Everless by Sara Holland
Published by HarperTeen on January 2, 2018
Series: Everless #1
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, High Fantasy, Magic, Romance, Young Adult, Young Adult Fantasy
Length: 362 pages Source: Shelflove
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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.
I went into this book with very low expectations, because most the people I know in the blogosphere either hated it, or DNF’d it. I wasn’t looking forward to reading it, and I even waited a week after pulling it from my TBR Jar before I started it.
Then I read it in a day.
I won’t go as far as to say that Everless is a perfect novel. The attention to detail waxes and wanes. The characters are spotty and a little shallow at times. But it’s good, too. It’s highly entertaining. There are twists – though not entirely unexpected or original. It was a good use of my afternoon. I liked it.
There’s something inherently charming about a book with a slew of untrustworthy characters. While I felt that too many of the circumstances were far too simple, and that the trust plot was revealed very slowly, there were some things to enjoy here. For one, I really liked Ina’s character. There’s a scene where’s she being fitted for a wedding dress where she’s funny and spirited and you just have to love her. I hope with every fiber of my being that she goes evil in Evermore. Jules, the main character, was a little flat for my tastes. I won’t say she had the emotional range of a teaspoon, bu maybe… a ladle? She just wasn’t very complex and that took a little away from the book.
I will give Sara Holland some mad points for her currency system: everyone, even the DNF-ers, says that this is cool. In Everless, you pay with time. If you’re punished, you’re drained of months, years. Your wages are paid in blood iron. There’s a scene near the end of the book where the crafting process is described. Very creative and interesting!
There’s nothing in Everless that will make it a classic fantasy novel, but it’s a great way to spend the afternoon. I think fans of The Hazel Wood and similar dark fairytale-esque settings will enjoy it. You just have to take it as it is – not a great masterpiece, but an interesting book with a quick pace and lots of twists and turns to keep you flipping pages.
Everless stays on my shelf!
While I wouldn’t precisely call Everless whimsical, it had that sort of characteristic… but in a darker, more fantasy way. It was a quick easy read, and I honestly enjoyed it. I would read it again – it’s the sort of story that calls to you for a winter day and hot cocoa. A light fantasy world to get lost in. Can’t wait for Evermore.