Released: January 24, 2012
Hardcover: 384 pages
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...
Ultra sexy cover, fairly sexy book. EVERNEATH's cover fits the story perfectly and grants the reader a taste of what the book is about--which is why I think that while the cover is beautiful, it truly wins points for being relevant to the story. Kudos to the art department.
Speaking of the story itself, I read it in two days during my winter break, and while I did enjoy it, I was not completely blown away like some other readers. The writing was good, the main characters were well developed, and I found myself generally engaged from first page to last with a few lulls, since this story is not an action story.
I thought that, out of all the paranormal YAs out there, EVERNEATH was the best I've read in a while when it came to creativity--especially when one realizes that Ashton morphed the Persephone/Hades myth in such a remarkable way.
Despite all that worked (and there was quite a bit that did), what bothered me the most were the secondary characters. Why have Nikki's family play any role if they were not going to have their issues resolved? Her father frustrated me. I wanted to see more of her sweet little brother. I wanted more of a resolution with Nikki's family, since they did play a somewhat significant role in the book.
The romance between Nikki and Jack was beautiful, albeit shaky. I found it to be believable when they finally did start to interact, however, I'm somewhat hesitant to fully believe in the bond they shared. Part of me wants to, but another, more realistic part of me wants to say that a high school boy--especially someone depicted as a playboy--would not stay so... umm, how do I say this without getting too spoilery? ...well, stay the way he was. Although another part of me realizes that there ARE some guys out there who would react the way Jack did.
While it has been a few weeks since reading EVERNEATH, I forgot the character names fairly quickly, reaffirming that while I did enjoy the story, it did not resonate with me for very long. Nevertheless, I am anticipating the second book in this series, and I would like to see how the characters cope after such a cliffhangery ending. I would also love to see more of the world that Cole was trying to convince Nikki to join.
Would I recommend EVERNEATH? Yes, but I would say borrow it from a friend or the library, as opposed to buying it (unless you want that beautiful cover gracing your bookshelf).