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SPOILER WARNING. (Goodreads version with hidden spoilers)
Nikki Beckett has come back from hell. And she only has six months to live.
After agreeing to allow an Everliving to Feed off her emotions for a century, Nikki Beckett, with the face of her boyfriend etched into her memory, returns to the surface world. There, she faces her limited time to say goodbye, and the chance to change her fate. Haunted by the Everliving who fed from her, she is offered the chance to save her soul from one hellish fate by choosing the alternative: becomes the monster that she hates.
Brodi Ashton’s Everneath suffers from a slow beginning. It begins two weeks into Nikki’s return, and for at least a hundred pages, it focuses mostly on how awkward the relationship between her and her estranged boyfriend is. It mentions briefly the relationship between her and her widower father and younger brother, but nothing much is made of it. During this time, Cole, the Everliving returns to offer her his ultimatum: Become his queen and feed off others, or spend eternity in hell.
Eventually, the book begins to move. Although most plot points are incredibly obvious (Priscilla’s daughter, anyone? Although Mary’s identity surprised me, it was obvious she wasn’t just some crazy old lady. She knew things. I don’t understand why it took till the boyfriend heard to have any faith in what she was saying. She’s spouting information no one should know. You’re quoting Greek Mythology, at least think she’s a oracle or something!) it was interesting. Parts of it had me wondering where it was going.
The book alternates between the presents and the past, leading up to Nikki’s decision to agree to Cole’s request to Feed upon her. Ashton’s style of of writing is very brief, and lacks description. If you’re looking for a richly descriptive world, you will not find it here. Ashton’s relies on subtitles where she places the time till the return to hell to explain locations. It’s first person, and sits inside Nikki’s head.
Nikki herself suffers a lot of pain, but to paraphrase Cole, she’s the happiest sad person I’ve ever seen. Since Cole fed off her emotions, she lost them. As she returns to the surface world, her emotions slowly return, and it would have been interesting to see her grow more and more emotional, but I found the emotional spectrum remained at the same place.
Nikki does own up to her own mistakes. She doesn’t blame anyone, and even when it would be incredibly easy to hold a grudge, she doesn’t. Her boyfriend is the usual player meets right girl and stops, and Cole seems to have some desire to have a coup with the one girl who survived the feeding intact: Nikki. However, both seem to lack chemistry. But that might make sense for this. Her boyfriend and her have six months of hurt and betrayal to work out, and with the addition of Nikki’s lack of emotion, they have more to worry about then chemistry. Cole’s desire for her seems to run more for her emotions and her ability to survive the feeding, then for her body or, well, just her.
Honestly, I shipped Nikki and Will more after that one dance they
shared, then anything else that happened between her and her two love interest.
One thing I wish would have had more focus was the relationship between Nikki and her best friend. Though the best friend is in love with her boyfriend, any best friendship should be stronger then that. Nikki seems incredibly passive. For someone who wants to fix her relationships with people, she does incredibly little. I keep hesitating between two and three stars, and I think with more editing, with going deeper into this world, and explaining things better, dragging up emotions as Nikki got better, like hate for Cole, or grief for her mother, or despair or anything else that we didn’t get.
The ending was a little cliched, and I wish that she had gone instead of her boyfriend. But that being said, while I felt the ending was a little anti-climatic, I would have liked a real show down with Cole. I may pick up the sequel to get some answers.
Over all, the book starts slow, and does not paint a rich picture, but eventually, the ball gets rolling, and the book starts moving. Nikki never swoons over her boyfriends, but sometimes, a sense of attraction is a good thing. I never really understood what drew the three of them together. All things in moderation. A deeper look at this story would have resulted in a much better book, and I’m hoping that the sequel will full fill this.
On the bright side, Nikki at least does not spend the book whining. She doesn’t spend the book moving per say, but it’s better than the alternatives. And the cover is gorgeous, though I don’t quite get what it has to do with Nikki. None of the dresses she wears are red?