 months spent on Earth. After the 6 months back on Earth, Nikki has to make an enormous decision, going back to Everneath as a human battery enclosed in the walls of the Tunnels or as an Everliving by Cole's side, possibly as Queen.
The emotions depicted were raw. The writing was so powerful I felt as if the words had actually escaped from the page to form a corporeal being which enveloped me in its embrace. Holding me tightly in its grip from start to finish. Reading it in one sitting with a lot of tears.
The use of Greek Mythology within the narrative was a stroke of pure genius. I hadn't really heard of the Orpheus myth prior to reading this but I will certainly be looking into it more. It's use and parallels within the plot aided the world building. Everneath itself reminded me of the Dark Fairy courts portrayed in some books, ruled over by tyrannical queen whose thirst for power is only equal to her thirst for human emotions.
The characters were so well developed and their interactions completely believable. I found Nikki to be impetuous tending to over-react to situations rather than thinking them through before taking action. It is this trait that is to blame for her agreeing to the feed in the first place. I found myself wishing that she had more confidence in herself and believe in the people around her, especially Jack. The connection between Jack and Nikki felt like a tangible thread connecting the two of them together. The history of their relationship unfolds throughout the book adding layer upon layer of emotion; together their souls were whole. Such a beautiful concept.
The story is revealed in dual time periods, before and after the feed, enabling complete insight into the reasons behind Nikki agreeing to the feed; as well as revelations surrounding the workings of the Everneath alongside the history of Nikki's relationship with Jack and her family. The pace of information, emotion and action flowed seamlessly weaving all the elements of the story together without faltering.
A fantastic, emotional roller-coaster of a debut. I am so glad it is a series or I don't think I could cope with the ending, I thought my heart would break. I cannot wait to see what happens next.