Author: Brodi Ashton
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...
Published 24 January 2012
There are people who say that YA novels can never truly illustrate the power of love. I used to agree. For me, the sensible and rational part of my mind constantly reminds me that high-school sweethearts never do last and many of the magical moments of insta-love in the novels are simply unrealistic in real life.
But, now, I beg to differ.
Everneath is that novel which brings a new facet to the already multi-dimensional Young Adult romance. The love story runs in the background of the grand mythology and ticking time, but it is never eclipsed by the rest of the tale. That is because Jack and Nikki's romance is painfully real and hopeful amidst the surreal myths and angst.
The novel is narrated by a string of countdowns and recollections, starting from the moment when Nikki regains consciousness after a century of Feeding in the Everneath. Strangely, she is alive and intact after the Feed, something which greatly surprised the Everliving, Cole, who had fed on her emotions and life.
What had sustained Nikki in those hundred years beneath the ground were the face and memories of a boy. After her miraculous survival, Nikki is given the chance to return back to the surface-- where only a few months have passed-- but several complications arise. She had left for Everneath without having said goodbye and the people around her have changed. While trying to repair all the broken relationships and heal her own broken heart, Nikki's days are numbered. She has only six months before the Tunnels-- the underworld of Everneath-- come for her and she can only try to reach out to that one boy she loves before she is gone, forever.
That one boy is Jack. Nikki had loved him before fleeing to the Everneath, loved him still in that century of being fed on and loves him all the more now. But Nikki's disappearance without even a goodbye has scarred him. The sweet Jack in Nikki's memories and the angsty bitter Jack in the present are intensely contrasting characters. But, regardless, both shoot countless of arrows into our hearts as we pity the poor boy who is angry of getting hurt a second time yet loves Nikki all the same.
Then, there's Cole. This novel is a prime example of a love triangle well done. Cole is here as an almost non-existent second man and his main purpose is to offer Nikki another way out of her quagmire. Nikki can choose to become an Everliving herself, but that would mean that she has to feed on an innocent soul too. And dooming someone else to her own fate is not something she would ever agree to.
The clock is ticking, and after every chapter, the time remaining grows short. We can't stop flipping as we wait with bated breaths to see what will happen to Jack and Nikki. Yet, as the story grows from one that is melancholy to one that is uplifting, cruelly, our hopes are dashed near the end. The slightly open ending masterfully sets the stage for the next instalment.
Everneath will make us cry (like me and my friend) for the love between Jack and Nikki as we ponder about a concept rarely seen in Young Adult novels-- sacrifice. One thing for sure, the resolution will leave us pondering about its implications long after the last page.
But, fear not, the sequel is going to be released exactly a week from now. So, be prepared for another glorious addition to the shelves of Greek Mythology.