Everneath (Everneath #1)
by Brodi Ashton
Published January 24th 2012
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 book left me with mixed feelings. I love mythology and was looking forward to that aspect of the book, but I didn't find it as prevalent to the story as I'd hoped. It was still interesting, but not what I expected. Instead of the story being centered around the story of Persephone, the mythology was used to fill in parts of Everneath... not bad, just not what I expected.
The story is about Nikki, or Becks, and how she sought refuge from her emotions. She searched for Cole for the sole purpose of having her feelings taken away. What she didn't expect was what this escape would mean. It meant a 100 years of feeding Cole her emotions and then six months to decide whether she would be dragged into the Tunnels by the Shadows or follow Cole to become an Everliving, possibly a queen. Becoming an Everliving meant she would have to feed off people's emotions for eternity, something she couldn't bring herself to do.
Nikki gets six months to return home, return to the friends, family, and boyfriend she left behind and say goodbye for the rest of eternity. But with every passing day, this gets more difficult.
Nikki, I'm confused about her as a protagonist. I didn't love her or hate her, but was annoyed with many of her decisions. I didn't understand them. I did like how she refused Cole, even though he provided the easiest solution. She fell for him once, but refused to do it again. That redeemed her in my estimation, but only slightly.
Now, the boyfriend she left behind is Jack. The book is segmented into portions about the present day and days before "The Feed." I loved Jack. One of my favorite parts of the story was reading about their relationship. He was strong, considerate, and absolutely perfect. Actually, I resented Nikki for being so foolish in her decisions and how they affected him in return. Jack was my favorite character of the book and I hoped everything worked out for him, not necessarily Nikki.
Now Cole, an Everliving who feeds off human emotions to live forever. He tactically pursued Nikki, influencing and manipulating a vulnerable moment in her life. That's when she made the decision that changed her life forever. When he discovered Nikki was different by surviving the feed, he wanted her for himself. He wanted her to to follow him to Everneath and rule alongside him, but she refused. For six months, while on the surface, he pursues her and tries to convince her that his option is the best -- she would avoid the Tunnels and live forever. His strategy ranges from convincing arguments, stalker behavior, vengeful retaliation, and vulnerable pleading. He is a whirlwind of confusion and my second favorite character of the book. There's something about him... something underneath the callous and emotionless surface. I think he really loves Nikki, it's not just a conquest.
The biggest downfall of this book is that there are really no emotionally charged instances throughout the novel, it's very bland. I found myself skimming certain areas and forcing myself to return to the lost pages. However, the storyline itself is interesting enough to keep the story moving forward. I wanted to know what happened with Cole and Jack specifically -- they held my attention through the book. Sorry Nikki, but those two boys are what kept my interest enough to give a three rating.