64 of 67 people found the following review helpful
Finally, a unique new YA series!,
This review is from: Everneath (Hardcover)
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I'm a big Greek mythology buff, so I was intrigued when I heard about Everneath, the first book in a new YA series that was a modern re-telling of the Persephone tale. I wasn't sure what to expect in terms of execution, but I hoped it would be a book worth reading.
Everneath is the story of Nikki "Becks" Beckett, a teenage girl who has been missing for six months, only to mysteriously reappear one day in her hometown -- without explanation. Speculation of Nikki's whereabouts abound, with the general consensus being that she was off somewhere doing drugs. What Nikki hasn't told anyone is that in the six months she was gone, she'd actually spent an entire century in the Everneath, another dimension of sorts, underground, which is dominion to a race of immortals called the Everliving.
In order to stave off their own mortality, the Everlivings need to "feed" on a human's life force every one-hundred of our years. These humans, called Forfeits, don't usually survive the century-long process -- but Nikki did, and that makes her special. Her Everliving host, Cole, wants her to join him and become an Everliving herself, but Nikki refuses because she doesn't want to Feed on humans that way Cole fed on her. However, unless she follows Cole and becomes an immortal, she's doomed to the Tunnels, where she will be a part of what keeps the Everneath running -- until she ceases to exist. She has six months back in her own world, before the Shades will come for her and drag her back to the Tunnels. And all Nikki wants is time to say goodbye.
Everneath is a wrenching, imaginative tale, told in the first-person POV of Nikki, a broken young woman who somehow still manages to mine an inner-strength. The chronology shifts between the present (via a countdown of Nikki's time left on the Surface) and the past (specifically, the events leading up to her ending up as a Forfeit). It's done smoothly, without confusion, and helps us get to know Nikki as she was before, as well as the Nikki she is now.
There will undoubtedly be a heated debate by fans over the two male leads -- Team Jack vs Team Cole -- and the fact that I was actually torn between them proves that this strange triangle is more than just plot device: it actually makes sense for the story. And despite the fact that the author seems to have made it very clear who Nikki's choice is (and likely always will be), I sense that there's a lot more to come for these characters before that ultimate decision is finalized.
I loved Everneath, and was even moved to tears by the ending. I can wait to read the next installment, and highly, enthusiastically recommend this book to anyone wanting to experience something fresh in YA literature.