Author: Everless, #1
Series: Sara Holland
Publisher: Orchard Books
Release Date: January 4th 2018
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.