Everless (Everless, #1)by Published 02 Jan 2018
|Everless (Everless, #1).pdf|
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.
"Everless (Everless, #1)" Reviews
What if the person to be feared is me?
I know you shouldn't go into a book expecting the worst, but these days it's hard not to approach any new YA fantasy without some trepidation. The genre is often tropey and unoriginal. Publishers churn out versions of the same old story again and again. It's hard to find the hidden gems among the pile. But Everless really surprised me.
It's not a perfect book by any means and Holland does fall into some traps commonly fallen into by debut authors - namely, the huge infodump in the first few chapters, and some confusing descriptions of the world-building and mythology that I didn't really understand for a long time. But it's okay. Because the mysteries here are interesting, the premise one I haven't come across before, and many things are... not what you first think.
Everless introduces a world where time is currency and a person's time can be drained or added to through blood. Punishments often involve bleeding a person's time from them, which in this world is the morbid equivalent of paying a fine. The richest, of course, have the most time and can, in theory, live indefinitely. While the poorest - like Jules Ember and her Papa - must literally bleed themselves dry to pay rent, cutting their lifespan down further and further.
Jules watches her father sicken day by day as he gives up more of his time. In order to save him, she takes a job as a servant at Everless, the estate of the Gerlings - one of the wealthiest and most important families in Sempera. As we soon find out, though, Everless is a big part of Jules's past, as well as her future. There are many secrets to be uncovered and Jules must find out the truth of why her Papa always warned her away from the place.
I found it extremely compelling. Holland introduces familiar tropes, but then she subverts and plays around with them. The obvious romance was not as obvious as I first believed, and the villains came as quite a surprise. Don't be so sure who are the bad guys and who are the good guys.
It is the kind of story that gets bigger and bigger as it moves along. The quiet mystery keeps on expanding and adding ever more questions. And I think the author really does this unique premise justice. She includes small moments, unrelated to the main story, that are deeply sad. Such as this:
An older couple, two women with backs curved with too much work and too few years, hunch over a small table in the corner, taking turns cutting each other's palms and letting the blood flow into empty vials. I wonder if they're putting time away for their children.
How awful to imagine a world where people bleed themselves, take years off their lives, to give their children a better life. How awful and how... believable. It is the perfect metaphor for what many poor parents in our world do for their kids.
I thought it was a really interesting and engaging story. I enjoyed Jules's perspective and I'm excited by the hints of romantic possibility set up for the next book. I should warn you-- Everless ends on a particularly evil cliffhanger, but I wouldn't let that put you off. If you're anything like me, it'll just heighten the anticipation for the next book. Write fast please, Ms Holland!
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I almost didn’t read this book, but then I discovered that my university has an online library through which students can borrow up to thirty freaking e-books at a time. So when I found this particular title on it, I thought, ‘‘Well this must be fate.’’
And indeed it was.
Like everyone else, when I read the premise, I immediately thought of the movie In Time. But aside from the fact that in both works time is literally money (how ironic), they are two very different unputdownable creatures.
This is a story that caught my interest from chapter one. The world-building is original in a way that makes you want to know more about it, and you don’t get lost every time the author explores it further because the reader is in sync with Jules. We know as much as she does, no more, no less.
I won’t lie, Jules is not going to become one of your favourite heroines of all time. She is reckless enough to infiltrate the house of the powerful family she despises, naïve enough to pin for a boy she hasn’t seen in ten years, and makes countless mistakes.
But then again, she has a personality that comes off the page, which made it very hard to go to sleep at night, seeing that I was rarely bored. Not only that, but she is a likeable teenager. She doesn’t pretend to know everything, and more often than not she understands her missteps once she’s made them, but she’s willing to learn and ready to take control of her destiny.
And never fear, while Jules does believe she has feelings for her childhood friend now grown up and ready to marry a princess, she doesn’t spend every waking moment thinking about him. And neither did I—certainly not when Liam was around.
I know we’re all supposed to hate him, and as expected I did in the beginning and middle, but he’s one mysterious dude whose soul is not an easy one to figure out. Sara Holland knew what she was doing when she created him.
A fast-paced YA fantasy book with a lush setting, a determined heroine, and intriguing family dynamics. I was ready to hate it, but I was bloody surprised time and time again. Oh, snap!
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Oh, I loved this. Full of mystery, intrigue, and... well, more mystery.
The plot was super fun and unique, and for the life of me, I couldn't predict a thing. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a page-turner here. I'm pretty sure I read the whole thing in almost 24 hours - I seriously couldn't set it down after the 20% mark.
Really quick - a big thank you to the publisher for providing me with an arc!
In a world where time is bound to blood, and people exchange blood/time currency to live, we follow Jules, the protagonist, as she makes the difficult decision to return to work at Everless, an estate owned by one of the most powerful families in the kingdom (and dangerous, I might add.) Jules and her father previously worked there, but due to a nasty accident and threats from one of the Everless sons, Jules father was determined to keep her from ever going back.
But now she needs the money.
