Title: Everless (Untitled #1)
Author: Sara Holland
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy
Publication Date: January 2, 2018
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 (goodreads).
Everless opened with intrigue but one too many coincidences brought this down a notch.
Plot: The idea of time being currency is fascinating and I'm sure it's what caught many readers' eye, it's what caught my eye! The idea is genius and I loved the many layers that Holland presented. From the start, Jules was a bit more than met the eye, she had a close relationship with two young aristocratic boys but had to flee one night with the fear of being killed. I loved the many layers of this world and how it all related to Jules Ember, the servant girl. There came a point around the 70% mark where Jules started piecing strange happenings together and came to a realization quickly - it wasn't a natural process and disappointed me that Holland elected to resolve everything so hastily. The ending was fairly open-ended and has me curious about the sequel.
Characters: Jules intrigued me from the start, she was selfless and had a good head on her shoulders; however, as the book progressed, Jules became the Chosen One and I started losing interest in her. Luckily, there were other characters who seem to hold the keys to unraveling several mysteries of the world. It was the secondary characters that helped move the mystery and build the world, and I hope that they get the same growth opportunities as Jules had.
Worldbuilding: I'm not going to lie, I'm a bit shaky on how the time/blood coin/currency worked. Time was connected to blood that was turned into metal coins, and those coins could be digested to add more years; it was a very complex system. Besides that, I loved the world. There was a clear contrast between the aristocratic castle and slums of Crofton and I thought that Holland did a great job of defining the priorities for each class of people.
Short N Sweet: Everless was unique and full of mystery, I only wish that the ending didn't feel as rushed.
Labels: 3.5 stars, book review, everless, HarperTeen, review, sarah holland