Along with knitting and sunscreen I also took a good book on vacation with me.* I was especially excited about the book, because it was Everneath which isn’t coming out until January. The publisher was kind enough to send me an advanced reader edition.
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.
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.
If that sounds like a retelling of the Persephone story, well, it sort-of is (and I do love a good retelling). But for Everneath that’s only the jumping off point. Brodi Ashton tells an amazing story, weaving ancient myth and modern day life together into a seamless fabric.
The story is told from a first person point of view. And while I have struggled to fall into** first person narration before there was no such problem here. Well, almost none. The book starts out following a very dark, moody, and troubled teenager. There’s a lot of similarities between Nikki’s troubles and those of a drug addict. I was beginning to wonder if maybe I was just the wrong reader for this book; maybe I couldn’t get behind our heroine Nikki. But just in time Brodi drew me back in:
Even in this room, electric morsels of energy reached me, triggering my hunger, reminding me of where I’d been and how much of my own energy had been stolen. I closed my eyes and allowed myself a moment to wish that I had my own emotions back, that I wasn’t so empty.
I realized how much had changed. On the other side of a century, I had wanted to feel less, not more. Maybe most teenagers wouldn’t think like that, but when the drunk driver killed my mom, I wanted more than to stop feeling sad. I wanted to stop feeling. Period. I wanted it so bad that when Cole offered to make it happen, I went to Everneath with him. Willingly.
The metaphor isn’t broken, but it’s softened. I know this is a personal opinion, but I get enough of real-world problems in my real world. I read to escape those. I don’t think it will ruin anything to say that Brodi leaves us desperately hoping. Hoping that Nikki and Jack can find a way out of the dark fate that overtook so many of their mythological counterparts.
I enjoyed this book so much I’d like to give someone else a chance to read it before it’s released! Please leave a comment on this blog post to be entered to win. To prove you’re not a spam-bot just let me know who your favorite author is! You have until Monday noon (EDT – my time) to enter, at which point I’ll pick a winner. This is only open to people in the US, sorry.
*I also took a wide brimmed sun hat – it’s like I’m trying to fit a stereotype or something.
**my favorite books are the ones I fall into so hard I find myself on the last page at 3am wondering what happened to the rest of the day. Yes, I did exactly that with this book. Then I had nothing to read for the rest of the trip.