Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Books
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 . . .
A big thanks to Simon & Schuster Australia for sending me a review copy of this book!
I wouldn't be the only one to admit I was first drawn to this book only because of it's beauty - the uber-amazing-red-dressy-smoke-surrounding cover that is. I mean, would you look at it! It's really pretty on the computer screen but it's also even more captivating when seeing and touching the cover in person (yes I touched the cover which was super soft and again very pretty). While most young adult novels with beautiful covers aren't exactly the way to go when looking for and/or buying a book, since most can become disappointments to readers, but for this book in particular that theory alone doesn't count one little bit. For once, the eye-catching cover model actually paid off BIG TIME! And boy did I love it even more!
Instead of taking my time with this book, I flew right through it in one sitting! It's rare for a book to do that to me and in this case I'm glad. From the very first page I was enthralled with Nikki's journey of grief, sorrow, pain, and happiness. It was . . . WOW. Impressive. Just when you're thrown in one direction, you're immediately thrown into the another and contining to question what's going to happen to these characters and to Nikki herself. Some readers may say the storyline sounded cliche but it's far from it. It's unique. It's edgy. It's dark. It's light. It's everything you could possibly want in a young adult paranormal book - one with brilliant mythology set behind this story and one with awesome characters.
Plot-wise EVERNEATH's plotting was fantastic. The pacing itself was perfect in every way. The mythology - the strongest point I found - was very interesting and it never went to the overload stage . . . thankfully. Even the scenes were written extremely well and there was not a single scene that I was bored with because I wanted more and more of them. It was that good readers and that discovery of mine came as a big surprise considering there are mixed reviews for this book title. Of course, at first, I was a bit hesitant in reading EVERNEATH especially when it came around to the constant change of time periods - from the present times to Nikki's sometimes-confusing-but-completely-necessary past flashbacks - but Brodi Ashton handled them so well in a way which ended up making the book both enjoyable and whole. But with a fantastic plot you need fantastic characters.
There's no other way to say this but I loved every single character inside this book. I had no issues with them whatsoever despite their faults. Nikki, the main protagonist for example, was such a great character and I had a fun time reading about her times in the Feed, on the Surface, and hell, even with the boys. She was perfect. Honestly there's not enough praise for this girl of ours - she's stronger than most heroines, she's compassionate despite her own doom-and-gloom, and what I loved most about her was the way she handled her time left on the Surface . . . before well . . . you know. And as for the boys, they were just as good. Seriously.
Jack, Nikki's 'sort of' boyfriend, was such a shining star in this novel. I love him so much with a million love hearts! He's what every girl wants in a boyfriend. Not only is he super supportive and understanding, but he's courgeous, he isn't a jerk, and he truly loves and respects his girlfriend. Not even her rejection gets in his way. That's what we need more of in our young adult literature! He's so . . . wonderful. *bows a few times* As for the second boy toy Cole, the devious dude who was the cause of this Underworld catastrophe and of Nikki's fate, was such a delight to read about as well. He's . . . what's the word . . . spunky. Cole is the town's new resident bad boy who wants Nikki as his Underworld Queen and I'm sure a lot of ladies too will be tempted by him and it's certainly a love/hate relationship. But while Cole is swoon-worthy but my heart still lies forever with Jack!
As the plot unfolds and where both secrets and lies are revealed, all I can say is I had a very hard time putting this book down. While that's good and all, but talk about a frustrating and breathless cliffhanger! I, of course, saw it coming a few chapters beforehand, but the ending was so, so sad and I couldn't believe my predictions cam true! Not cool Brodi Ashtion. Not cool at all. I'm still crying over here and wishing the book wasn't over! My emotions are over the place right now readers and I can't believe I have to wait yet another year for its sequel. Much like Nikki's character, I just want the pain to go away and never come back. Oh . . . the ending!
Overall, EVERNEATH was a fantastic debut novel that lived up to the much hype it has been receiving lately and by god it was brilliant. With plenty of mythology, action, romance, and of course that damn heartbreak of super intense emotions (trust me here there's a lot of heartbreak in this book), I'm sure this 2012 debut will help kick start the year of amazing books and it's one of my favourites so far! I'm still blown away by its amazeness!
The Rating 5/5 stars