Thursday, January 5, 2012
YA Fantasy - Everneath by Brodi Ashton
Publisher: Balzer and Bray
Date: January 24, 2011
Acquired: from publisher
Read: for review (disclaimer: I received my copy of this book in return for an honest review.)
Reading time: four days
From GoodReads: 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...
My review: I recently ran across a discussion of mediocrity in YA writing and this is one of the books I immediately thought about. Though most (actually, all but one) of the other reviews I've read of Everneath rave about the novel, I just could not get into the story. Ashton's writing is decent, but I could never connect emotionally with the characters. They always seemed too distant. Nikki's last months should be dramatic, full of high emotions, but I rarely saw truly strong feelings, especially between her and her family. Nikki's brother and father were barely mentioned, but didn't she come back, at least in part, to say good-bye to them? Also, I was expecting much more mythology to be incorporated into the plotline, but the story of Persephone and Hades provided only the most basic of backgrounds. Orpheus and Eurydice also popped up - and it became obvious how the tale was going to end - but, overall, the mythological elements of Everneath were left largely undeveloped. Nikki and Jack's romance was at the forefront of EVERYTHING, but again, I couldn't connect much to the characters emotionally. I just couldn't make myself really care about the outcome of the novel, and it seemed like nothing much happened in the plot to hold my interest. Maybe paranormal romance just isn't my cup of tea...