Title: Everneath (Everneath #1)
Author: Brodi Ashton
Genre: Mythology, Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: Simon Pulse (2nd August 2012)
SIX MONTHS AGO, NIKKI BECKETT VANISHED INTO AN UNDERWORLD KNOWN AS THE EVERNEATH.
Now she’s returned to her old life for another six months before the Everneath comes to claim her. Nikki longs to spend this precious time reconnecting with the people she left behind – her family and friends and, most importantly, her boyfriend Jack, the one person she loves more than anything.
But there’s just one problem: Cole, the smouldering immortal who enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki home, hoping to take her back to the Everneath . . . this time for ever.
Now Nikki only has six months for goodbyes she can’t find the words for, six months to make the hardest decision of her life, six months to find redemption, if it exists . . .
Rating: *** (3 stars)
EVERNEATH by Brodi Ashton is the first book in the EVERNEATH TRILOGY It tells the story of Nikki Beckett a high school student who returns from the Everneath to find that six months have passed. She has just six months to say her goodbyes – to her family and friends – before she leaves permanently, when the Everneath claims her back.
I was drawn to EVERNEATH because it is supposed to re-imagine the Hades/Persephone myth. I will admit that at first I was a little hesitant to actually pick it up and read it, because I’ve found re-tellings to be pretty hit and miss. Going into EVERNEATH I kind of expected the mythology element to play a big part in the story like it does in Meg Cabot’s ABANDON TRILOGY, but Ashton uses it in a different way – or at least appears to in the first book. EVERNEATH is not a straight re-telling, instead Ashton seems to have used elements from the myth as a base for the story. I’m definitely curious to see how it plays out in the other two books.
I think Nikki Beckett is a really interesting character because I found her to be quite likeable, but at the same time I was aware of the fact that she is inherently selfish. She ends up in the Everneath the first time because she chooses to, and she comes back after this wanting to ‘make good’ and say goodbye which on the one hand is kinda nice but on the other is utterly selfish because she knows she is going to have to leave the people she loves. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a very human thing to want to say goodbye – to want to try to ease the sting of your loss. Ashton writes Nikki as a very human character, and I also liked the fact that Nikki accepts the responsibility of her choices.
EVERNEATH is a very tense read, and you can almost feel Nikki’s time slip away – Ashton very helpful keeps a countdown of how long she has left at the start of each chapter. The secondary characters are an interesting bunch, although they all felt a little two-dimensional to me particularly the love interests – Jack and Cole. I really wish I could have felt some connection to them, then I would probably have felt more invested in the potential of a love triangle.
If you are looking for a different use of mythology and mythological re-tellings then you should try EVERNEATH. Ashton does a brilliant job in reimagining the Persephone/Hades myth, and she has a really interestingly flawed main character.