Synopsis: 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.
The story of Persephone is one of my favorite myths - something I've always thought was completely twisted. I don't know why I like it so much - it could possibly be that I put my heart and soul into creating a Persephone picture book when I was in middle school - or it could be that I enjoy being torn between darkness and light. Or it could be that I like fall. Anyway, this was a partial twist on the Persephone story - I think it was mixed with a few other myths, but that was the one I fixated on. I really liked this take on myth and immortality.
I, however, did not feel very connected to Nikki. Her emotions were a little wonky for me. First, she's devoid of her own emotions, which sort of lead to a disconnect. She didn't feel very much - she was floating through her life (which, she only had 6 months left and she knew it - don't you grab onto everything you have and fight? In my opinion, it took her far too long to jump into action) so I didn't really feel like I had anything to grasp onto. Second, she was very in tune with other's emotions and her own got stronger as the book went on. With the initial devoid of emotion, I expected her stronger emotions to be the kind that knocks you over - but they didn't quite reach that point, so I was disappointed. Not to mention, between all this, I didn't feel like I was able to grasp who Nikki was. Her personality was a void as her emotions, and she didn't really seem to be anything special.
The boys, on the other hand, were pretty dang wonderful. Jack was so sweet, but I was impressed that this didn't lead to him being a push-over. He could have very easily just jumped right back into life with Nikki - but he's reserved, and I admire him for his self-preservation instinct. And Cole - yum. An underworld rock god promising to make you queen? Yes, please. Well, maybe minus the underworld part...
Everneath is out tomorrow (January 3) and is the first book in the series - and I do think I'll keep reading. This book had a doozy of an ending, so I need to know where the story is headed. Had the ending been different, it may have been sufficient as a stand-alone. This book did not have me falling off my chair or freaking out, but I did enjoy it and I think it has the potential to be a great series.
(Thanks to Good Choice Reading for sending me this ARC!)