by Brodi Ashton
Series: Everneath #1
Genres: Paranormal Romance
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.
This gorgeous cover immediately caught my attention and after reading the synopsis, I knew I had to read this debut novel. Everneath offers a modern day twist on the Greek myths Hades and Persephone and Orpheus and Eurydice. Words that come to mind after reading this are brilliant, sweet, tragic, unique, dark and fascinating.
The protagonist Nikki Beckett is seventeen and has spent a hundred years in Everneath as Cole’s forfeit. Everneath is a world between heaven and hell where everlivings feed off forfeits to keep their immortality. When she returns to Earth, only six months have passed. She longs to reconnect with her boyfriend Jack and her family. She only has six months before the underworld will claim her again. Cole is as an everliving and he returns to the surface to convince Nikki to stay with him and become an everliving. She must decide whether she will go to the tunnels and feed the everlivings or go with Cole and feed off others. Secretly, she longs to find a way to stay on the surface with Jack.
The tale that unfolds is beautifully written and goes back and forth between the year before Nikki went to Everneath and the six months before she has to return. This could have made the story awkward and confusing, but Ashton seamlessly takes us back and forth. She slowly reveals things, both frustrating and engaging the reader. The characters are wonderful, and my opinions of them changed as the story unfolded. My feelings for Cole and Jack were all over the place, and I love when a writer is able to make me see more than one side. At first I found Nikki depressing and morbid, but as her story was revealed I fell in love with this troubled girl. She is stronger than she thinks and capable of more love then she knows. I found myself turning the pages to find out if Nikki would return to Everneath and be lost to Jack forever. I figured out early on, how the ending would be. The author revealed clues and yet I continued reading hoping for another way out. The ending moved me and left me wanting more. I am anxiously awaiting the second book in this series. I still have a few unanswered questions and a ray of hope that there can be a happily ever after.
I highly recommend Everneath to fans of dark fantasy and paranormal romance. If you enjoy Greek mythology you are sure to enjoy this refreshing modern take. I have added Brodi Ashton to my list of must read authors. This novel is available in both paper and digital formats.
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