Published by Harper Teen on January 2nd, 2018
Amazon, Barnes & Noble , The Book Depository
In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.
No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.
But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.
Everless was among the last books I read in December, and I couldn’t have ended the year on a better note. It is the kind of book you don’t expect to blow your mind to bits and leave you grasping for more. My main reason to pick it up was that it proposed an interesting and not common concept of magic and time (at least for me). It reminded me of the 2011 movie In Time with Justin Timberlake. I also had a friend that raved about the book being the best thing ever and I had to give it a go.
Sara Holland’s writing style quickly grips you from the beginning with its compelling main character, Jules. While the synopsis may sound like all the current YA Fantasy tropes, it’s much more than that. Vivid imagery, dynamic characters, rising stakes, and incredible world-building push any ideas and expectations you may have when you pick it up. It takes the recipe of cliches and bends it to its will, creating something entirely unique.
The story itself has its few slow-burning moments, but not once did I feel bored. Instead, I was intrigued by the small secrets that were leaked, wanting more and more. Some parts of the plot are predictable while others are a complete twist that slaps you in the face. I loved it! I loved being able to catch up on the foreshadowing bits and saying “Aha! I knew it!” as well as being taken by surprise. I always appreciate a story that is able to do that by keeping me on my toes and engaged.
There is also a tiny romance that I hope with all my being that it is developed somewhat more in the sequel. But the great thing about Everless is that it’s not that type of fantasy in which the heroine is only focused on love and her original goal set aside. Jules is strong, fiercely loyal, caring, as well as stubborn and at times reckless, but all this makes her feel more than just a character between the pages of a book. The story deals with family, friends, loyalties, and injustice among certain social classes.
I was horrified but also intrigued by the concept of time as well. It was both amazing and appalling, and it made every single act that depended on time lended, borrowed, and earned be much more valuable within the story.
Sara Holland’s debut novel will make other fantasies run for their money. I tell you. Full of heart and imagination, it is definitely the best way you can start your reading goals this year. 100% recommended with acing scores.
Rating: 5 stars
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