"Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being 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 months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.
As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's 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..."
- Publisher: Harper Collins
- Release date: Jan. 24, 2012
- Page count: 370
- Will appeal to: Mythology lovers, fans of fantasy
Favorite Quotes: (will be checked against final edition)
"He gave me a smile that I could have sold on the internet for money."
"Last year, I'd left my dad in the heat of an argument. I threw despicable words at him and then walked out and never came back."
"Lacey had spent the week leading up to football camp telling everyone who would listen 'What happens at camp stays at camp,' which made it sound like camp consisted of a craps table, tequila-lime shots, and tangled sheets."
"I tucked this moment away. In the dark, dank world of the Tunnels, I would call upon this memory. And there would be a flicker of candlelight. If only for a moment."
If you love mythology, this is a great pick for 2012. I requested the book specifically for the cover, but the plot also intrigued me. Anything about souls catches my attention.
Basically sweet Nikki is known to her friends and boyfriend as Becks, as her last name is Beckett. After being heartbroken by her boyfriend, she runs to a person she knows can take the pain away: Cole. He's a musician, and also an immortal. Nikki becomes the person who gives him energy in the Everneath during the Feed. They are wrapped together in the dark for an entire century (only months in the real world), her life dwindling as he becomes stronger. I love the opening because it describes how it feels for her body to come away from his after fitting together so perfectly for so long. It is rare that one survives the Feed, let alone doesn't age, so Cole realizes his Nik is special (love that the author chose to have only Cole refer to her as Nik). He asks her to go with him and become a queen. Instead, she chooses to go back to the surface. She's informed she has six months until the creatures of the Tunnels come to get her and take her back to use as a battery; fuel for those of the Feed. Cole shows her a glimpse of this horrific life, but still, she must say goodbye to the father and brother she left so suddenly, and maybe even the boyfriend she can't stop thinking of.
Jack-- such a perfect, short name. I really liked him. The way he gently lets Nikki take her own time to talk to him. The way he never gives up after school, taking every new development as a sign of her healing. The entire school thinks Nikki was on drugs and ran away, as well as her father who is mid-election and defending his mayoral seat. The reader learns how broken Jack was after she left. How he secluded himself and lost friends over his behavior. Jack's adorable, sad, but seriously in love.
For me, Nikki and Jack were destined to be together. Their relationship is both fragile and solid. Jack is okay with a friendship after so much time, as long as he can have her back in his life.
Cole is the wedge that comes between them. Even though he is majorly annoying, popping up at every opportunity in Nikki's room, he wants to be loved and has a vulnerable side. I can see why Nikki is so attracted to him in the first place; he's older, interesting, and can make her feel better.
Within chapters, the time stamp jumps around from the past to the present. Then, the time counts down so the reader can see how many days remain for Nikki. An impeding sense of doom lingers as she gets closer to leaving a second time without explanation.
The story develops into a fact-finding mystery that Nikki needs to solve to stay on earth. The Daughters of Persephone is mentioned by a crazy woman from the soup kitchen Nikki volunteers at. The myth of Orpheus going to the underworld to retrieve Persephone is explored, and Nikki can see lots of parallels between his tale and hers with Jack.
I thought the world was thoroughly developed by the author, Brodi Ashton. The plot does a good job of answering questions a little at a time, so as to entice the reader to continue. It's interesting that the immortals can suck off layers of people's emotions to make them feel better, and the worst emotions, stress, fear, anger, pain, are the first to go. It becomes addictive for the human, which is how Nikki falls into his trap.
The end was surprising because it had two major twists, one of which I should have seen coming.
I was freaking out when I read the acknowledgements because I spotted the name Jenni Elyse, a fellow book blogger, who read an early draft of this novel. Yay, Jenni!
Although the writing style didn't knock me off my feet, the plot kept me engaged, and the romance grew very strong. I look forward to seeing what the next book in the series brings, especially when it comes to sweet, lovable Jack!
*This ARC was provided to me by the publishers in exchange for an honest review.