Okies, so I’d seen Everneath about. Liked the cover. Hadn’t read the blurb—nothing unusual there. And a friend offered to send me a copy, so of course I said YES!
And then I started reading.
Now … to be honest, the opening didn’t really wow me. Actually there were a few things that bugged me about the book, so I’m thinking I might just get those out of the way before I head forward into ‘why I ended up enjoying this book’ territory.
POV breaches. Though most of them were fairly subtle, POV breaches are one of my biggest eye-twitching bugbears, and there were a LOT of POV breaches to someone who knows what even the most subtle ones look like. Way too many times, the MC assumed to know the motivations of other characters. She also, on a few occasions, knew what other characters were doing right after telling us she was looking down, or she didn’t look up, or whatever. These bugged me.
The HUGE mentioning of mythology right in the opening. At the time I thought we were being given a massive foreshadowing moment sans shade about what was about to come. I even ranted to a couple folk about it. I’ll forgive the story for this, though, because the connection to the foreshadowing at the beginning was nowhere near as straightforward as I initially imagined it might be (not yet, anyway), and so I ended up being happier about it. But I still think it shouldn’t have been there, and we should have learnt AS she did without those clues. Because that wasn’t the only time we get a big slap of what might be coming up, and thanks to that *cough* Meredith *cough* I already knew exactly how the book was going to end before I got there.
The openings of each scene. I didn’t have an issue with telling us WHEN it was (like: Then/Now), but I did have an issue with us constantly being told WHERE she was. So we’d get an opening of X weeks left alongside something like ‘In Jack’s car’ and then the opening sentence of the scene would tell us she was in Jack’s car. It bothered me.
However, let’s nudge those niggling bits aside for a moment and discuss what kept me reading.
Nikki. I liked her. I was floored by her ‘voice’ but I liked her character, and her character development.
Cole. I kinda like how the reader has no idea what to make of him for a little while. He shows up on the Surface fairly early on, and I wasn’t expecting him to be there (because we don’t have a full understanding of how it works at that point), and I’m already wondering if this is going to be a love triangle and if I’m going to end up falling for both fictional guys. Whilst Jack was convinced Cole was in love with Nikki, I kinda couldn’t help but wonder if it was a love of power Jack was seeing in Cole’s face, because he’s definitely manipulative, and he certainly has his own agenda, and when that appears more important to the guy than the girl herself then I’m going to be questioning the honesty of his love. See?
So what about Jack I just mentioned? Dude. Loved him. From the word go. I felt a little sick when I suspected he might have behaved in a manner he needed a good beating for, but the more I got to know him and learned about him, the more I realised it had to have been a misunderstanding. And it was. Phew. Because I didn’t want to end up hating on this guy. His behaviour, from start to finish, his patience and quiet determination? Yeah, he won me over, for sure.
Now, what about the storyline? I liked it. In the end, I did kinda like it, even though the foreshadowing did ruin what I’d have preferred to be a surprise (because I love surprises when I read). The plot was certainly original (to me, anyway) and fresh, and didn’t just go the straightforward route it so easily could have. The world building was pretty neat, too—clear, concise, and easily understandable. Even the back and forthing between timeframes was cool once I’d gotten over the jarring feel of it, and seemed to add depth to the weaving of the tale.
So yes, I enjoyed it. And I shall most likely read on.