Author: Brodi Ashton
Publisher: Harper Collins/Balzer + Bray
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…
I wasn’t planning on reading this, even though it was from a debut author, until I read a favorable review about it. I didn’t really see the appeal in this book, though.
This book does its best to twist the classic Hades and Persephone myth. Maybe it’s because I love mythology so much, or maybe it’s another reason, but I didn’t like the way it was handled. I felt like the author twisted it too much to fit her purposes. In this book, there’s the Everneath, a type of Underworld where humans are ‘fed on’ by immortals, which means they’re basically shoved into a small chamber-like hole in the Everneath and are entwined together for about a hundred years. The idea of time in the Everneath really confused me, at the beginning anyway – Nikki would mention how much time had passed, while I’m wondering how the heck her family is still alive when she’s been down there for a century. I feel like the beginning in general just threw me into the story without really explaining things. It took me a little while to truly understand what was going on. I guess it’s a bit of an interesting twist on the myth, but it just wasn’t for me.
A big part of my problem with this book was the protagonist. Nikki just didn’t hold my interest. The whole reason she ended up in the Everneath was because (slight spoiler) she caught her boyfriend with another girl and ran off to Cole, the guy who took her to the Everneath. Also, even though I was under the impression that Nikki had still been with Jack, her boyfriend, when she left, things were much more confusing between them and they barely even talked. Of course, that meant that there were awkward moments between the two of them, not to mention the tension of whether or not they would end up back together. Nikki was much too jumpy and freaked out to be in a stable relationship, though, and sometimes I felt as annoyed with her as Jack was, or should have been – after all, he believed his girlfriend disappeared for half a year and showed up after leaving rehab. Also, how were those two even together in the first place? Jack was apparently the star jock and a player, yet he was somehow childhood friends with the ultra-shy Nikki, who he then ends up dating. No offense to Nikki, but it’s kind of hard to believe he would fall for her, or even be friends with her. I just feel like there isn’t much to Nikki, even before she went to the Everneath.
I kind of have to give Nikki some props for not instantly falling for Cole, even though they had basically been stuck together for a century. She actually seems to have an issue with him sneaking into her room all the time – how refreshing. She only stops complaining because it seems like she’ll never be able to stop it, and when she can, she takes the chance.
My good feelings about Nikki kind of disappear when it comes to her relationship with her father and brother, whom she left without any explanation and shows up again basically the same way. One of the reasons she wanted to come back was to get the chance to give her father and brother a proper good-bye, especially since they had already lost her mother before she even left. However, she barely seemed to interact with them. Her little brother showed up a grand total of twice, if I remember correctly, and her father wasn’t too much more. In fact, for a good chunk of the six months, Nikki didn’t really seem to be doing anything other than moping and isolating herself from pretty much everybody. She didn’t try to fix her relationship with her family, her best friend, or her boyfriend. I’m amazed that things seemed to get better between her and Jack, considering how little she seemed to try to fix things.
The ending just made things worse for me. A bit of action was put into the story in the form of an elderly woman who obviously knows more than it seems. Nikki is mostly confused by the woman and what she’s not saying, but for the most part I thought it was kind of obvious. I didn’t know about her identity until it was revealed, but everything else about her made sense long before Nikki figured it out herself. I kind of saw the resolution to Nikki’s problem of disappearing and being returned to the Everneath after six months, but that didn’t make me any happier about it. I feel like it was a bit of a copout, and a cliff-hanger, which normally doesn’t bother me too much, unless I’m not interested in seeing it resolved in the sequel, as is the case now.
Overall, I was a bit disappointed by this book. I don’t really plan on continuing the series, unless I hear really, really good things about it.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars