Everneath (Everneath #1)

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Characters stole my heart!
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
N/A
I wanted to read Everneath because I have seen it on blogs for quite some time and finally it lined up with a hole in my schedule and being at the library. I am not heavy into the myths, but I do like the idea of having the ties to both underworld and above and the emotions of having to try to find redemption for her disappearance and being okay with or finding a way to stay. The cover has always caught my eye as well, and I am def vain like that sometimes.
At first, I was confused a bit because the time frame is jumping around and I am not exactly sure how the Everneath works, and what the Tunnels are as well as what the history was between her and Cole and her and Jack. But this is intentional because the time shifts explain what I needed to know at every turn.
I liked Nikki's character, she is easy to get along with, and more reserved and quiet, which has always been me so that is my personality. Which part of her reservation is Nikki being emotionless(ish) as she comes back from the Everneath, but she gets her emotion back as she spends more time above.
The romance is kinda up in the air for me, because for the most part of the story, I knew that Cole wanted her to be Everliving with him, but otherwise his motives and feelings are kinda unknown to me. Jack is sweet and I would pull for him, but Nikki alludes to something happening between the two so I kinda hold off my feelings because I am afraid that he hurt her.
The emotions in this one are pretty powerful. We have Nikki hurt from the issue with Jack, that she forgot a lot while she was in the Everneath with Cole, we have love flying around everywhere, and we have the raw emotion of Nikki losing her mom, who died in a car accident. Nikki's family and friends were hurt because she disappeared and because she wasn't fully connected when she was back because even though she wanted redemption and to say goodbye, she also wouldn't let herself get any closer to them and at an arm's length.
The story started getting going and it raced to the end at a breakneck pace. I figured out who I wanted for Nikki, and I think that even though it seems there is a love triangle, I think that one ends up being a non--player although I may be proven wrong as I read more. But the ending, wow, it just cemented my love for this series and the man that won my heart.
I will definitely continue this series, and I am so glad that I finally got to it, and I recommend to any of my fantasy or paranormal romance friends because it is a good, emotional and unique story.

Bottom Line: Characters stole my heart!
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Breathtaking!
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
How do I explain what made me love Everneath so very much? It wasn't just the characters, who are so realistic that you can feel their emotions emanating from the page. In fact it wasn't just even the amazing story line that had me reading voraciously. It was the two of these things blended together, my ability to get lost inside Nikki's story, that left me breathless at the end. Everneath is beautiful, plain and simple.

Every story has a heroine, and this one is no different. I fell in love with Nikki from the very beginning. Her emotions were so palpable and real. Even when she made decisions I didn't quite agree with, I saw her motivations behind. Everything about her was so selfless. Flanking her on either side are two very different boys with two very different motivations. I loved Jack. Can I say that again? I loved him. He is the epitome of what we all want in a relationship. Sweet, giving, unshakable in his loyalty. His story with Nikki blew me away. Then there is Cole who, even though he is technically the "villian", I just couldn't help but love. There is so much wrapped up in his character that despite how he acts sometimes he is just too broken to dislike.

These stunning characters are placed in an even more gorgeous story line, as Brodi Ashton whisks us away into the story of the Everneath. I'm not going to share any details that might be spoilers. I believe that this is the type of book you'll just have to experience for yourself. Still, I could not believe how perfectly Ashton blended myth with reality. Nikki's story mirrors a myth almost perfectly and, even when you know what's going to ultimately happen, she provides enough hope to keep you hanging on. Love plays a big part in this story. The link between two people who love each other so much that time, nor space, can separate them. It broke my heart with its beauty.

Reading Everneath was effortless, if that makes any sense. It was such a pleasure to turn every page that it was almost like I wasn't reading at all. What Brodi Ashton has created within this pages is absolutely wonderful. There is no way I can explain to you why this book touched me so much, only that it did. I ended the story with tears in my eyes and something beyond a need to find out what happens next. More of an ache.

I haven't been as in love as I am with these characters in a long, long time. That alone makes Everneath one of my top reads, not just of the year but of all time. If you are a hopeless romantic, if you are a fan of mythology, or if you just enjoy rooting for the good in the world, this is a book you'll enjoy. I recommend Everneath with all my heart.
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Ever-Amazing
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
So unbelievably awesome! I had high expectations for this book after reading everyone's stellar reviews, and it lived up to all of them!

