I have been dying to get my hands on an ARC forever and I finally received a copy of Everless at NY Comic Con!!
I am so glad that Everless was my first ARC! It was magical, meaningful, and memorable.
Jules Ember lives in a world where time is money… literally. Time can be added to blood or extracted and used as currency. This means that the rich live for centuries while the poor spend their numbered days struggling to afford food and rent. Jules realizes that her Papa is nearing the end of his life and is desperate to make more money in order to keep him alive, so she becomes a servant at Everless despite his wishes. Not only is Everless the estate of the one of the wealthiest families in the kingdom of Sempera, it is also a place that is very significant to her past. When she arrives, she gets entangled in a world where nothing is as it seems. Determined to find out why her father warned her to stay away from Everless, she begins to uncover secrets about the kingdom, herself, and her mysterious past. Of course, there is friendship and a little romance along the way.
The concept of using time as money was really unique and intriguing. Admittedly, I was a little confused about the process at first but Holland did a wonderful job of explaining it. Her world-building skills in general and beautiful writing make it hard to believe that this is her debut novel. She managed to give the story a fairy-tale feel while still making it feel original.
The characters in Everless were interesting and well-developed. Jules herself was selfless, curious, and brave. She was also determined and stubborn which sometimes led to me sitting and mentally screaming at her not to do something stupid like I do when I’m watching a horror movie.
There were other great characters too. Alert: spoilers ahead!! Roan seemed sweet but I’m still unclear as to whether or not he was a total snake. This is one of many questions I MUST have answered in the sequel. And then there’s Liam. Wow. Holland did such a good job of making me hate him at first but by the end he was my favorite character. When Jules told him not to come with her she practically ripped my heart out but hopefully they’ll be reunited. He ended up being so kind and selfless and God do I love a boy who is smart.
(No more spoilers!) That being said, the romance in this book was not at all overwhelming. It was a cute addition to the plot rather than the main focus of the story which was nice.
Holland did a wonderful job of revealing just enough information to keep me intrigued while managing to retain an element of mystery. In that respect, it flowed nicely and was really well-paced. Although the book felt a little lacking of action towards the middle, it picked up quite a bit towards the end. There were a lot of exciting plot twists and the novel ended with quite a cliffhanger. I will definitely read the sequel to find out what happens. Thinking about how long I’ll have to wait is killing me!!