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REVIEW: 'Everless' by Sara Holland, or a pleasant way not to invent the wheel

EVERLESS, a pleasant way not to invent the wheel

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EVERLESS, a pleasant way not to invent the wheelEverless
three-starsWritten by Sara Holland
Published on January 4th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Buy on Amazonon Book Depository

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.

Time is running out, blood sacrifices are demanded and YA tropes are flooding… Yup, you guessed it. It’s that kind of a review for Everless by Sara Holland.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. Everless is a really pleasant read from start to finish. Sara Holland quite obvious is a talented writer, and her style is nice and easy to read, to the point where it only took me three evenings to finish the book. She pains vivid pictures of the world she created and, speaking of, the world building is quite great in the story. I particularly love the fact that the universe has its own mythology and legends, passed down from generation to generation and wrapped in mysteries. It definitely adds depth to the story and universe, makes it more real and vibrant.

The characters are also compelling, and easy to identify with. I love Jules’ drive to help her family, her courage and the way she never gives up on her goals. She was strong yet had her moments of vulnerability, was her own person without being denied a love interest (more on that later) and was able to have agency and female friends. All around, Jules is a very well-written YA female protagonist.

But… Because there is a but. The story in itself is so very bland and overdone. I have nothing against a good Chosen One tale when it’s done right, mind you, and Everless does it right. But the entire plot is very predictable from beginning to end, to the point where it’s a bit laughable. Best example of this perhaps is this tweet of mine I wrote when livetweeting the book:

book: there are two brothers, one super nice and once super evil

me, in a flat tone: the evil one will turn out to be not so evil and she will fall for him. wow.

book: …………

I mean, tropes exist for a reason. Some are overdone, yes, but tropes are tropes because they work. The only problem is that when your book is full of them without ever having a spin on any of them, it makes for… well, for a boring and predictable story, to be honest. And that is my main issue with Everless, in that as pleasant a read as it was, I had guessed most of the “twists” about five chapters before they actually happened.

Is it my fault for knowing how tropes and basic storytelling works? Everless‘ fault for being that predictable? I seriously have no idea. But, ultimately, it makes the book… kinda easily forgettable? There is nothing to make it stand out from the hundred other YA fantasy books on the market, as of now. Hopefully, the sequel will help setting things down a little bit but… I am not too impressed at the moment.

To sum up: Everless is a nice read. I just wish it were more than that.

What are some tropes you think are overdone in YA books?

REVIEW: 'Everless' by Sara Holland, or a pleasant way not to invent the wheel


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