ARC Review: Everless

Everless


Title: Everless

Author: Everless, #1

Series: Sara Holland

Publisher: Orchard Books

Release Date: January 4th 2018

Rating:

Four Stars

Time is a prison. She is the key. Packed with danger, temptation and desire—a perfect read for fans of The Red Queen.

In the land of Sempera, the rich control everything—even time. Ever since the age of alchemy and sorcery, hours, days and years have been extracted from blood and bound to iron coins. The rich live for centuries; the poor bleed themselves dry.

Jules and her father are behind on their rent and low on hours. To stop him from draining himself to clear their debts, Jules takes a job at Everless, the grand estate of the cruel Gerling family.

There, Jules encounters danger and temptation in the guise of the Gerling heir, Roan, who is soon to be married. But the web of secrets at Everless stretches beyond her desire, and the truths Jules must uncover will change her life for ever…and possibly the future of time itself.

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

I received an ARC of this book free from BKMRK. It in no way affects my views on Everless.

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“I’ve won my place at Everless, but I don’t feel favoured at all. I feel like Amma has won this game, even if she doesn’t know it yet.
But it’s too late to turn back.”

Jules and her father live in a world where time is used to pay for everything. Those who have it live for centuries like Kings, whereas those who don’t, like Jules and her father, bleed days and months from their veins just to scrape by. Faced with losing her father as he prepares to take more time from his blood than he can afford to lose Jules takes a job at Everless, serving the Gerling family, a place her and her father fled from years ago and a place Jules has been warned never to return to.

I thought Everless was a solid start to this new series. Sara Holland does a great job in the first few chapters of setting up the story, introducing us to the characters, their situation and giving us enough background to their world that the plot could move forwards. There was a lot to build up in the beginning but I don’t think it slowed the story down at all.

“She’s beautiful, otherworldly, elegant and radiating power. The red waterfall of her cape is held up by a dark-haired lady-in-waiting. As the Queen surveys Everless, Papa’s strange words – Don’t let her see you – echo through my head.”

Everless is preparing for the grand wedding of the Gerling heir, Roan, to the Queen’s daughter, Ina Gold, and Jules finds herself in the centre of the celebrations when she starts working at Everless. The one thing Jules’s father warned her against was approaching the Queen, he risked his his life bringing Jules that message, but as Jules tries to find out more about herself she realises the Queen may be the one who has the answers she needs.

A lot of this first book was about setting up Jules’ character, she wants to find out who she is and to do that she has to put herself in danger in a way she never has before. She needs to get close to the Queen and she needs more information from Liam Gerling, who Jules has feared ever since she saw him try to kill his brother. There are a lot of questions Jules needs answers to, but the people she needs those answers from are more dangerous than she fully realises.

…The Characters

“I smile at him, wishing I could tell the truth—that the idea of returning to Everless sickens me and fills me with dread, but I’m going to do it anyway.”

Jules has spent her whole life keeping her head down, ever since her and her father fled Everless ten years ago she has lived a quiet life and the two have always just about made enough to scrap by. However when her father risks his life trying to pay their rent Jules makes a decision that will save their home, but potentially put her own life in danger. Despite her life being in danger Jules needs answers, behind who she is, what she is, and why her father was so determined to risk his life to keep her from Everless.

Despite her seeming willingness to put herself into harm’s way I wouldn’t say Jules was a reckless character. She was well aware of the dangers Everless holds but when she realised they were the only way to save the people she cared about, to keep her father from bleeding all the time he has left from his veins, there is no other option she could have chosen. Jules is determined, but her determination doesn’t make her stupid, and she doesn’t want the new friends she’s found at Everless to pay the price for her curiosity.

“Unconsciously, I’ve moved closer to them, drawn by Roan’s voice, his smile, his kindness the way a bare hard bulb underground is drawn towards the sun in spring.
And then, Roan’s eyes meet mine. I am breathless, paralyzed, bound in his gaze. He raises a glass.
He winks at me.”

Being back at Everless brings Jules back to her childhood friends, and one of those is Roan Gerling. He’s about to be married but Jules can’t quite put the childish crush she had on him behind her. Roan is a charismatic character, he seems to be a friend to everyone even the servants who are considered below him, but there was something about Ronan, even seeing him through Jules’s eyes, that showed his character and his charisma in a very different light.

The crush Jules had on Roan kind of bored me a little. I don’t feel like it offered much to the story and given that, for the most part, Jules had shown herself to be a very intelligent character she was kind of blind to Roan’s true nature. Instead she chose to see him through the fond memories she had of him when they were both children playing games together and telling stories.

“Take this. Eat it, get it in your blood, so you won’t spend it. Someday you can get out of here.”
Hinton hesitates for a moment, then nods. His tears recede and his face brightens. After he moves the coins from my purse to his, he hugs me, then pecks me on the cheek.

