Book Review: Everless
by: Sara Holland
Finished on: January 6, 2018
Publisher: Harper Teen
I received a free advanced readers copy of this book from BookSparks in return for an honest review. I highly recommend this book for fantasy lovers.
Everless, by debut author Sara Holland, is a unique young adult fantasy novel that is book 1 in a series. Below is the synopsis for Everless from the author's website:
"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 TAX THE POOR TO THE HILT, EXTENDING THEIR OWN LIVES BY CENTURIES.
And 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 have been in a bit of a YA fantasy slump. Most of the books that I have read recently didn't feel original or else they caused me to frequently roll my adult eyes at all of the instant love tropes. Therefore, I was hesitantly excited to read and review Everless.
With all of that being said, the premise for Everless felt very unique to me. A society where you can buy or sell your time as currency gave me a lot to think about. Parents could sell their own time to save for their children. The ruling class has their subjects pay taxes in time. Plus, you can imbibe the coins by melting them in a hot drink and add time back to your life. This concept is partially realistic and partially horrifying and totally pulled me in.
There is a little bit of romance and quite a bit of naivety in this novel, but not so much that it will distract the reader from the overall story. There are plot twists that I didn't see coming and I greatly appreciated that! In my opinion, the extended cast could use some fleshing out - I had a hard time trying to figure out if I liked or loathed several characters, but Holland will definitely have time to further develop the supporting cast as the next book(s) is written.
The main character, Jules, was easy for me to relate to. She reminded me a bit of Katniss Everdeen, but with some magical talents thrown in. Jules (and the reader) are definitely in the dark about Jules' past and why her father wants to keep her away from Everless, but we get the chance to learn right along with Jules. And thankfully, Jules is a fast learner who doesn't require a ton of foreshadowing.
For fans of the standalone novel - the ending to Everless is definitely a cliff-hanger and you will have to wait (hopefully not too long!) for the next installment.