Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Everneath by Brodi AshtonEverneath by Brodi Ashton

Book stats:
Reading Level: Young Adult
ARC: 370 pages
Genre: Fantasy, Mythology
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: January 24, 2012

Series: Everneath #1

Source: ARCycling

Reviewed by: Lili

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

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.

I finally understand what all the hype around this series is! This is perhaps one of the most well done mythological debuts that I have come across in a while. I found it to be a really unique take on the Persephone and Hades myth and the world-building and interpretation surrounding this myth was amazing. The fact that we didn’t have a Hades character and instead had Cole, an Everliving that wanted to take over the throne, paved the way for a widely loved and known myth to become a brand new concept.

The characterization in this one was solid. Nikki was trying to recover her emotions for a majority of the book, so she was unattached to everything but oddly worrisome over where some of her past relationships stand. It was very well done. Cole was fascinating as well because of his dark side that rarely gave way to a glimpse of true feeling even though he doesn’t have a heart. I think that he made the myth all the more real because he was stubborn and focused on the prize: getting Nikki to follow him back to the Everneath at any cost. But I really loved Jack. He never gave up on Nikki despite her disappearance and his love for her is everlasting. He is noble, the way a hero should be. He is the small ray of hope in the bleak world that Cole is trying to create. Yet, somehow, because the novel is mostly spent with Nikki trying to recover her feelings during her six month Return, romance wasn’t a huge part of the plot until the very end. Unfortunately, I see a potential love triangle in the works for book two.

In regards to characterization, I have to say I was disappointed in the roles that Nikki’s father and younger brother played. You would think that after getting a family member back after a mysterious disappearance would have them overjoyed. They accepted her lies about rehab so easily. It seemed that her father was more obsessed with his campaign as Mayor than he was for his daughter’s feelings, and that bugged me because it struck me as odd. As for her little brother, he was there when it helped out and that was it. No more, no less. After losing their respective mother/wife due to a drunk driving accident, you’d think they’d cherish the return of a seemingly run-away-to-rehab recovered drug addict daughter (even though that was all a lie). Instead, the extent of the love is helping out in campaigns and surprise drug tests.

Ashton’s writing is beautiful and her mythological tale was captivating. I loved how she inserted a series of flashback chapters throughout the story to better explain the events and emotions leading up to Nikki’s disappearance during the century long Feed. However, I think that her transition out of the Feed into her Return could have been smoother. Nikki began the book when she woke up in this awesome creepy scene with Shades surrounding her and then she decided to go home, so she finds herself on the floor of a small store and then suddenly begins to remember everything she needs to know about being on the Surface again. Too easy, you know? Aside from that, the pacing was perfect and I’m hoping that Ashton’s attention to detail will give us more mythological answers in book two, like how Everlivings came along and what caused Cole to become one. I want to know more about his backstory since I now have Nikki’s. I’m hoping that book two will take a reverse approach that focuses on him the way book one did Nikki.

All in all, a great read for those looking for a unique mythological interpretation that is not heavy on the romance. This series is one that I’ll definitely be following, especially after that ending! Ashton easily leaves us begging for more because she unfortunately leaves us with several big questions.

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Everbound by Brodi Ashton

everbound

Everbound by Brodi Ashton

Book Stats:

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 358 pages
Genre: Paranormal
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release date: January 22, 2013

Series: Everneath #2

Reviewed by: Stéphanie

Source: Library

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Nikki Beckett could only watch as her boyfriend, Jack, sacrificed himself to save her, taking her place in the Tunnels of the Everneath for eternity — a debt that should’ve been hers. She’s living a borrowed life, and she doesn’t know what to do with the guilt. And every night Jack appears in her dreams, lost and confused and wasting away.

Desperate for answers, Nikki turns to Cole, the immortal bad boy who wants to make her his queen — and the one person least likely to help. But his heart has been touched by everything about Nikki, and he agrees to assist her in the only way he can: by taking her to the Everneath himself.

Nikki and Cole descend into the Everneath, only to discover that their journey will be more difficult than they’d anticipated — and more deadly. But Nikki vows to stop at nothing to save Jack — even if it means making an incredible sacrifice of her own.

In this enthralling sequel to Everneath, Brodi Ashton tests the bonds of destiny and explores the lengths we’ll go to for the ones we love.

Brodi Ashton introduced us to her exciting and original underworld called Everneath in book number one of her debut series. However, interesting enough, we never really did get the chance to see Everneath for what it really is, in the first book. Brodi Ashton teased us enough in book one that I was really glad to finally get the chance to visit this interesting world in EVERBOUND.

