Monday, November 28, 2011

Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Nikki Beckett was at the depths of despair last spring. Her mother was dead at the hands of a drunk driver and she had broken up with her boyfriend, Jack Caputo, the starting quarterback of the football team. So when she meets Cole and he offers to take all of her pain away, she is grateful not to feel anything anymore. To her friends and family, Nikki just vanishes one day. In reality, Cole, an immortal who feeds on human emotions, has taken Nikki to the Everneath. After Cole feeds on Nikki’s despairing emotions for six months, a century in Everneath time, he offers to make Nikki an immortal as well. Only she cannot get a boy’s face from her mind. She asks to go back to the mortal world. She will have six months to make things right with those she left behind before returning to Everneath permanently.

Everyone is stunned when Nikki returns home. Her father and most of her classmates assume she was strung out on drugs. Her little brother Tommy just wants his old sister back, but Nikki is physically weakened by her ordeal. Upon returning to school, she runs into her best friend Jules and her former boyfriend and the love of her life, Jack. Nikki cannot help but be drawn back towards Jack but she knows she won’t be able to stay it’s not fair to him to become involved again. Nikki is searching for the words to say goodbye and find redemption if it exists.Jack is determined not to let Nikki slip away again if he can help it and reaches out to her. Nikki finds her resolve slowly slipping away until Cole comes back into her life. Even though Nikki must return to Everneath, Cole offers to make Nikki his queen so that she can escape the dreaded existence in the Tunnels. Nikki is unwilling to feed off the emotional pain of others and steadfastly refuses. But when Cole puts pressure on her by hurting those she loves, Nikki is determined to uncover the secrets of Everneath, Cole and possibly find a way to remain in the mortal world.

Nikki’s father, the town mayor, decides she can volunteer at the local soup kitchen. She agrees thinking it may be a way to redemption. It is there that she meets Mary, a homeless woman who sees to have dementia. Mary is said to be looking for the Daughters of Persephone and Nikki starts to believe that Mary may hold the key to getting her life back.

Can Nikki find a way to keep from returning to Everneath? What secrets is Cole hiding? Will Nikki find her way back to Jack? And is redemption a possibility for Nikki?

Nikki’s story is told in alternating timelines of what happened in her life to allow Cole to Feed from her and what occurs in the six months she has left on Earth before returning to the Everneath forever. This modern day retelling of the Hades and Persephone myth is interspersed with other myths about the underworld. Ashton sets up a great beginning to her Everneath trilogy.

Visit Brodi Ashton's website.

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