Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Review: Everless

by Sara Holland
Series: Untitled #1
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publication date: January 4, 2018
Published by: Orchard Books
Hardcover, 361 pages
My rating: 3/5 ★

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.

Everless was a typical 3-star read for me. Not bad in any way, but lacking something to make me really fall in love and get engrossed with the story. It takes place in a world where time is your currency and it is drawn from the blood. Our protagonist Jules grew up at an aristocratic estate called Everless before she and her father had to flee. Now she is going back to work there in order to earn time to save her father's life.

The premise of blood being the currency to pay with is really unique (I have seen In Time, but still), and I was looking forward to seeing how it would be executed. Overall, I found the world building to be quite good and the concept of the blood money was explained well enough that I felt like I knew what was going on. I especially liked the pace at which we got to discover the world. There was no info-dumping but instead the workings and history of Sempera were unraveled bit by bit in clever ways. However, some of the later twists in the story didn't work as well in my opinion and left me a little confused about the magic system. Also, some aspects of the magic system didn't make very much sense to me in general. Still, I think the reader gets to feel like part of the world as the concepts are explained well enough. 

My biggest problem with the book was that I didn't care enough about the characters. Jules was - luckily - not an insufferable idiot of a main character (though she had her moments). But somehow, she still wasn't someone I wanted to root for. As to the other characters, I felt like I didn't get to know them well enough to actually care about them. Also, all the relationships in the book felt a little fake to me, both the friendships as well as the romance. I did like the emphasis on female friendships, though, and the fact that romantic relationships weren't too present. Jules is focused on her goals rather than constantly swooning over people, which I found refreshing. 

Still, I can't deny that romance is something that I enjoy immensely in a story when done well, and I found the romance aspect to be a little lacking. Not because it wasn't the emphasis of the story or because there wasn't enough of it, but because what romance we did get wasn't a pleasure to read for me. However, I see potential in this department, and the romance could blossom into something really great in future books! 

The plot, to me, was nothing special. Jules was simply working and at the same time uncovering secrets about the people around her and her past - so nothing new, really. As to the plot twists, I kind of saw most of them coming. Not all of them to the last little aspect, but enough that they definitely didn‘t leave me gasping, which is what I‘m gathering happened to a lot of other reviewers.

In the end, as I said, Everless was a decent book. Well written and with an interesting premise, but unfortunately just not something I fell in love with. 

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