EVERBOUND takes off more or less right where EVERNEATH finished. Nikki, the main character, is living in the real world, and her boyfriend Jack is being kept prisoner in Everneath, in exchange for her spot in the Tunnels of Everneath. The Tunnels are probably the worse imaginable place you can think up. It’s a place where humans are kept and where Everlivings, the immortal being of the underworld, store them to feed off their emotions and energy. I admire Nikki’s dedication to get into the Tunnels in order to free Jack from his timely demise. I can’t image how it feels to have someone you love imprisoned while you feel you should be there in their place. Nikki isn’t necessarily the strongest female character that I’ve met in YA books, especially since she does have bouts of depression and does things without thinking them through first. However, her quest to save Jack is the only thing on her mind, and she even goes to the extreme of defying her father to accomplish what she started. Her sharp mind and quick thinking saves her quite a few times, which proves that you don’t need to be physically strong to come out on top. You just have to set your mind to it and find a different way to defeat the enemy.

Cole is without a doubt a very interesting character on his own. As an Everliving, I couldn’t figure out why he was trying to help Nikki with her quest, especially since he’s in love with Nikki himself. I knew in saving Jack, there was something in it for him, but I didn’t see this twist coming. Of course, this twist only reveals itself right at the end, so the book is sure to keep you on your toes until the very last page. The odd and unlikely love triangle isn’t really a triangle since Nikki doesn’t have romantic feeling for Cole. Her only feelings are for Jack and that’s something Cole has a hard time understanding, mainly since he can offer Nikki immortality while Jack can only offer a normal human life. Jealousy is obviously present but we don’t get to see how much it impacts the characters’ lives until the very end.

We all know sequels can easily fall short of our expectations but for some reason, I thought EVERBOUND was even more interesting, and even more action packed than its predecessor. From a literary stand point, I think it was a great idea to keep the Everneath a mystery by revealing only a few things in book one. Obviously, that means lots of thing are revealed only in this book, and the new twists and turns are surely to keep you reading. The cliffhanger ending isn’t really where I wanted the book to finish but again, I think it’s a great way to keep readers interested. I can’t wait to see how Nikki’s story will unfold in the next book since her life has once again been turned upside down without her realizing how involved she is with the Everneath.

 

stephsig

A Christmas With… Brodi Ashton

Xmas2_thumb1_thumb

You guys know how much I like featuring new authors, so I was really happy when Brodi Ashton, author of the upcoming Everneath, accepted to join us on our Christmas-y countdown =) Please welcome her warmly!

———————

1- Everneath, your first novel, hasn’t even hit the shelves yet (due January 24th, 2012), but it has already received a lot of attention from the blogging community. Did you ever expect that?

No! The blogging community has been so supportive, and I’m lucky to have so many of them in my corner. The response has been overwhelming.

2- A setting with two parallel world (see human world vs Everneath) hasn’t been explored much, how did you decide to take that path?

EVERNEATH started with one scene in my head, about a girl who’s come back to her high school after a long mysterious absence. This scene was actually inspired by real events in my life, but I used mythology to tell the rest of the story. In order to explore Nikki, and how she got to the point she’s at, I had to show where she’d been and why she left. That meant exploring both worlds.

3- We can read about Jack and Cole in the synopsis, how will their interactions stand-out from our classic love triangle?

Well, the classic paranormal romance involves a human and a non-human, and the things that are keeping them apart are the differences in their two worlds.  But in my book, the enduring romance is between two humans, and there’s no doubt how they feel about each other. That alone makes it stand out.

I never intended there to be a love triangle, because only one of the relationships is about love. The other relationship is about a lot of things, but love isn’t one of them.

4- If you had to give our readers your top 3 reasons to read Everneath, what would they be? (time to shamelessly brag ^^ )

I’m really bad at promoting my own books, but here goes:

1. If you’ve ever made a bad decision, you’ll be able to relate to Nikki.
2. You might laugh a little. You’ll probably cry more.
3. There are hot boys. 🙂

Now onto some Christmas-y questions!

5- How was a typical Christmas when you were a kid? 

Fun and simple. We always opened one present on Christmas Eve, and it was always pajamas. The following day, we’d open presents from Santa, and every one of his reindeer.

Ex: To: Brodi

From: Vixen

6- What’s your best Christmas memory?

A few Christmases ago, my dad was in the middle of battling Pancreatic Cancer. Christmas fell right after all of his chemo/radiation treatments and right before a major surgery. That Christmas, we all went over to my mom’s house and helped her wrap the presents she was giving us. Even the kids wrapped their own gifts. Presents didn’t seem to matter much that day! Family did.

7- Is there one gift you receive that really stuck to your memory?

One year, I got this giant wooden dollhouse. It was painted red, and the entire face opened up. I played with that thing for years. I still have it. We couldn’t afford any furniture for it, or any actual dolls that would fit in it, so I had to be creative. 

8- What’s Christmas like in the Everneath?

