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Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Brodi Ashton is the daughter of parents who were Greek myth geeks, who grew up thinking the latest fashion trends were inspired by Aphrodite, and a good conversational opener was, “So, which mythological character do you most resemble?” Despite these social shortcomings, she found a great husband who’s always her first reader. They live in Utah with their two young boys, who still have no idea why she’s at the computer all the time. Brodi received a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Utah and a Master’s degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics. Everneath is the first book in a planned trilogy, and also Ashton’s debut novel.

My thanks to the wonderful Caroline at Simon & Schuster for providing this book for review purposes.

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 …

First of all, that cover is gorgeous! I think this is one of my favourite books cover ever – it’s beautiful and evocative, and I love the smoky effect. The plot line of Everneath is interesting, with intriguing ideas about life and death based on Greek mythology. I really enjoyed the mythical element to the story. I felt that the action began much too late in the book – too much time was devoted in the beginning to Nikki mooning over Jack.

I did not understand Nikki at all. She went back to Earth to say goodbye and make the most of the six months given to her, and yet the book features only a handful of interactions with her family, and only two with her ‘beloved’ brother. I feel the author only used the family when she needed them and focussed the whole story on Jack and Cole, which I think is odd because it’s made clear that Nikki only went back to Earth to be with her family. The other characters were sweet, especially her father and of course, Jack. Cole is also interesting, but he kept getting in the way of Jack and Nikki’s romance, and involvement felt a bit forced to me.

I enjoyed the premise and got into the book after the half way point. I really liked the format of the book, where the story was told from the past and present and eventually they blended together. The start of each chapter features a six month count down, so we always know how much time Nikki has left. However I was disappointed in the execution when I finished the book. I think the language used could be a lot tighter, especially when Nikki says of Cole: “He gave me a smile that I could have sold on the internet for money.” I don’t even know what this means. It was quirky lines like this that kept me from really immersing myself into the story.

I think this is a good book, and worth reading for those who enjoy paranormal stories and Greek mythology. Brodi Ashton is talented, and I look forward to see her writing skills develop and mature as she writes her trilogy. I am looking forward to reading the trilogy, especially because of the enormous twist at the end of Everneath.

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