When I picked this book up, I had no idea that EVERNEATH was entangled in Greek mythology. The rich world built by Brodi Ashton was a pleasant surprise to me, as it unfolded piece by piece, revealing the secrets of a new imagining of the underworld. And it was super fun to read about.
The story of EVERNEATH is told both in the present tense and in flashbacks to the past — to before Nikki Becker consented to be a part of the Feed that drained her of every single emotion, feeding her Everliving host Cole for one hundred years. And while she was away for a century in the Everneath, in Nikki’s world, it was only six months that passed. And in that time, rumors have piled up. She left her boyfriend and longtime friend Jack in the lurch. Everyone thinks she’s some strung-out druggie now, talks about her like she’s destroyed Jack’s life. Even her father, the mayor, is having her drug tested regularly and has signed her up to volunteer at a soup kitchen to help save face for the upcoming election.
But none of that really matters. Nikki is going to have to return to the Everneath — to the Tunnels where she’ll be used as a battery to power the Everliving. It’s her debt to pay. Even if Cole — guised in this world as the singer and guitarist for a popular local band — says there’s another way, that she is special, that she could be with him, make a bid for the throne, change the Everneath forever. But Nikki doesn’t want that. She’d have to feed off of people the way Cole fed off her. All she wants in these next six months is to be able to say proper goodbyes, to make up for hurting her friends and family when she disappeared without a trace for the Feed.
It’s not so simple, though. There’s a woman named Mary at the soup kitchen who talks about the daughters of Persephone — and while everyone tells Nikki that she’s just an old lady with dementia, Nikki knows there’s more to her crazy stories than senility. And there’s the conversations Nikki has overheard at the convenience store, between Cole and members of his band. Perhaps she can find a way to subvert the system she won’t have to go, and she and Jack can go back to the way they were before the event that sent her running to Cole, to the Feed, in the first place.
Written with a delicate hand, EVERNEATH has the perfect blend of mystery, romance, and suspense. If you want a good love story, pick this one up.