Monday, February 11, 2013
Review: Everneath by Brodi Ashton
Author: Brodi Ashton
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.
Everneath on Goodreads
Everneath got a lot of 4 and 5 star reviews from reviewers I know and trust, but as I was reading I was wondering if we were reading the same book! It's not that I thought the book was bad - it was alright - but these same people are very stingy with the glowing reviews so I think I was expecting more!
I like the premise of the story - a retelling of Persephone/Hades in a modern day/high school environment. However, I think the execution was lacking. A lot.
MAJOR spoilers below!
The thing is, I feel like authors are too afraid to make their hero do anything truly bad. You CAN have a likable hero who isn't perfect (primo example - Dex in Karina Halle's Experiment in Terror series!).
Let me back track a bit before I get back to that.
The basic plot line is that Nikki was in a relationship with Jack. Something happened to make her "forfeit" willingly (aka pretty much kill herself / give herself to the underworld/hell/Everneath). However, she gets to come back to the real world for six months before she has to go back to the Everneath forever.
I'm not quite sure WHY she gets to come back. We're told a little of the mythology behind Persephone and Hades, but we never really see why Nikki is allowed the opportunity. It was a little confusing.
We are eventually told what happened to make Nikki "forfeit" herself and when we find out, WOW. All I could say was "That's it? For real?" I was expecting some kind of ultimate betrayal from Jack, but instead it's nothing like that.
Jack's ex girlfriend came out of his room. That's it. Nikki didn't catch them having sex. She didn't catch them kissing. She didn't catch them with their clothes in disarray. She just saw the ex walk out of his room.
Jack has been her friend for years and her boyfriend for months that she's completely in love with. He was the "player" who NEVER had a girlfriend until Nikki. While I understand her having some insecurity, was seeing something THAT simple and small enough to put her into a state of despair bad enough that she would be willing to basically go to HELL over it?
I was really disappointed that Ashton didn't have the balls to at least make Jack make a mistake big enough to send Nikki into a depression. Instead, Jack didn't even do anything wrong. The ex girlfriend was just there in his room when he got back, trying to seduce him, and he kicked her out right away.
I think my biggest issue with the book is that Jack is just too perfect. The guy has no flaws. He's ridiculously good looking, popular, football player, head over heels in love with Nikki, aka perfect in every way. I'm sorry, having dated a lot in the past, BEFORE Nikki, doesn't count as a flaw!
Perhaps I just prefer more realistic characters instead of the vanilla Bella Swans we see so often in YA Romance/Paranormal these days.
That said, the story wasn't bad. The writing was good, I really felt Ashton did a great job portraying Nikki's despair when she returns from the Everneath (after 100 years!). The plot moves along fairly quickly and it was an easy read.
I plan to finish the series. I just think it could have been a lot better!
3 out of 5 stars.
Link to Kala's review on Goodreads: