REVIEW: EVERLESS BY SARA HOLLAND
This novel was sent to me by Pan Macmillan SA Kids in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Disclaimer: this review contains some pretty big spoilers.
When I first found out about this novel, my soul absolutely burst with excitement. The genre, the plot, the setting, the whole premise sounded all the way up my alley and I have to say that I wasn’t wrong in the slightest.
Everless is a new YA fantasy novel released in January of this year by Sara Holland, whom I have discovered to be an incredible writer. The story is set in a world where the time in your blood acts as currency, and everyone seems to be stuck in one of those the-rich-get-richer-while-the-poor-get-poorer situations. Those who are struggling literally have to drain their life from their blood in order to pay for rent or food and this is precisely the situation our protagonist, Jules, finds herself in.
Jules Ember grew up at Everless, the royal estate, around the abhorrently rich and powerful Gerling family. However, she and her blacksmith father were forced to flee after being witness to an incident between the Gerling brothers that had supposedly put their lives in serious danger. The young girl spent the rest of her childhood living in fear of the royal family, but when she discovered that her father was bleeding out the last of his time to pay their rent, she took the painful and desperate decision to return to Everless years later to earn money and save her only parent from his own destruction.
Similarly to what I discussed in my last blog post, my main issue with this novel lies in the romance. Jules was childhood friends with Prince Roan Gerling and upon returning to the kingdom years later, she appears to still be head over heels in love with him despite not really having a clue as to who he really is. As readers, we don’t get to see too much into who Roan is as a person aside from Jules’ constant pressing on how kind-hearted he always was. Through each of their very brief encounters, the girl lusts after him like a lovesick puppy despite the fact that she’s come to befriend his fiancé, Ina Gold. Jules only seems to wake up and realise that Roan is not the perfect man when he refuses to stand up for her and protect her directly after they share a rather intense snogging session.
Furthermore, Jules’ attention snaps to Roan’s older brother Liam approximately 0,6 seconds after the supposed love of her life is murdered. This only goes to show that it really doesn’t take much to impress this girl. Whilst I never really got on board the Roan-train, I do hope that the romance between Jules and Liam, which is sure to blossom, at least blossoms at a decent pace.
Aside from this minor bump in the road, this book just had me so freaking excited. Queens and Princes and castles and magic and absolutely mind-blowing plot twists are essentially all it takes for a novel to steal my heart and Everless wasted no time with any of these elements. The final few chapters had me absolutely burning and although as a typical YA fantasy it was a bit tropey (lots of insta-love, evil royal family with lower class citizens suffering, protagonist with some secret special power, you get the gist), I could not have predicted those plot twists if you had paid me.
The tension written into the chapter where Jules travels to Briarsmoor was a truly special bit of writing and the way the story of the Alchemist and the Sorceress was woven into Jules’ own life was unexpected and in my opinion, completely brilliant, leaving me with no choice but to slap a four star Goodreads review on this beaut.
The epilogue, however, was quite literally the best part of this entire book and I have a sneaking suspicion that this first instalment was just a tiny taste of what’s to come in the sequel. The next book in this series will be titled Evermore and is set to be released in January 2019 which is WAY too far away for my liking.
A massive thank you once again to the lovely people at Pan Macmillan SA Kids for sending me this review copy! Have you read this book? How did you feel about it? Are you keen for the sequel or is that kite not going to fly for you? Let me know in the comments!