Probably like Christmas on the Surface! Only dark. And lonely. And there are no presents. And there is no Christmas. 

——————

If it got you curious, here’s a bit more about Everneath

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…

Purchase: Amazon | Book depository

giveaway_thumb2_thumb

Brodi would like to offer one of you a pre-order of Everneath!

Open to US & Canada

Giveaway Ends January 4th, 2012.

All you have to do is fill the Rafflecopter form below.

The only mandatory entry is to provide your name and email addy =)

/*{literal}{/literal}*/
a Rafflecopter giveaway
You need javascript enabled to see this giveaway.

—————————

Because of two parents who were Greek myth geeks, I grew up thinking the latest fashion trends were inspired by Aphrodite, and a good conversational opener was, “So, which mythological character do you most resemble?” Despite these social shortcomings, I found a great husband who’s always my first reader. We live in Utah with our two young boys, who still have no idea why I’m at the computer all the time.
I received a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Utah and a Master’s degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics.

You can visit Brodi here.

 

tyngasig_thumb2_thumb

A Christmas With… Brodi Ashton

Xmas2_thumb1_thumb

You guys know how much I like featuring new authors, so I was really happy when Brodi Ashton, author of the upcoming Everneath, accepted to join us on our Christmas-y countdown =) Please welcome her warmly!

———————

1- Everneath, your first novel, hasn’t even hit the shelves yet (due January 24th, 2012), but it has already received a lot of attention from the blogging community. Did you ever expect that?

No! The blogging community has been so supportive, and I’m lucky to have so many of them in my corner. The response has been overwhelming.

2- A setting with two parallel world (see human world vs Everneath) hasn’t been explored much, how did you decide to take that path?

EVERNEATH started with one scene in my head, about a girl who’s come back to her high school after a long mysterious absence. This scene was actually inspired by real events in my life, but I used mythology to tell the rest of the story. In order to explore Nikki, and how she got to the point she’s at, I had to show where she’d been and why she left. That meant exploring both worlds.

3- We can read about Jack and Cole in the synopsis, how will their interactions stand-out from our classic love triangle?

Well, the classic paranormal romance involves a human and a non-human, and the things that are keeping them apart are the differences in their two worlds.  But in my book, the enduring romance is between two humans, and there’s no doubt how they feel about each other. That alone makes it stand out.

I never intended there to be a love triangle, because only one of the relationships is about love. The other relationship is about a lot of things, but love isn’t one of them.

4- If you had to give our readers your top 3 reasons to read Everneath, what would they be? (time to shamelessly brag ^^ )

I’m really bad at promoting my own books, but here goes:

1. If you’ve ever made a bad decision, you’ll be able to relate to Nikki.
2. You might laugh a little. You’ll probably cry more.
3. There are hot boys. 🙂

Now onto some Christmas-y questions!

5- How was a typical Christmas when you were a kid? 

Fun and simple. We always opened one present on Christmas Eve, and it was always pajamas. The following day, we’d open presents from Santa, and every one of his reindeer.

Ex: To: Brodi

From: Vixen

6- What’s your best Christmas memory?

A few Christmases ago, my dad was in the middle of battling Pancreatic Cancer. Christmas fell right after all of his chemo/radiation treatments and right before a major surgery. That Christmas, we all went over to my mom’s house and helped her wrap the presents she was giving us. Even the kids wrapped their own gifts. Presents didn’t seem to matter much that day! Family did.

7- Is there one gift you receive that really stuck to your memory?

One year, I got this giant wooden dollhouse. It was painted red, and the entire face opened up. I played with that thing for years. I still have it. We couldn’t afford any furniture for it, or any actual dolls that would fit in it, so I had to be creative. 

8- What’s Christmas like in the Everneath?

Probably like Christmas on the Surface! Only dark. And lonely. And there are no presents. And there is no Christmas. 

——————

If it got you curious, here’s a bit more about Everneath

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…

Purchase: Amazon | Book depository

giveaway_thumb2_thumb

Brodi would like to offer one of you a pre-order of Everneath!

Open to US & Canada

Giveaway Ends January 4th, 2012.

All you have to do is fill the Rafflecopter form below.

The only mandatory entry is to provide your name and email addy =)

/*{literal}{/literal}*/
a Rafflecopter giveaway
You need javascript enabled to see this giveaway.

—————————

Because of two parents who were Greek myth geeks, I grew up thinking the latest fashion trends were inspired by Aphrodite, and a good conversational opener was, “So, which mythological character do you most resemble?” Despite these social shortcomings, I found a great husband who’s always my first reader. We live in Utah with our two young boys, who still have no idea why I’m at the computer all the time.
I received a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Utah and a Master’s degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics.

You can visit Brodi here.

 

tyngasig_thumb2_thumb