Everless (Everless, #1) by Sara Holland
Published by HarperTeen on 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.
I loved Everless’ concept. Jules lives in a world where the poor sell days, months, or even years of their lives to the wealthy for things like rent, food, protection from ruffians. What a fascinating concept, taking blood and making it into iron that you can consume to extend your own life. With the exception of HP’s Sorcerer’s Stone, I haven’t read any books with alchemists.
I really liked Jules. She’s brave, kind, stubborn, has flaws, like her tendency to jump into things without completely thinking it through. Sometimes I wanted to scream “stop being so rash!” but she thinks and acts with her heart, so I couldn’t stay mad at her for too long.
I was immediately enamored by Liam. He was a mystery that I impatiently wanted unraveled. Jules has awful memories of him from when they were both children, and it takes a while for her to start working through what was real and what wasn’t.
Roan was a huge disappointment. Jules and Roan were extremely close as young children, always playing together and getting into mischievous, and I was excited to see what their relationship would be like when they finally came together again. Unfortunately, their paths didn’t cross nearly as much as I would have liked and when it did they barely connected. I was also disappointed that we didn’t learn much about Roan’s life during the time he and Jules were apart. There were some allusions to him leading an unsavory lifestyle, but they were extremely vague and just left me with a very faint idea as to what kind of person he was.
I feel like this book would have benefited from a couple less minor characters in order to focus deeper on characters such as Roan. There’s two characters in particular that were briefly introduced, faintly utilized, and then left to bleed into the background.
This book didn’t flow very well. Sometimes it dragged and I started to lose interest, and other times it sped up and whiplashed me an onslaught of information and events that didn’t feel 100% conceptualized due to lack of tiny details.
Although I wish there’d been more emphasis on romance in Everless, I’m glad it wasn’t one of those books where the characters forgot the dire situations around them because they couldn’t think past their burning loins.
Even though this book had some rough patches, I think it’s a good start to what could be a great series. I was pleased with Everless’ ending and I’m looking forward to what will happen in book two.