Sooooo Jules returns and works as a servant, though she is quickly noticed by the two sons she knew as a child. All the while, she discovers some big secrets about her past and why she was really kept away from the Everless estate. Craziness ensues when the Queen arrives. Jules's father shows up and begs her to run away and stay far away from the Queen. BUT WHY?! So basically, we have a very confused Jules who keeps finding tidbits about her past and how its woven through a mysterious history linking back to when time was originally bound to blood iron. Which probably makes no sense without reading. Just roll with it.
Anyway, I can't say anything else without giving up some major secrets, but I recommend going in blind. There are so many twists and turns, and wowzah, a major plot twist. I did NOT see it coming, and I always see them coming. I'm not even sure if I'm particularly happy with the direction, but I don't care because the concept was SO COOL. My only complaint is the magic system, while it was SO AMAZING, also felt a bit muddy at times, and the book was a *touch* slow in the beginning. Whatever, I don't even care because I loved it overall.
Basically, all the stars for the crazy cool, totally original tale. One of the most unique magic system's I've ever seen. And if you're wondering about romance? Literally, anything I say will be a spoiler, but it was fairly minimal - but a really interesting set up for the sequel. I typically have to have a *smidge* of feels or someone to root for romantically, and you'll definitely feel that way here, so don't worry. And if you're someone who prefers romance to be minimal and not take over the plot, well... check. You'll be pleased as well.
Needless to say, I'm ready for book two...
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December Fairyloot with link to close up pics ♥
I was totally thinking this was going to be my first DNF book! Boy did it prove me wrong and I'm glad I kept going.
At first I thought this was going to be like that movie, 'In Time.' Was that the name of it?
in this book you give your time in blood... gross!
It's crazy and I probably have this a bit wrong, but the rich people take from the poor as usual. They can take their blood for whatever reason they can think up and they also use it as punishment. They can take enough to kill you or just take a few years off. I mean, who the hell wants to live forever anyway?
We have Jules who goes to Everless to work for the Queen and Lady Gold (Ina). Ina is to be wed to Prince Roan and since Jules has had a crush on him all of her life, it makes her sad.
Prince Liam is the evil brother that Jules loathes because he tried to kill Roan when they were little and Jules saved him. And he's just evil anyway.
I like Caro, she was the what's it to the Queen and Ina. The head honcho so to speak but she was nice and fun.
Jule's dad told her part of a secret and she's trying to figure out what in the world he meant by it. Then she starts having certain people telling her to get out of Everless, to run away and hide.
And the plot thickens.
Jules finds out she is not normal in the sense that we know it. She is something else!
I freaking loved it and am looking forward to the next book because that freaking ending!
PS-I said all kinds of things backward in this review to throw everyone off =) Read the book and figure it all out!
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Release date: January 2, 2018
Every so often I find a book that I simultaneously want to shove at everyone I see, yet also keep hidden & secret... because I just love it SO MUCH? I really don't have the right words to explain how much I adored this entire story. It's easily one of the best YA fantasy books I've ever read and totally a new favorite!
Jules lives in a world where time is drawn from blood and forged into the currency of blood-iron coins, which the wealthy drink to live longer. This isn't just an idea that's casually thrown into the story like some interesting seasoning, though. The whole concept is fully explored and so deeply ingrained in every part of the story that it becomes.... aaah ok I really can't even begin to describe how real this whole world became. It was SO fascinating, though!!
The book description is pretty accurate, so I think I'm just going to say what elements stood out for me. First of all, the writing is just amazing. It was almost mesmerizing at times and flowed really well. And the worldbuilding was complex, yet done so well that it felt simple. And I LOVED the winter setting so, so much. And the kitchens (yes, I'm predictable).
But for real - this book seriously did everything right! I never once had to suspend belief to get into anything and never wanted to read faster or have the story go back to spend more time on something. The pacing was absolutely perfect. Everything unfolded with just the right amount of suspense to keep me invested but didn't withhold info so long that I stopped caring. I don't even know this author but I want to hug her.
I know most of my review is talking about what the book didn't do, but I think it worked so well for me that it really highlighted what's been lacking in many other books I've read lately. I've been wondering if I've just read too much YA fantasy and can't properly enjoy a book anymore or something. But this was EVERYTHING I wanted to read and I don't have a single complaint (except maybe that I don't have the sequel right now).
There's a hint of a slow burn hate-to-love relationship with a brooding guy that's perfectly set up for the sequel, but Jules and her journey of self-discovery are the main focus in this book. There is zero instalove or time wasted on any love triangle. And I was expecting the main plot twists, but that honestly didn't matter in the end because the fun of the story was more in seeing how everything fit together.
I totally loved Jules, too. She was completely believable, actually had agency, and all of her actions MADE SENSE. She never once irritated me and I was genuinely invested in her story. The fact that time does weird things around Jules never seemed like any special snowflake trope, either... especially by the end. I also liked that Jules had relationships with characters of all ages (like an older woman and younger boy in the kitchens). And it was so great to see how even the side characters felt like fully developed, complete people.
The story vaguely reminded me of Red Queen at times (which I loved). But if you're not a fan of that series then just ignore that comparison because this really is a wonderfully unique story! I can't even imagine how many drafts it took to get an ARC that's this perfectly polished, but I am seriously impressed right now.
Thank you to the author for sending me an ARC.