Book Review: Everneath by Brodi Ashton

View from the window seat:
Nikki Beckett chose to follow the alluring Cole Stockton into an underworld called the Everneath for one hundred years. When she returns to the surface, only six months have passed. Her family and friends don’t understand where she vanished to or why. All Nikki wants to do is spend her last six months on the surface reconnecting with her boyfriend Jack before she has to return to the Everneath forever. Cole has other plans: he follows her back to the surface to convince her to join him in taking over the underworld and becoming his queen. He’ll do anything to make it happen. Now Nikki has to try to cheat fate and stay on the surface…or spend eternity with Cole.

I love Greek mythology. Love, love, love. Well, I enjoy any kind of mythology, but Greek is my favorite. The retelling of the story of Persephone and Hades seems to be a favorite in YA. I loved Abandon by Meg Cabot and The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter (though I haven’t gotten around to reading the next books in either series), so I thought Everneath was right up my alley. To my disappointment, I couldn’t get into it and put it down at Chapter 14 (I don’t know the exact page number, since I was reading it on my Kindle, but that’s apparently 37% through the book).

I do like the concept of the Everneath, with its immortal inhabitants who have to feed on humans to keep their immortality. It’s an interesting take on the Persephone myth, and it paints immortality as something dark that comes at a steep price. That said, the Everneath, which is interesting and exciting and creepy, basically takes a back seat to the humdrum inanities of Nikki’s return to the surface.

Nikki and her relationships are why I ended up putting the book down. Nikki is a bland character. The rest of the characters are just as flat. The main drive of the book is Nikki’s desire to see her family and friends (of course, she’s really just concerned with seeing her boyfriend Jack) one last time before she has to either become some kind of food source for the Everneath (the details are vague on this point) or join Cole in immortality. As readers, I think we’re supposed to feel that Nikki losing everyone she cares about is all very tragic. As I was reading, I found that I just didn’t care. There was no emotional resonance for Nikki or any of the characters. I didn’t feel that this was some huge loss. I didn’t connect with any of them.

Overall impression:
Everneath failed to provide any sort of emotional attachment to its characters, prompting me to give up reading. If you like mythology retellings, I would go with Abandon or The Goddess Test for Persephone/Hades. If you just want a retelling in general, Fury by Elizabeth Miles is excellent.

Rating:
DNF – did not finish

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