First of all, the story was absolutely genius. This was a very unique retelling of the Persephone myth. The mythology was written so well; I truly have never read anything like this before! Originality is very important for me, and this one scored an A+ in that department.

I really enjoyed all the characters too. Nikki was an admirable protagonist; while she definitely did have lapses in judgement sometimes, she was strong in her decisions to protect others, even when it meant sacrificing herself. I am also torn between the awesomeness of both Cole and Jack. While you could say Cole is the "bad boy" and Jack is the "nice guy", I don't want to think of them in those stereotypical ways, since they're better than that. They are both very complex and amazing in their own ways. I'm glad I'm not Nikki, because I could never choose.

Plus, the ending?! Like, WHAT?!?!?! I really need Everbound!

Overall: REEEEEAAAAADDDD IIIITTTT (Sorry for the excessive caps, but the situation called for it.)
Good Points
Everything, especially the mythology
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A phenomenal modern-day mythology retelling must read!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Everneath is a phenomenal modern-day mythology retelling of Persephone and Hades story.
(Hades, the god of the underworld who viciously kidnapped Persephone to make her his queen. You can read more about the myth here.) I actually read this book in March, and until now, I had not been able to find the right words to put into a review. I knew of Persephone's very sad story and Brodi Ashton was able to capture the heartache and enchantment of it so perfectly and unforgettable that it has stayed with me since then.

At the start of the story, we are immediately right by Nikki's side in the underworld as known as the Everneath. It is a bit confusing at first and that is because Nikki is too. There is such a darkness and overwhelming feeling of being lost and sad, that I couldn't help myself get pulled in and feel stuck and helpless just like Nikki did. It was a such a realistic state of mind that I hope to never feel again.
When Nikki slowly comes to her senses alongside Cole, she not only discovers that she's not suppose to have any memories, but that she is lucky to have had survived. Cole is mesmerized by her strength and is determined to have Nikki as his queen so they can overrule and take over the underworld. But Nikki knows that she survived for a reason. There is someone that she is suppose to find... Jack... and chooses to go back to her reality and ignore the consequences, for now.
Even though she was in the Everneath for a year, in our reality, she was only gone for 3 months. She was a star student with a promising future, but after she disappeared, everyone assumed that the fell to drugs and ran-away from home. Her comeback is hard on everyone, especially on Nikki, because when you are in the Everneath all of your feelings and emotions have been drained right out of you and it takes a long time for a little bit, if any, of your happiness to return. But when you meet Jack, as quickly as your heart will swoon for him, it will ache just as much too.

The ending was completely unpredictable to me. I cried and couldn't believe what had happened.
I cannot wait to read the next book, Everbound, and find out what happens next!
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Wonderful
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
I battled ninjas to get the ARC of this book!

So worth it. This book was heartbreaking from page one. It begins with a simple but evocative description of the Everneath: it is an underworld where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans.

Nikki Beckett chose to go to the Everneath. She’s been gone for a century — though on the surface, it’s only been six months. She Returns for another six months, this time to say good-bye to her family and friends before she’s banished back to the Everneath forever. But this time offers her a choice, too: either the Tunnels will come for her and devour the last of her emotions, or she can go back and try to be a queen — but she will have to consume the emotions of others.

EVERNEATH is very myth-inspired: Hades/Persephone, Orpheus/Eurydice, even Osiris/Isis. Brodi weaves all these myths together seamlessly, creating a new and frightening underworld filled with immortals, mysterious High Court, and terrifying Tunnels and Shades.

There were so many things I loved about EVERNEATH: Nikki’s voice when she Returns; her determination to learn more about Cole, the immortal who lured her to the Feed; and her relationship with her boyfriend Jack. I loved so much that Nikki and Jack had a foundation to their relationship, that they were friends first and knew each other before they became soulmates. I loved the slow way they came to know each other again after Nikki’s Return, and how they both had to fight for the chance to be together again.

I loved the mystery. What happened that drove Nikki to the Everneath? Why was she willing to let Cole Feed on her emotions for a century? These answers unfolded at just the right moments. Every time I thought I figured something out before the characters, they were on it a couple paragraphs later.

I loved way we saw Nikki’s life before and after the Feed. It was easy to see why she felt overwhelmed with the need to lose herself to the Everneath. And easy to see why, after her Return, she would fight so hard to stay. Even though the Tunnels are coming for her no matter what.

And oh, the end. Powerful. Heartbreaking. Totally the only way this could have ended.

