My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Wow. I’ve literally just put this book down and all I can think is ‘wow’.
I’m not big into Greek Mythology, but Everneath made me want to go and research into every story and myth and find out what they’re really about. Yes, Ashton is THAT good. And so is her story.
The story is about a girl, Nikki Beckett, who is returned from the Everneath where she has been for the last hundred years as a forfeit to an Everliving – Cole. Forfeits Feed their Everlivings with human emotions and this whole process lasts 100 Everneath years (about 6 Earth months). When Nikki comes out of the Feed, something’s different. She’s supposed to be sucked so dry she’ll be old. But she’s still young, and still thinking of the boy who drove her to agree to be a Forfeit in the first place. When she gets the chance to Return back to her world for six months, she thinks it’ll be the perfect way to say goodbye properly this time. She doesn’t bank on falling back in love and wanting to find a way to stay so badly, she’d risk everything.
Yeah, how amazing does that sound?! The book starts with Nikki waking up for the Feed. As a reader, I was confused, but pleasantly so. I wanted to find out what was happening and how she’d ended up there. And eventually, we do. Through flashbacks that show us the lead up to Nikki’s decision. The pain of her mother’s death. The court case of her mother’s killer. Her relationship with sweet, romantic Jack. And then the misunderstanding that drives her to want to end it all.
Nikki is a strange girl. It’s hard to describe because though there were flashbacks of her previous life, we don’t get to see much emotion from her. And that’s for a reason; it’s all mostly been sucked dry. She can’t even laugh or cry until the second half of the book. But I still liked her. My only problem was that – like most YA heroines – she was all about the romance. She barely gave a thought to her grieving father and heartbroken younger brother. She wanted to make sure things were right with Jack more than her family. I would have liked to have seen her make more of an effort with them. But in total, they probably had about five scenes. But Nikki is brave and selfless and kind.
What I liked most about this book was the strange relationship she had with Cole. It was realistic and confusing and, like Nikki, I was strangely drawn to him. He wasn’t who we wanted Nikki to be with, but I couldn’t help but feel for him, and want him to be happy too. Even when he did stupid or bad things to get what he wanted. Cole was done extremely well.
The mystery Nikki has to solve was quite simple and I guessed a lot of it in advance. Not to say it was supposed to be a twist or anything, and actually the mysteries were played out well. I didn’t expect Nikki to get it right away, and how boring would that have been?! There were a few things I didn’t see coming, like Mary’s identity, and the bracelet. But I knew how it would end. There wasn’t any other way. What I don’t know, is how the sequel will begin. I’m very excited for that.
All in all, a great debut from a fellow Apocalypsie! Ashton weaves a great Greek Mythological retelling, with great characters, a mini love triangle and great – to the point – writing. There were a few questions I had (like why do Forfeits get to Return? What do the Shades get out of that?) but I’m hoping to have it answered in the next book. 5 stars for sure.