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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Adult Perspective: "Everneath" by Brodi Ashton~YA Goes General Fiction

 Published by: Balzer & Bray/Harper Collins
Pages:  240
Genre:  YA Fiction/Paranormal

Cover Rating:
Let's face it, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this cover.  It is perfection.  It reeks of young adult delights; i.e., the beautiful girl dressed in her gorgeous flowing red dress that implies goddess-like qualities.  Persephone is referred to on the cover, so there's no guessing there...fire and smoke included, and the script used in flaming red is the cherry on top!  Dear Brodi Ashton's name is thrown in there almost as an after-thought. :]   Rated:  A+

Summary :

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath. Now she’s returned—to her old life, her family, her boyfriend—before she’s 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 precious months forgetting the Everneath and trying to reconnect with her boyfriend, Jack, the person most devastated by her disappearance—and the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s just one problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who enticed her to the Everneath in the first place, has followed Nikki home. Cole wants to take over the throne in the underworld and is convinced Nikki is the key to making it happen. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back, this time as his queen.
As Nikki’s time on the Surface draws to a close and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she is 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 queen.
Everneath is a captivating story of love, loss, and immortality from debut author Brodi Ashton.

The Dame's Review:
Compulsively readable, this book is electric with sinister plot and beautiful creatures both living and other-worldly.  Brodi Ashton's primary character, Nikki Beckett, is vastly intelligent, savvy to teen aged angst and well aware of the intricacies of the Everneath...which is, by the way, that Underworld we may or may not be sent to in our afterlife.  I was completely captivated by this novel.  It carried me back to my days of mythological studies.  'Though this novel lent a whole new setting and a bit of a scramble on the Orpheus and Eurydice, or Persephone theme at times, it was a read I haven't  experienced in quite a while.  I enjoyed it immensely.

I have one bone to pick and that is that it was confusing and difficult to take in all the details about Ashton's Everneath, the Everlastings, the Feed, the Shades, etc., within the first chapter or two of the book.  While I was trying to get a grip on who the main players were, this other information caused me to turn to some good old-fashioned note taking to keep all the names of people and things straight.  Problem solved, but it might be an issue for some readers at the on-set of the novel.  In terms of this, it shows a serious interest in symbolism.

Ashton's novel is so well contrived and so interesting that I couldn't allow that note taking to hold me back, however!  I found the main characters of Nikki, her Everneath companion, Cole, and her "living side" high school hunk, Jack, completely beyond the pale.  The struggles each of these three have; including, but not only, the problem of Nikki's decision to become an Everlasting or Immortal, so sharply written that I couldn't stop reading!  I loved both of Nikki's love interests...how could she choose between them??  Gorgeous characters, interesting sub-characters, strange happenings all kept me turning pages as fast as I could.

Ms Ashton's debut with "Everneath" is a wonderful accomplishment.  This book is not only a hit with the young adult community, but I'm sure those over 20's are going to snap it up, too, once the word gets out.  She is a fantastic writer who has given us a novel with the same intrigue and momentum as a "Hunger Games" and/or  "Wither," and I was thrilled to see that she left off with the clear indication of a sequel.  The ending was excruciating!  I don't want to wait for the 2nd book, please!!

This is a YA novel that I can recommend to my adult friends and readers.  You'll be sure to enjoy the retelling of the Persephone myth, but on a modern, slightly more convoluted scale.  It's a refreshing difference. Don't expect perfection or strict adherence to the myth...just enjoy the ride!!

4 stars

Enjoy this video, too!

What do you think?  Going to try it?




I agree, the book cover does draw me in immediately. I love the crimson dress and the girl. I like the premis too, what if you did only have 6 months to say goodbye? Mythology has always fascinated me. I love to wonder and get lost in it... Definitely going to give this one a try. :) Great review!

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