Eden's Everdark

Eden's Everdark
Age Range
Release Date
September 06, 2022
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Still grieving the loss of her mother, Eden visits Safina Island, her ancestral home, as a healing balm. But when she discovers an old sketchbook that belonged to her mother, she’s haunted by the images she sees drawn there. A creepy mansion covered with roots and leaves. A monstrous dog with dagger-sharp teeth. And a tall woman with wind-blown hair and long, sharp nails who is as beautiful as she is terrifying.

Days later, exploring the island alone, Eden follows a black cat through a rift in the bright day. She stumbles into Everdark, a parallel world where the sun never rises, where spirits linger between death and the afterlife, and where everything from her mother’s drawings is all too real—especially the Witch of Everdark, who wants to make Eden her eternal daughter.

Can Eden find a way to defeat the witch’s magic? Or will she remain trapped in Everdark forever?

Editor review

1 review
Finding your own inner strength
Overall rating
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What worked:
The history of slavery and bigotry are major parts of the plot as the ghosts arise from those times in the past. Eden encounters four ghosts in Everdark who each hail from different eras. The Witch of Everdark is most bitter as she had the brightest future before her death. The youngest ghost is most helpful to Eden although she fears the witch and must guard against offending the woman. Most of the restless spirits have experienced racism while they were alive but the witch’s control over Everdark may be worse than anything they’ve faced.
The author uses vivid descriptions to create a ghostly, gloomy world. The sun never rises and the moon casts its eerie light over the mansion and surrounding lands. The witch’s dark, dank mansion is made even worse as rotting decay begins to seep into the walls. To Eden, the food served in the home tastes like crumbling ash and the water is rancid. The author creates a ticking-clock feeling leading to the climax by using Eden’s skin tone to display the countdown. The ghosts call her a bright since she’s not actually dead but her skin slowly takes on a mottled purple color as her life drains away. The mansion is surrounded by a dangerous forest where creatures of the night are lurking to assail Eden if she ventures too far from safety.
The topic of death is obviously a major part of the plot and Eden deals with her own grief even before she stumbles upon Everdark. Eden’s mother has recently died and Eden travels with her father to her mother’s birthplace to process her passing. The spirits in Everdark have regrets and they have facets of their former lives that they miss. Many of them miss their loved ones and Eden fears she’ll regret never telling her father goodbye if she never escapes from Everdark. The plot takes an unexpected turn late in the book that actually creates a path to a resolution to the problem. Eden must discover the magic within her that she’s inherited from her ancestors. These deceased relatives are crucial to Eden’s survival.
What didn’t work as well:
Early parts of the plot sometimes move slowly as Eden discovers she’s the witch’s prisoner. She’s confined to the house and is often accompanied by the youngest ghost as she moves about. However, Eden is able to collect information about the ghosts and Everdark that will hopefully become useful in the future. The second half of the book picks up the pace.
The Final Verdict:
This book is a finalist for a 2022 Cybils Award in Elementary/Middle-Grade Speculative Fiction. The majority of the book is set in Everdark and the author masterfully crafts an evil, depressing imaginary world. The second half of the book is especially intriguing and I recommend you give this book a shot.
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