Author: Brodi Ashton
Publish Date: January 2012
Publisher: Harper Collins
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... (Goodreads)
Brodi Ashton’s Everneath is an ambitious story to say the least. How does one even begin to tell the story of a girl who has been drained of her emotions over the course of a century? It’s a type of story that takes a lot of meticulous detail and care, which Ashton definitely exhibits with Nikki Beckett’s tale. Her alternation of flashbacks with the present proves to be an effective tool for describing the stages of Nikki’s restoration of self. Readers will have a good sense of her hollowness at the beginning, which is so strong, it’s nearly palpable, and will want to keep reading just to have some understanding of the person that she used to be.
Ashton’s supernatural take on the Underworld in Greek mythology is also interesting. She calls it the Everneath, and it’s occupied by Everlings instead of the usual Greek deities. Everlings are capable of living forever by draining humans of their emotional energy, and this is where Cole, the sexy scumbag antagonist, comes in. Readers learn from the beginning that he is not a good person, but his secret scheming, and inner turmoil makes him a fascinating character to follow. He’s an excellent villain, and Ashton nicely teases that there’s more about him to be discovered in the next book.
Another powerful aspect of this story is the relationship between Jack and Nikki, seeing how their bond is tested leaves a lasting impression. Their love is so haunting and pure that it can rival any of the best Paranormal Romance stories out there, and is worthy of the Orpheus myth that it tries to mirror. Not to mention that Jack is truly an all around good guy. The way he integrates Nikki back into his life is an incredibly sweet thing to watch.