Book review: 'Everneath' is an enthralling trip to the underworld

By Shelby Scoffield

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Jan. 21 2012 4:00 p.m. MST

"EVERNEATH," by Brodi Ashton, Balzer and Bray, $17.99, 384 pages (f) (ages 14 and up)

“Everneath” by Utah author Brodi Ashton is an enthralling piece of young adult fiction that will be devoured by those of all ages.

Last spring 16-year-old Nikki Beckett mysteriously disappeared from her small Utah community. Unknown to her friends and family, she went to the Everneath, an underworld where immortals feed on the emotions of despairing humans.

Before she is banished to the underworld forever, Nikki is given the opportunity to return to her former life for six months. She desperately wants to spend her time with her family, friends, and old boyfriend, Jack. She wants to reconnect with these people and hopefully find redemption.

Interrupting her solitude is Cole, the immortal who lured her to the Everneath. He is determined to bring Nikki back to the underworld as his queen.

As Nikki’s time comes to an end she tries to find a way to cheat fate and remain with her loved ones. Will she succeed or will she follow Cole to the Everneath as his queen?

Dealing with a dark storyline, Ashton is a master of description. While other young adult books have clear villains and heroes, Ashton blurs the line with her characters. The reader will have sympathy for all the characters, despite their actions. They will not know whom to root for. This adds substance and complexity to the overall plot.

Its conservative themes are what are most striking about the book. Ashton echoes Stephenie Meyer in her attempt to keep her characters clean and graceful.

Ashton must be applauded for adapting famous mythology stories as the baseline for her book. It provides the reader with a fresh and unique take on myths that have been told for centuries.

Though the storyline of the book is suspenseful, it tends to be overly dramatic at times. Nonetheless, the reader is able to overlook these moments because of the plot twists and turns.

The cliffhanger in the end is the most frustrating part of the book. Readers will have to fight the urge to throw the book across the room and simply wait patiently for the sequel in this trilogy.

IF YOU GO ...

What: Brodi Ashton book signing

When: Tuesday, Jan. 24, 7 p.m.

Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Web: kingsenglish.com

Shelby Scoffield is a graduate of Brigham Young University and a graduate student at California State University, Stanislaus.

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