Balzer + Bray
January 24, 2012
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Now, instead of staying with Cole, Nikki has decided to Return to the surface, to humanity for six months. She hopes to make it up to everyone, her boyfriend Jack mostly but also her father, her brother, her friend Jules, for suddenly disappearing on them last spring. Before, that is, she disappears again . . . for good.
Something made all the more hard by Cole who has left Everneath and followed her not only to the surface, but to her hometown and high school.
Does redemption exist for anyone, let aloe Nikki - and will she be able to find it in time? As Nikki's sixth months draw to a close will she be able to accept that time is all she has or will she want to tempt her fate in a an attempt to stay with Jack longer? Or will she return to Everneath with Cole?
Everneath is a book that starts off with the reader not knowing the full story. You don't really know how/why Nikki disappeared, just that everyone seems not that pleased with her even though she is back. Half of the story is told in the present and half in flashbacks so we learn about Nikki's life before she went to Everneath and we slowly learn what led to her going to Everneath even as we see why she doesn't want to be there now.
I did go through the beginning (and even middle, actually) of the story feeling like I was missing something. There was such a little amount of discussion about either the how or why Nikki had disappeared - either from her father (especially) or younger brother or friends questioning her or Nikki offering some sort of (likely false) explanation. Same for her return. It just seemed that a teenage girl who had been gone for six months would inspire more questioning than what occurred. There seemed to be a general consensus that she had been off doing drugs and there a was a little of that used, but I still thought she slipped back into life too easily.
Maybe I'm just being picky. (Or not.)
The premise of the story (aside from my little grip above), all of the mythology used, the way things around that mythology played out, and the different characters were all incredibly original. The ending (or 100-150 pages) was fantastic. The way the different elements and the little things mentioned throughout the novel really come together is great.
As this is book number one in a series, I'm really excited to see where the second book takes the characters (especially after that ending).
I love that there are some books now that are putting new twists on some of the ancient myths - so much better when they're so incredibly original, well thought out, and resolve themselves well but leave you itching to see what happens next!
(review copy received from publisher)