Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Review and Art: Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Everneath by Brodi Ashton
Author: Brodi Ashton
Publication Date: January 24, 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray / Harper Collins
Pages: 370
Genre: Young Adult, Supernatural, Mythology
Source: Bought it

Book Description from Publisher: 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, as 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 love studying Classical myths (I’ve dedicated a good portion of my archaeology minor to this) and so when there’s any mention of classical myth in a book I always hop onto the train! This book has been pitched as a loose basis of the story of Hades and Persephone, but this story acts only as a backdrop in Everneath. This book is moreso a mythology melting pot set in modern times, because there was far more mythology and mythological themes such as the concept of the hero in a myth, references to Osiris and the story of Eurydice and Orpheus ends up playing a pivotal role.
The cover- OH MY GOSH, it’s GORGEOUS! The full flowing dress, and the smoke and tendril wisps while contrasting the bright red with the black make for an absolutely hypnotic cover, I could stare at it and sigh for hours.
The story is told through a series of flashbacks of the events leading up to how Nikki and her boyfriend Jack got together, and how her life fell to pieces which led her straight to the seductive arms of Cole and the Everneath.
The world in which the story occurs in is all pretty standard, you know, there’s the high school, the club, some shopping establishment, the house - they serve as monotone spaces for the scenes to be acted out in, but most of the time I was too engrossed in the character interactions anyhow, but the descriptions involving the Everneath, brought to mind the image of Acrosolium’s, which is very fitting given the purpose of Acrosolium’s.

Image by Robert Consoli

When Nikki first comes back she’s a lifeless, emotionless and just seems to be going through the motions, which is understandable when you’ve spent the last- what felt like 100 years helping to sustain ethereal beings and then trying to live through all the rumours and speculation of her whereabouts for all the time she’s been missing.
What initially really threw me off is when the name Becks was dropped, and I thought, whoa- wait who’s Becks?? Then it dawned on me that the author used two names (Nikki and Becks) to separate the two time frames and the people of her life. It worked really well, and helped to keep the flashbacks and the present versions of Nikki separate, as well as the two boys Jack and Cole distinct in their voices.
The story starts out slow, as she’s easing back into her life, and everyone treats her carefully as if she’s fragile porcelain and she’ll shatter at the slightest touch, so no one bothers to enquire as to what happened- which is a bit disturbing, sure there’s giving space but most best friends and parents would be all over with curious questions. But bit by bit the back story is revealed as the present builds to the crescendo that is the 6 month deadline, there’s some sinister plots revealed and a life changing decision is made.
The romance aspect between Jack and Nikki is the classic teen story of a smart girl and a jock guy who dates all the wrong girls (insert the big B on campus) and then finally realizes that Nikki is the one for him. It's a cute story, a bit cliché (I could see what happened coming from a mile away) but the determination that Jack puts into getting through to Nikki just sealed the deal for me and made this a couple worth fighting for! 
Cole was by far the most interesting, although him and his sidekick bring to mind Pain and Panic from Disney’s Hercules, they serve the ruler of the underworld (in this case it’s a Queen), and do a lot of scheming and trickery, but there’s solid moments of emotion and clarity with Cole where you feel sympathy and then there are some down right creepy moments. Cole may be the hot bad boy that everyone fawns over, but he was such a jerk in some points I don’t think it could redeem him to the status of lovable.
I definitely see him as Pain...haha

All in all, Everneath was a quick and easy read, and left on a huge cliff hanger that makes you wonder- where will Brodi take the story from here?! 

Rating: 4/5 HOT cups of Tea! 
My fingers are crossed hoping that the next cover will be just as gorgeous as this one!

So I've been saving this review for this day! I fell so in love with the cover that I used it as a part of my Art class term project. I added my interpretation of Cole in (Sorry Brodi Ashton I don't think I quite got his hair floppy enough, I'm not a floppy haired person!) I did this in chunks and stages with soft pastel (aka chalk) on 35" X 47" Stonehenge paper. At first I really hated how Cole turned out, but afterwards when I could see the whole thing together it just had an awesome dramatic flare to it and I ended up really loving it! Here's to hoping my art prof does too *fingers crossed*  

~*~UPDATE~*~: Want this drawing? 
Well you can win it here:

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