Author: Brodi Ashton
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Released: January 24, 2012
Page #: 370
Source: My public library
"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."
"I was picturing his face - a boy with floppy brown hair and brown eyes - when the Feed ended.
At first I didn't know what had happened. I didn't know where I was or why it was so dark. I knew only that the pain inside me - the feeling that I was being drained from the inside out - had subsided, and now everything was numb. Maybe I no longer existed."
I'm not gonna lie... I was so very confused for the first, about, half of this book. I think I got everything figured out in the end, but it took me a little while to get there. All the same, I thought it was a really interesting book.
Nikki has spent the last century in Everneath being drained of her energy/life force by Cole. Typically, this causes the person to wither up and die soon after. But Nikki survives and Cole is convinced this means she is the one he's meant to rule the underworld with. But Nikki has another plan - there is one face she pictured through the entire Feed... Jack. Her boyfriend on the Surface. She has to go back to him and her family to explain why she was gone (since it was only 6 months of real time). She soon realizes going back was harder than she imagined. And that she won't be allowed to stay. She has six months to put everything back to normal.
So, this is less of a retold myth - more of a story built on top of a myth. Making it bigger, more interesting, and possibly true. I was expecting a Persephone story - which it sort of is... but really isn't. You have the whole six months up, six months down thing, but it's not a permanent arrangement. The Everlings (like Cole) take different people down each time to get the energy they need to survive. It just so happens that Nikki survived - I do think that the myth-like story will show through in the next book. If things go like I think they might.
Can I just tell you that I hated the ending of this story. No really. It does NOT turn out the way I imagined it would. I do wonder if part of that is the setting up for the next story (I checked the author's blog and it looks like there will be another one). I definitely will have to read the next book because I have to find out if things turn out better. But be aware... you may want to throw this book against a wall when you get to the ending. I sure did.
At the start of this story, I was really worried that Nikki would be a pushover character. She seemed weak and sad and just sort of pathetic. I did realize that was part of the draining that happened occurs before the start of the book... but it's hard to put those pieces together. You do have some flashbacks to her personality and such before, but I wished for more of that. I almost wish the first book had been before the Feed - it would have given me more to work from, I think.
Okay, so I realize that I've wished several parts of this book were totally different... but that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it. Honestly, I thought it was a really smart and interesting story. It weaves in the mythology with ease and you are left wondering if it all might be possible. I know that many readers of paranormal stories will really get into this one. I'll definitely be recommending it. It's worth your time and I'm absolutely ready for the next book... whenever that might be.
Other Blog Reviews:
YA Books Central
My 5 Monkeys
Let Them Read Books
Teens Read and Write
Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile
Nicole's YA Book Haven