What we may call the Underworld or Hell, they call Everneath, the place where the immortal Everliving feed on the emotions and life forces of Forfeits. After being tricked by Cole Stockton, Nikki Beckett becomes a Forfeit and spends 6 months (100 Everneath years) bound to the Everliving boy. Miraculously surviving the Feed, she's given the opportunity to become the Queen of High Court but decides to return to the Surface, all because she can't get the image of a brown-haired boy out of her mind. It's the only way she thinks she survived. With only 6 months before her Return to Everneath forever, Nikki races against the clock to repair her relationships and prevent her impending doom. A very exciting and action-packed romance you won't want to miss - you really will regret it.
The characters in Everneath are breath-taking. When Nikki returns to the Surface she's miserable - her father and school thinks she's a drug addict, her ex-boyfriend hates her for leaving him, her best friend is unfamiliar and a certain Everliving won't leave her alone. While this story is twisted with romance and the supernatural, above all it's about human redemption. Nikki's jaded and sees no future for herself but as time passes, hope begins to blossom with the constantly growing support of her friends and family. I loved going on this emotional journey with Nikki and watching her come that little bit more out of her shell every day. I can't even properly explain how amazing this book is. The mythology and mystery is just fabulous! We learn about Everneath and the myths that mirror Nikki's survival piece by piece, and what we're left with is a rich, detailed and very realistic world.
Everneath switches between the past and present, showing us the wonderful life Nikki used to have and what effect her time in Everneath's had on it. As we learn more and more about the Everliving and Cole's deceptive role in her leaving, the flashbacks also show to us what was not obvious to Nikki then. With every chapter is an ominous countdown to her Return, and as things get more desperate, the jumps in time seem larger and larger. She had six months. How is there only three weeks left? Don't even get me started on when we get down to hours! You'll truly be on the edge of your seat, glued to the nail-biting action.
I know you want to hear about the romance. It's explosive. It's swoon-worthy. It'll melt you in your seat. Pre-Everneath, Nikki and Jack Caputo were the perfect couple but Jack's now the proud owner of an eyebrow piercing and an aching heart. The sickeningly sweet flashbacks and harsh reality of the present contrast so well and show you just how much things have changed between the two. You'll see all sides of their relationship - the tender moments, the misunderstandings, the passionate love, the fights - and even learn why Nikki left with Cole in the first place. With each revelation comes a gasp and you'll be desperate to see Nikki and Jack's relationship be on the mend! It's slow goings at first but wow, is it worth it. Ashton's pacing is spot on and her unfolding of the story is executed perfectly. While we're positioned to dislike Cole, just when he reaches the lowest of lows and we despise him, Ashton flips things around and makes us sympathetic again! UGH! Mind-messing stuff, this is.
Everneath is truly one of the best books of 2012. I know we're only a week into it, but I know this will stay in my favourites for a long time. As each new story and flashback unfolds a piece of the puzzle, you'll be as anxious as ever to come to the conclusion. Your heart will be pounding away, terrified of how things will end. What will happen when the 6 months are up?! Let me tell you, I was horrified and couldn't believe my eyes. Where's the sequel when you need it? I think I may have a heart attack very very soon if I don't deal with this cliffhanger!
Have I got you excited? Nod along with me! :)