I can’t way to see where book two takes us.
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This is going to be a huge deal in 2012!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
First Impressions: I found out early this fall that Brodi Ashton would be coming out with her very first novel and that it would have her take on a certain mythology legend, Hades-Persephone. Being the inner dork that I am, I knew that I wanted to get this book as quickly as I could! What can I say? I’m a total sucker for anything to do with mythology and/or old legends. Plus, if you ever get the chance to talk to this author, Brodi is one of the nicest people! She treats her fans so nice!

First 50 Pages: One of the things that I liked immediately about the story was the alternating narratives between the past and the present. It flip-flops between Nikki’s return to her home from spending six months in the Everneath, to her final six months before being dragged back down to the tunnel. It also includes everything that was going on leading up to the time that Nikki first went to the Everneath. That might sound confusing for some, but trust me, it’s not. The author does a fantastic job weaving all of these storylines together that also prepares you for the ending and the next book.

Almost needless to say, this fascinated me and had me totally hooked. I loved how the mythology was thrown into just about everywhere in this story. I also have to say that I didn’t think the play on ancient mythology was at all confusing. There have been some other books recently that go a tad bit overboard with explaining things in too great of detail that can make it hard to read or follow. I think that Everneath had just the right amount of detail to make it very entertaining without sounding like a textbook. I also want to point out and say that if you never heard of the original myth, don’t worry. I actually think that this re-telling of sorts is far more interesting than the original!

Plot & Characters: The story follows Nikki (of course) to the Everneath, which she initially believes is the land of the dead, but is really a place for immortals that make themselves immortal by feeding off of their human sacrifices. She actually volunteers herself for this in a moment of weakness and sadness and she comes back to the mortal world six months later. She will have an extremely tough decision to make before she is sucked back into this immortal land. Does she choose to become an Everliving (an immortal)? Or, will she become a human offering for the shades that lurk in the underworld? Oh, and then there are matters at home to settle and adjust to. How does one go back to normal after experiencing was Nikki has?

Nikki was an interesting character. When she decides what she wants to do, she doesn’t bend it anyone and sticks with her plans. She doesn’t compromise for anyone and I enjoyed that about this character. She knows what she wants, at least, she thinks she does. And as a pre-warning, there is a kind of love triangle going on in this story between Nikki, Jack (the earth boy), and Cole (the immortal, who well, fed on her she was in Everneath). I’m usually the first person to stand up and say that I can’t stand love triangles and that I get bored of them easily. Yet, in this particular book, I think it was necessary to have.

It’s really hard for me to say which boy I prefer. While Jack is a total sweetheart and completely worships the ground that Nikki walks on, Cole is a the bad boy per say, and well, I’m a total sucker for a good bad boy every now and then. I’m think I might be Team Cole on this one, but I think most people are going to swoon over Jack and his romantic ways.

Final Thoughts: The book ends with a cliff-hanger to set up for the next book in the series. Blah! Now I have to wait forever until I can find out what will happen next for these characters. I’m interested to see where exactly the author will take the story! This was a superb, mythology based book I think everyone will enjoy. I’d highly recommend seeking this one out in 2012!
Good Points
Everything!
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One of the BEST I've ever read
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
I have so many FEELINGS about this book. Honestly, this is one of the best books I've ever read. The timeline and pacing are truly unique, and Ms. Ashton handles it like the master storyteller she is. I was instantly captivated by the heroine and her situation. And what a heroine!! Damaged, conflicted, but strong as steel. She doesn't flinch from hard choices, or from taking responsibility for her actions. And the two boys in her life?

Holy.

Wow.

No, this isn't a love triangle. Not really. It's good people, and bad choices, and some supernatural wheeling and dealing, and loyalty that sometimes comes out sideways, and in the middle of it all is the inescapable timebomb ticking away on Nikki's life. I wanted to hate the "villain." And I kind of did, for a little bit. But then I started to understand him. And he started to make sacrifices of his own. And suddenly it wasn't a clear cut choice anymore, and that only increased the depth and complexity of this book.

Trust me. It has depth and complexity. And romance. And the ending??? I cried. I saw it coming (kind of) and SO BADLY wanted them to find another way. I can't wait to read book 2!

This is one of those rare books that made me instantly want to start re-reading it the second I finished. I can't recommend it enough.
Good Points
character development, romance, pacing, plot, intrigue, premise
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