There were some secondary characters in this book who could end up being interesting players in the game Jules has found herself playing, but I don’t feel they were ever given the development they needed to become more than just background characters. It was almost the same with Ina Gold, the Queens daughter, we got some very basic development of her character but I would have loved to learn more about her, especially given what Jules discovered at the end of Everless.

…The Setting

“No one knows where they came from—two children who wandered into Sempera together, before blood-iron, never parting and never growing old. The Alchemist turned earth into lead and lead into gold. The Sorceress made flowers bloom in winter.”

When I first heard the premise for the world building of Everless I was instantly reminded of the movie In Time. Although there are no other similarities between the two settings other than that in both worlds time is used as currency and the poor often kill themselves bleeding every last second from their veins. What I loved about Everless was the history and the myths of Sempera, the story of the Alchemist and the Sorceress that set up the countries past as using time as a currency. However if you take that away, take the history and the myths away, Everless becomes just another standard YA fantasy world, the kind I feel like I’ve read before in books like Red Queen and the like.


Everless had plenty of twists and reveals to keep my hooked, that surprised me and didn’t feel like clichés the way twists sometimes can in books. The whole story was incredibly written and paced, and all in all I thought Everless was a brilliant first book in the series, and I can’t wait for the second to see how the story continues for Jules.

What did you think of Everless? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

All quotes have been taken from an ARC and may differ in the final publication.

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35 thoughts on “ARC Review: Everless

  1. I’ve only seen the cover for this one, but it certainly sounds exciting. The concept definitely reminds of In Time, as well. The premise is both original and familiar, but still unique enough to make me want to read it some days. Some parts sound a bit clichéd, and it’s a shame that some of the character development and world-building wasn’t as strong as it could have been, but if a book is well-written with a fascinating protagonist and intriguing concept, then I’m all for it! Great review Beth! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a great story, I was pretty much hooked from the start but it was the setting and the idea of time being used as currency which kind of pushed this book up in my estimations you know? The world building is what made this book stand out from all the other fantasies out there even though yeah there were some cliche parts to the story and as a whole parts of the world building could have been stronger. Still I have high hopes for the second book in the series, and I hope you enjoy this one Azia! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So glad to hear that this book managed to focus on setting things up for the protagonist and didn’t fail to capture your heart. It does sound like a nice story and those myths seem to make things just that much more better! Great review, Beth. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sure it looks interesting! I’ve read a past review… I don’t remember really well by who and what it said exactly but wasn’t so crazy about this one. Yet I’m really interested in the whole setting. I like the concept of Everless’ world. And sadly I’d the feel that without the time things was more like Red Queen and the rest.

    To be fair, the first thing I thought while reading the review was: This sounds so much like Red Queen 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I feel like some people will find this a generic YA fantasy book but there was something about this one that stood out for me, likely the world building. Hopefully there’ll be something that stands out for you as well. 🙂
      Actually looking back I guess you could say there are similarities to Red Queen, but I enjoyed this book much more than I did that one! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Really glad you enjoyed this Beth! I was initially a bit hesitant because I was scared that it would be like every other YA fantasy out there, but I’m glad that it wasn’t the case, and that the world was more developed. Hopefully the second book is just as solid as the first!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Valerie. 🙂 Yeah I feel like a lot of people are a little nervous about this book, and I guess for some book it will be like every other YA fantasy book out there but there was something about this one that I enjoyed (possibly because of the world building). Hopefully you’ll enjoy this one as well! 😀

      Like

  5. Aaaghh I’m so excited for this one!! Tho it does disappoint me a little to hear that if you take away all the worldbuilding, it might be another standard YA fantasy. I’m always looking for more unique fantasies to read, and so many ideas have been repeated over and over again.

    I’m glad to hear that there were some exciting twists tho!! The history & myths you mentioned sound super interesting so this probably won’t move up or down my TBR but stay right where it is, ahahah.

    Great review! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well it’s a good story, plenty of twists and turns to keep you hooked, so hopefully you’ll still enjoy this one especially considering it’s a release you’re really excited for. 🙂 The world-building was stand out but yeah I get what you mean because I’m on the look out for more unique fantasies as well.
      I’ll be looking forwards to seeing your thoughts on this one when you get around to it May! 🙂
      Thanks! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This book sounds really interesting, I love how the concept of time is used there, reminds me of that movie with Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfriend I can’t remember the name of, right now, haha. I’m really glad to hear you enjoyed this book overall, despite the lack of development in the secondary characters, it sounds like a promising debut to a series for sure 🙂
    Great review, Beth! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really was, and yeah the concept of using time as currency reminded me of that movie as well (it’s called In Time I think) but honestly there aren’t really any more similarities between the two worlds other than that. 🙂 Everless was a good story, and I’m hoping the development of the secondary characters will improve in the second book. I mean, we haven’t seen the last of them in this first book that’s for sure! 😀
      Thanks so much Marie! 🙂 ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

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