Title: Everless (Everless, #1)
Author: Sara Holland
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release 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.
I read so much romance that it is nice to get a little bit of fantasy in every now and then! I have heard such great things about Everless so I decided that it was going to be my next fantasy read. I absolutely loved it!
The Story. When I first read the synopsis for this book, I kept thinking about the movie In Time with Justin Timberlake because the concept of time as currency and power was such an intriguing one. The story opens with Jules hunting in order to trade for blood coins at the market since her father is running out of time. However, there is hardly any animals out due to the winter so Jules decides to take some desperate measures to earn more blood coins. These desperate measures include becoming a servant in Everless despite her father and her being banished a decade ago. Jules has fond memories of playing with her childhood friend, Roan (the younger Gerling), but she also has terrifying memories of the eldest Gerling, Liam. Her father begs her not to go, insisting that it is too dangerous for her to be there, especially while the Queen is there, but Jules has to take that risk in order to save her father.
Everything is business as usual once Jules gets the hang of her servant duties and being in Everless again before tragedy strikes. Jules is forced to open her eyes to the cruelty of Everless and is determined to make everyone pay. Jules finds herself taking greater and greater risks in search of the truth about not only Everless, but herself. All the while making new friends, dodging old ones, and staying out of the way of enemies…both known and unknown. Secrets are about to tear Jules’ world apart and she will have to decide if they will make or break her.
I thought this story was brilliant and had a great world building aspect to it. The author does such a great job of setting up this world and giving you rich background to help you understand it. It was very well written and felt beautifully timeless. The secondary characters really stood out in this book and helped the story along. There was just so much mystery in this book that my mind was whirring with possibilities the entire time I was reading. I want more of this world and to know what happens next. Holland has definitely written a new YA fantasy series worth reading.
Jules. I found the female main character to be extremely likable. Yes, she is a special snowflake (don’t tell me you didn’t see that coming), but she’s a special snowflake we haven’t ever seen before with a unique storyline that makes this book fantastic. Jules is strong, selfless, and strives to make an unjust world just. I loved reading about her whimsical memories of Everless and her past. Jules has a curious nature who is trying to get to the bottom of the secrets she keeps getting glimpses of. I really liked being inside Jules’ head, but I am hoping we might get a few chapters with the hero of the story as well!
I highly recommend this book to those who love: young adult, fantasy, dystopia, and curious heroines.
Overall Rating: ★★★★.5/★★★★★