I have been waiting for this to come out for such a long time! As a librarian, it is my job to be on top of new and upcoming releases. Unfortunately for me, that means I get really excited about books that won’t come out for months. Luckily, I saw this during my last trip to the library and, even though I’m crazy busy with school, I knew it was time to get it.
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.
I thought hat Everless was a really good fantasy/historical fiction book. It had a new concept that was original and interesting, and it had a good MC to go with it. I do have some minor issues with it, but overall I am left eagerly anticipating book two!
Things I Liked
- The concept of the book: The notion that time is currency extracted from blood is really original. This process involves some magic and some science, which I also really liked. Rather than being viewed as awesome and mystical, the people hate the practice, and I loved the atmosphere that resentment created. The origin of this practice is also an interesting blend of history and folklore, further adding to that atmosphere I loved.
- The main character: I found the main character the be overall pretty likeable. She never complained too much and I didn’t find myself mentally yelling at her for being stuck in a character rut. I can’t say I loved her, but I definitely liked her, especially her devotion to the truth and her father.
- The historical aspect: This is definitely a fantasy book, but is so accepted and underrated that the book gives off strong historical fiction vibes. Between the royalty, servants, castles, and villages, I definitely feel like I am in an old European setting which I love.
- The plot: The plot is interesting and definitely thickens in the end, creating the perfect foundation for book two. The premise of the plot makes the story fall together nicely and created a good mix of foreshadowing/predictability and surprise twists.
Things I Didn’t Like
- The pacing: The pacing seemed a bit slow and tedious throughout the middle of the book. The beginning caught my attention with the introduction to this original idea and the world/character setting, and the storyline picked up a lot at the end and set a lot up for the next book. But in between all that? There seemed to be a lot of filler, and I often found myself wondering when we would actually get to the juicy parts.
- The unwillingness to commit: There were a lot of good strings that were pulled and then unravelled not long after. For example, without being too spoilery, the summary implies that Jules is stuck in the middle of a love triangle, but I didn’t really get that from the book. Sure, she had fleeting ideas about “we have a history” and “dang, he’s hot,” but never any strong or committed feelings one way or the other. In fact, Jules hardly interacts with these two until the very end of the book. Maybe the author plans on expanding on some of these points in book two, but I was left unsatisfied with some of the themes in book one.
- The repetitiveness: This is mostly in the first few chapters, but it really stuck with me for some reason. There is a lot of repetitiveness about the “blood to iron” theme throughout the book. As much as I love the idea, I felt like it was stated at least once on every page for the first few chapters, and then scattered throughout later chapters. I think it is important to outright state such a unique idea, but not so much to the point where I get bored and annoyed by it so quickly.
Honestly, I had initially given this book 4/5 stars. After writing this review, however, I feel like I have to bring it down to 3 or 3.5. I read it about two weeks ago and can’t think of any moments that truly stuck with me, so I had to move it down. Like I said, it is still a really good fantasy/historical fiction book, but it isn’t amazing. I will definitely be reading book two when it comes out, and hopefully some of the issues I mentioned will be addressed. Long story short, I found Everless to be good but not as good as I had hoped.