Nikki Beckett could only watch as her boyfriend, Jack, sacrificed himself to save her, taking her place in the Tunnels of the Everneath for eternity — a debt that should’ve been hers. She’s living a borrowed life, and she doesn’t know what to do with the guilt. And every night Jack appears in her dreams, lost and confused and wasting away.
Desperate for answers, Nikki turns to Cole, the immortal bad boy who wants to make her his queen — and the one person least likely to help. But his heart has been touched by everything about Nikki, and he agrees to assist her in the only way he can: by taking her to the Everneath himself.
Nikki and Cole descend into the Everneath, only to discover that their journey will be more difficult than they’d anticipated — and more deadly. But Nikki vows to stop at nothing to save Jack — even if it means making an incredible sacrifice of her own.
In this enthralling sequel to Everneath, Brodi Ashton tests the bonds of destiny and explores the lengths we’ll go to for the ones we love.
What did I think?:
It’s always tricky reviewing the second book in a series so I’m going to try and keep this review as spoiler free as possible! For anybody who hasn’t come across the Everneath series before it’s heavily based on Greek mythology (one of my favourite things) but set in contemporary times. The Everneath itself is the equivalent of the Greek Hades and is ruled over by a Queen (who is slightly more tyrannical than the Greek Persephone). It’s definitely become one of my favourite YA series and not just because of the mythological nod. I love the characters, the plot and the world building – basically, it’s just a darn good read if you like your fiction a little fantastical.
Our main character is Nikki Beckett whom in the first book, experienced all the horrors of the Everneath through Cole, a resident of the area. At the time, her mother had died, she was having problems with her boyfriend Jack and generally wasn’t in a good place. However, visiting the Everneath with Cole came at a price. After coming back to her normal life, she was compelled to return to the Everneath after a period of six months for good and is desperately trying to figure a way around it after she was happily reconciled with Jack. The first book ends with a bit of a bang leaving both Nikki and Jack’s lives in danger. With the help of Cole, she must return once more to the Everneath to save both her and her boyfriend’s lives. Entering the Everneath with the hope of escaping is not going to be an easy task in any way, shape or form. Nikki must penetrate the three barriers of wind, fire and water, avoid zombie-like creatures that wander aimlessly around and the furious Queen if she can possibly help it and manage to escape out the other side, back to the real world with both her and Jack’s lives intact.
This is a brilliant and very strong second book in the Everneath series. I love Nikki as a character, she’s independent and determined and although she has been through multiple traumatic experiences she seems to come out of it relatively scar free with more motive than ever before. I’m not usually a fan of love triangles (cue eye rolling) in YA fiction but I really rate the characters of both Jack and Cole, the latter of which just fascinates me. For Jack fans, there is less of him to savour in this outing but we do get a few flashbacks of the early stages of his relationship with Nikki which was lovely to read. Finally, the world building which I mentioned earlier is just phenomenal and so imaginative. I could really picture the Everneath in my mind’s eye and whilst Nikki is there, the action is full throttle and incredibly thrilling. I’m definitely looking forward to the final book in the trilogy now and will feel a bit sad when it all comes to an end!
Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath. Now she’s returned—to her old life, her family, her boyfriend—before she’s 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 precious months forgetting the Everneath and trying to reconnect with her boyfriend, Jack, the person most devastated by her disappearance—and the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s just one problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who enticed her to the Everneath in the first place, has followed Nikki home. Cole wants to take over the throne in the underworld and is convinced Nikki is the key to making it happen. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back, this time as his queen.
As Nikki’s time on the Surface draws to a close and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she is 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 queen.
Everneath is a captivating story of love, loss, and immortality from debut author Brodi Ashton.
What did I think?:
Everneath is the first book in the start of a dramatic and compelling new YA series and was recommended to me by my sister and fellow blogger Chrissi Reads. I tend to trust whatever my sister recommends, after all she’s one of the people who knows my biblio-tastes best, but I knew I had to read it fairly soon and that it had to be something special when she kept asking when I was going to start it! Our heroine in this series is teenager Nikki Beckett who one day seemed to disappear into thin air, leaving her family, friends and boyfriend behind to become part of the Everneath. This was a personal decision on Nikki’s part as at the time she was struggling to cope with the death of her mother and was in a seemingly hopeless situation with her boyfriend, Jack. Her desperation to “stop feeling things,” leads the mysterious Cole into tempting her to The Everneath (with an agenda of his own of course) and he promises Nikki the peace she desperately craves but is not granted from her tormented mind. You see although Cole is immortal, known as an Everling, he requires humans as “Forfeits,” to feed off their emotions whilst replenishing his energy. His latest acquisition Nikki, is a particularly valuable prize when instead of forgetting who she is as par normal procedure she remembers everything and survives the so-called “feed.”
The Everneath is a mystical, terrifying underworld and Nikki is forced to remain there for one hundred years as Cole’s food-source before Cole returns her to the surface – unfortunately only for a period of six months so that she can say her goodbyes to her loved ones and prepare herself for returning to The Everneath permanently to be reclaimed by the horrifying Tunnels. Even though Nikki spent a century in The Everneath only six months have passed on Earth which is still a significant period of time to be AWOL and she has a lot of explaining to do. Nikki must re-gain her father’s trust and try to build bridges with her boyfriend Jack who was understandably confused and hurt by her disappearance. She must also resist Cole who she has a unique bond with due to the whole feeding experience and almost like a dealer to a drug addict bothers her on a daily basis, attempting to make her submit to him and return to the underground as his Queen. Nikki understands that her return to The Everneath is compulsory and attempts to reconcile herself with her broken father and her boyfriend but becomes increasingly alarmed by the power that Cole holds over her and fears returning to the dreaded Tunnels where she will remain for eternity. If there is a choice to be made the other option being relinquishing herself to Cole, should she do this despite all her morals and misgivings? Or will true love shine through and give Nikki the opportunity to escape her fate?
Well, this story sure packs a punch. The novel is loosely based on the mythology of Persephone/Hades and Orpheus/Eurydice and as I studied Greek mythology for a while I was instantly attracted to the idea which is presented beautifully with a bit of a modern twist. Nikki is a strong and admirable female character who accepts that she made a terrible decision by agreeing to accompany Cole to The Everneath. Instead of being self-pitying about it she uses that final opportunity of life on Earth to try and re-connect with her father, recognising that he is suffering also. The author has created a fascinating idea of life after death and her description of the Tunnels sent a definite chill down my spine. In fact, from the moment I opened this book I found it very hard to put down and was instantly swept away into a world of darkness, grief and impossible situations. The imagination used to create all the threads of this story is enviable, the characterisation superb and I’m really very excited to get to the next book in the trilogy after an explosive ending.