By: Brodi Ashton
Nikki has returned from the Underworld. Spending 100 years in a state of complete unfeeling and despair, she has returned to her family and friends for 6 months until she must return, this time forever. Nikki's time is running out, and she wants to use this time to reconnect with her boyfriend, family and friends (frankly, in that order). But, Cole, the conniving immortal that enticed her to Everneath in the first place, wants Nikki to return with him to rule the Underworld as his queen.
Everneath, as you guess from the description, is a Persephone/Hades retelling. Or is it an Orpheus and Eurydice retelling? Well, it's actually a pleasant mixture of both that makes the entire book very much it's own mythology. I have to admit; however, that though I liked a lot of the intersecting of myths, I was confused at times how the whole thing fit together. I was able to piece it together after rereading a few passages, and I think most of it cleared up for me by the end.
Then there is the Nikki/Jack/Cole love triangle. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I didn't see evidence of a love triangle. From the moment that Nikki returns from Everneath, she isn't interested in a relationship with Cole. In fact, she is willing to endure endless agony in the Tunnels to avoid spending another moment with Cole. So, in my mind, Cole was never a viable option for Nikki. In fact, their "relationship" reminds me a lot of the Evie/Reth stuff. Cole filled a role for Nikki that after her 100 years in the underworld, she realized that she didn't need. Like Evie, Nikki was suffering (though from different circumstances), and Cole seemed like the easy way out at the time. So, let's just say that I'm so glad that this book wasn't set BEFORE Nikki went to the Underworld, because I think that we wouldn't have gotten along nearly as well.
As far as Nikki and Jack went, I really liked the slow burn of their relationship. Then again, those tend to be my favorite. Nikki only has 6 months left, but she doesn't want to ruin those 6 months that she does have left by rushing into something. And I have to respect that. The only relationship that I took an issue with was the one that Nikki had with her father. I'm not sure how/why he moved on from Nikki's mysterious absence so quickly. I'm not sure if he bought the drug addict story or if he was just so disconnected because of his campaign that he really only cared about himself.
Put Everneath in the list of paranormal books that I am comfortable recommending. It safely passes my checklist of things that are missing from other paranormal romances. High school students that actually study. Check. A normal, decent best friend. Check. A likeable love interest. Check. For those who are concerned about content issues, I'd feel comfortable recommending this book to teens 12 or older.