Monday, December 12, 2011

Everneath by Brodi Ashton

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

This book actually surprised me. From the recent young adult titles I’ve read, I was expecting the usual obsession-at-first-sight nonsense that passes for love stories these days, so I was pleasantly surprised that this book kept that to a manageable minimum.

The story is a sort of an updated version of Hades and Persephone, with an interesting set of characters that play well off each other. Nikki, the main character, is a bit stronger than the usual female leads, but still remains vulnerable enough for teens to identify with her. Cole, the “villain”, is the one that fares the worst. He needed to portray a bit more humanity for the readers to at least understand him better. He comes off as a cookie-cutter villain. The hero, Jack, is handled with more care, with his vulnerable side balancing out the protective-boyfriend one. All in all, the characters set the story pretty well.

Although the plot is not entirely original, I felt that it had a good amount of creativity, at least enough to make for quite a fun read. I, for one, am looking forward to reading the second book.

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