Book Review: Everneath

Everneath_coverTitle: Everneath

Author: Brodi Ashton

Publisher: HarperCollins / Balzer + Bray

Release Date: January 24th, 2012

Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary: “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.” – Goodreads

This novel was a pleasant surprise! I’m usually a bit apprehensive when it comes to romance books, fearing tropes and common plot structures, but I’m glad I picked this one up.

The writing is simple and has a nice momentum to it. It doesn’t have any complex syntax or particularly beautiful word choice to it, but even so, the writing didn’t get monotonous or dull. The special thing with Brodi’s writing isn’t beauty, but rather how clearly it conveys emotion.

The characters were another strong point of the novel. Nikki is a wonderful, strong female character. Too often female characters in YA romance books are being manipulated by the guys in their lives or having their choices made for them. Not here! Nikki is decisive and perfectly aware of what she wants. Her choices aren’t always perfect, but they’re realistic, and most importantly, they’re hers. Which is important once you bring character number two into the equation; Cole.

I’m not even sure how he’s considered a love interest, given how manipulative and deceitful he is. Is it just because he said he loved her? Yeah, he also expressed affection towards her before he dragged her underground to literally suck the life out of her. Why should now be any different? Because he discovered that she can get him royalty status? Jerk.

Jack, however, is awesome. He loves her truly and deeply, never having forgotten about her during her entire absence. Never betraying her or deciding to save himself instead. I also like that the normal guy in this whole “”””love triangle””””, (note my snark), is the one who has her affections.

I adore mythology, so what with all the mentions of Egyptian and Greek mythology, the plot was right up my alley. It had a nice, constant flow, compelling me to read through the night. Also, I like that the novel started in medias res, putting the reader right in the middle of the action and filling in the gaps as things progressed.

Good writing, a nice use of storytelling techniques, solid characters and a great concept made this a highly enjoyable book. Ideally, I would’ve liked more descriptive, well crafted writing, plus just a little more substance in the middle, though I’d only dare to dock a single point for that, leaving Everneath a four out of five.

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