I picked this up on a kindle deal over the Easter Weekend, and used my long weekend to catch up on some neglected reading. Of course, being a horrific mood reader, I decided to read my relatively newly purchased book over many of the ones that have been waiting patiently for their turn. If the books were British about queues they’d be tutting something chronic right now.
“In the land of Sempera, the rich control everything – even time. Ever since the age of alchemy and sorcery, hours, days and years have been extracted from blood and bound to iron coins. The rich live for centuries; the poor bleed themselves dry.
Jules and her father are behind on their rent and low on hours. To stop him from draining himself to clear their debts, Jules takes a job at Everless, the grand estate of the cruel Gerling family.
There, Jules encounters danger and temptation in the guise of the Gerling heir, Roan, who is soon to be married. But the web of secrets at Everless stretches beyond her desire, and the truths Jules must uncover will change her life for ever … and possibly the future of time itself.”
Everless by Sarah Holland
I must admit, I was a little leery of Everless when I saw the tagline “perfect for the fans of Red Queen“. I wasn’t a fan of Red Queen, I thought it overly predictable and dull with a quite frankly pointless love triangle (you can read my review here). But I was pleasantly surprised by Everless. Also, I really loved the cover – one of the downsides of my kindle is that I couldn’t do a cool bookstagram post with the colour image, so this is the cover in it’s full cover glory, and my kindle Instagram post:
Jules isn’t going to become your best friend – she is reckless and naïve and really bloody stubborn. She decides to go to Everless despite her father’s warning because she is determined to save him, and then she does the one thing he says not to do and it gets her into all sorts of problems. I really liked Ina, a character that is set up to be Jules rival, but actually they become like friends, and I like how her innocence is set against Jules suspicion.
I like the idea that time is bound to blood, and that time is a very physical currency. I’ve seen a lot about a movie call in time (?) so I need to go and find this movie out – it sounds like I’d enjoy it. Anyway, time – world building! I thought it was good – the poor pay in time so the rich can live longer, and the more desperate the poor become the richer the rich. Yup. I like social criticism. That flies. Apart from that, the world was fairly standard YA romance a la hunger games. Poor area to help in the rich world where everyone is fake. It takes a whole new sinister meaning to the adage time is money.
While not an amazingly written, heart in my mouth, I love it read, Everless was quite good because it introduces some of those bloody awful YA tropes, and then plays with them like a kitten before deciding if they are to be used or not. There were some things that were predictable, but mostly, I found myself getting more certain that x was really the case, when y was really the case. It was intriguing.
It didn’t bore me to tears like high romance fantasy usually does, but I think it was because there was less to do with the high romance than fantasy. Yes, Jules pines after Roan, a sweet tempered Lordling who she played with as a child, yes she feels her heart skip when he’s near and hopes he remembers her and all that bull, but she doesn’t spend every waking moment pining after him. She has things to do, secrets to find, hours to earn. And one of her puzzles is the mean-spirited Liam, who caused them to flee Everless all those years before. I felt there wasn’t as much character development as I may have liked, that there was the potential for a little bit more than was written for the characters and for the world.
So, to summarise, I surprised myself by enjoying Everless, even if I think it could have been developed even further, been darker and more tragic. As it is, I am planning on reading evermore, the sequel when it is released some time in 2019 – though I hope it isn’t a trilogy. I’m not sure I’ll care enough for three books.
I thought Everless was a fairly new take on some of those nearly worn out YA style books. What did you think?