If you love teen fantasy, you have probably heard about this book. Every where I look, I hear or see some reference about this book. My bookstagram account is blowing up with posts featuring Everless. All of this attention made me really curious as to what the story was all about – so I decided to go to Indigo and read it right away. Here is my review:
Synopsis (Goodreads): 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.
Review: I really really really wanted to love this book. But I didn’t. And I felt confused over all of these amazing ratings that this novel had garnered.
The first scene of this story reminded me a lot of the Hunger Games: our heroine is out in the forest trying to hunt for some game, that she can then trade at the market. She is the only person who can take care of her father because she has no other family, and her father is unwell. I mean… it’s just a little too similar for my taste. But I continued on with the story. It became very apparent that Jules is not “normal” – but for some reason, she is oblivious about this. I have no idea how she can be that ignorant but well, she is.
Anyways, financial circumstances and her father’s ill health lead Jules to voluntarily go to Everless and serve the Gerling family, the same family that ruined her life 10 years ago. For a while, the reader has to hear about Jules’s life as a servant, which I found pretty boring.
And then Roan comes in, the heir to the Gerling fortune, and the boy who Jules used to play with when they were younger. And of course, she is in love with this boy and can’t help but stare at him adoringly at all times. As if the plot wasn’t moving slow enough, there was this love interest angle that was serving as a major detracting point. It’s also the most one-sided love story I have ever read about. She literally knew him 10 years ago and has been fangirling about him ever since. We never even get a sense of whether he even loves her back! And the interactions between them are so sparse that there really isn’t much of an opportunity for there to be any growth there. It was just not very well executed.
Apart from the barely-present plot, I was also really bothered by the fact that Jules had plenty of opportunities to save her father but she never took them. Literally, her father showed up to the Gerling household to take her away, and she refused …. AND SHE HAD ALREADY MADE ENOUGH MONEY WHICH WAS HER WHOLE REASON FOR GOING! I just never really understood why she didn’t leave; it was definitely not a good way to further the plot. And then, when tragedy strikes, of course she doesn’t blame herself but instead, the Gerlings. Because they are all evil. Especially, Liam, Roan’s brother. It was just so one-dimensional that I couldn’t help rolling my eyes.
There were a few plot twists thrown into the story. But I didn’t care for them. They weren’t that great or exciting, as it was quite predictable. What made it worse was that Jules kept saying she wanted to find things out, but she really didn’t do anything about it. She just kept going along as the servant, mooning over Roan (who was already betrothed to someone, by the way), and let life lead her to the conclusions. It made me really dislike her character because there was really nothing that made her stand out as the heroine of the story.
One other thing that bothered me was that there was the retelling of this ancient story about how time became bound to blood. This was something I was really interested in finding out. But the tale was never delivered properly. The relationship between the Sorceress and the Alchemist was unclear, and I was confused because apparently they were captured but it didn’t say by whom, and there was apparently a chase? It could have been written better, and I think all it really needed was a bit of proper editing for that part to shine.
The ending was a cliffhanger. But since I really didn’t care for this novel, I’m not going to bother finding out what happens in the next book.
Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I expect a lot more from fantasy novels. There are TONS of positive reviews about this book. But I felt very let down by this story and it really wasn’t worth the time and effort I spent on it. It’s getting a 1/5 stars from me.