Everless by Sara Holland
Published by HarperTeen on January 2, 2018
Series: Everless, #1
Genre(s): fiction, fantasy, young adult
Format & Length: audiobook, 09:59:00
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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 has been on my wishlist for some time, so when I was browsing my library’s catalog of audiobooks and saw it was available, I figured it was time to give it a shot. And it did not let me down!
“Slowly something takes hold of me again. The feeling that I’m trapped on the board of a game I can’t begin to understand.”
The premise of Everless reminds me of the movie In Time, in that time is literally the currency used in everyday life. But that’s about where the similarities end. This book takes the idea, adds magic and alchemy, and builds up a fantasy story that is decidedly unique. Granted, I don’t read an abundance of young adult fantasy, but I found the premise and the world to be incredibly original and thoroughly enjoyed learning about it.
Despite a bit of a slow start, bit by bit, this consistently picked up its pace to a crescendo at the end that left me wanting more. I did suspect a few twists would occur at some point, and while some of my suspicions were on point, some plot points did manage to surprise me. The characters were also intriguing, although not as fully developed as I would have liked, but as this is the first in a series (Duology? Trilogy? I’m not entirely sure), I expect to see more character development in future books.
While I may have enjoyed Everless in print form, my experience was absolutely enhanced by listening to the audiobook. Eileen Stevens narrated this wonderfully, serving to further engage me in the story, and I listened to this compulsively. Typically when listening to an audiobook, I limit it to my daily commute and occasionally while doing work that doesn’t involve much thought. With this book, I found myself not wanting to pause it each time I got out of my car, trying to extend my listening time as much as possible. I will definitely be on the lookout for other books narrated by Stevens in the future.
In the end, Everless was incredibly entertaining! I cannot believe this is Sara Holland’s first novel and I can’t wait to see what happens next in the sequel, Evermore. Definitely recommended, especially if you get the chance to try this on audio.