Published by: Harper Teen
Today I’ll be reviewing YA fantasy novel Everless by Sara Holland, which was released back in January. This is a book I’d been looking forward to for a long time and sat at the top of my TBR pile for weeks, so I’m glad I got around to reading it!
Everless is a story which revolves around the protagonist Jules Ember, at first a seemingly plain untoward girl who lives a hard, poor life with her father.
Set in the enticing fantasy kingdom of Sempera, time is used as a currency which is extracted by blood. Once this blood has been extracted, it is bound to iron in the form of coins and can be consumed by others to add time to their own lives. People have to leech themselves of their blood just to make ends meet in Jules cold, hard world. Her father is no exception, and once she realises how much of his time he’s been cashing in by blood iron, and how his death draws ever closer, she knows she needs to do something.
Years ago, Jules and her father were servants at the grand Gerlings’ palatial estate, before they were forced to leave. However, due to their financial hardships and struggles, Jules decides she must go back there to find work. And so, she enters a world where she finds it increasingly hard to hide from the people her father had always tried to protect her from.
Her hatred for the Gerlings’ has run deep for the past decade (except of course her feelings for a particular male character). Her fond memories of childhood there are at war with the stories she’s heard, and she finds life hard to adjust to once she’s there.
Vowing it’s only a temporary position so she can save enough blood iron to pay back the debts her family have and restore her father to health, Jules ends up running in to more danger, secrets, mystery and intrigue than she bargained for. She loses a lot over the process, most notably the one person she was doing this for in the first place…
I’m really loath to ruin the plot of the story for any lucky readers who have yet to experience it, but there was so many moments that left me reeling. The world that Sara Holland weaves in Everless is so complex, so real and so intriguing. I did feel a lot of influence from other YA fantasy (think Hunger Games and Red Queen) at first, but the more I read the more I felt the story and the world really comes in to its own.
Ladies and gentlemen, Everless is definitely a gripping page turner! I couldn’t put it down or get enough of this world of mystery and secrets. The huge reveal towards the end of the book almost had me screaming, I felt like it came out of nowhere!
The whole currency system and the idea of turning time in to money made the plight of the characters so unique and harrowing. Imagine starving and knowing you have to cash in one of your last precious months just to make it that far… it’s chilling!
I also loved the character of Liam. At first he seems broody, misunderstood and more than a little callous, but as time goes on you realise there’s far more beneath the surface. I personally didn’t appreciate the relationship between Jules and Roan, it seemed pretty superficial and childish and I didn’t feel like there was much depth there. Also, Caro is badass af too…
Overall, I’d definitely recommend this book. It may take influence from other YA fantasy, but it’s a story that left me intrigued and gripped until the very last page and I cannot wait to see what is to come from Sara Holland.
Have you read Everless? If so, let me know what you thought in the comments below.