Series: Everneath, #1
Release Date: January 24th, 2012
Number of Pages: 370
Rating: 2.5 stars
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.Everneath is one of those books that seems to be followed by hype everywhere it goes, and, for the most part, understandably so. Everneath is an overall compelling, captivating, and at times heartbreaking read, truly worthy of the hype it has undoubtedly gotten.
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.
But just because I see where the hype is coming from concerning Everneath doesn't necessarily mean I'm taking part in it.
Conceptually, Everneath is practically flawless; a loose retelling of the myths of Persephone and Eurydice, where teenager Nikki Beckett is sucked into an underworld known the inhabitants as the Everneath and lives there for hundreds of years, only to return to the real world and discover six months has passed. But this time, Nicki has only six more months to redeem her mysterious disappearance, apologize to the loved ones she left - including her old boyfriend, Jack, and ultimately, say good-bye to them one last time, as her clock is ticking and the Everneath is ready to claim her again.
But, however, it's with the execution of the above concept where I feel Everneath went wrong. Brodi Ashton could have gone so much farther with the thoroughly interesting mythology presented to us in the synopsis, but unfortunately, the most mythology in the entirety of Everneath is in the opening chapters, and the final few chapters.
The chapters in between the opening few and the final few are filled with an excruciatingly boring romance and tons of relationship angst, and just angst in general. While others may tell you that Everneath is focused on a teenager searching for redemption after disappearing mysteriously from her loved one's lives, I would tell you that Everneath is mostly about Nikki's attempts at rebuilding her past relationships - most prominently her relationship with her former boyfriend, Jack.
Jack is another reason I went into Everneath with extremely high expectations, after seeing so many reviews praising him and comparing him to the likes of Tucker Avery - a character I'm pretty sure everybody loves, but throughout the entirety of Everneath, I never found myself feeling more than dismissive towards him. While I found him to be a kind and sweet character, I also found him to be just as bland as Nikki. In fact, I think it's safe to say that I liked Nikki's captor of sorts, Cole, much more than Jack. While Cole wasn't a love interest in Everneath, I can definitely tell that he is going to end up being one in Everbound, and I'm actually really glad. Unlike the characters of Nikki and Jack, I found Cole to be multi-layered, interesting, and bearing the correlation of a real human being, whereas I found Nikki and Jack to be overall one-dimensional and boring.
Another thing to be noted about Everneath is that a suspension of disbelief is pretty much a necessity if you plan on reading it. After her disappearance, Nikki's father obviously asks her where she's been for the past six months, and once Nikki answers him with, "Oh, just rehab." (paraphrasing, of course, but this is pretty much what happened), her father completely lets go of the issue as if that was a good enough answer to where she's been for the past six months. I also find it incredibly implausible that Jack would be so accepting of Nikki's story about where she really was over the past six months, when any other person would have (and should have) stared at her and sent her to a psychiatric ward.
And while I have mostly negative feelings towards Everneath, none of those feelings are particularly strong or passionate - I didn't hate it, I didn't like it, and I wouldn't even say I'm somewhere in the middle of like and hate. In the end, I was left with just an overall feeling of meh, whether it be concerning the execution of the plot, the romance, the characters, or the writing. Just meh, and honestly, I think that might just be the worst feeling I could have for a book. When I hate a book, at least I'm able to say that the book drew some emotion from me, but when I'm left with an overall feeling meh and dismissiveness, I'm unable to say I felt anything.