Title – Everless
Author – Sara Holland
Series/Standalone – Series
Book Number – 1
Genre – YA Fantasy/Dystopia
Date of Publication – 27th December 2017 (UK)
Number of Pages – 361
When your own blood and personal time is a currency, how far would you go to save your loved ones and give them more time than they currently possess?
In the world of Sempera, societal classes could not be more distinct. As the rich control time, they have it in abundance, turning blood into iron coins which they then use on themselves to help them live for centuries. The poor, however, bleed themselves dry, trying to find enough time to feed themselves and pay rent.
For our main character Jules, time is running out. She and her father don’t have enough time to pay their rent arrears and she will do anything to help save him, even give up some of her own time. When an opportunity arises to work at Everless, the large estate in Sempera and home to the Gerling family, Jules takes it, even if it means leaving her father behind and stepping into a world she’s been told to avoid at all costs.
Often one of the most hyped YA fantasies of the year will be a hit or a miss for me, and I was completely surprised to discover that Everless was a hit! It had its typical YA trope moments but for the most part, it was very easy and enjoyable to read.
As far as main characters go, Jules didn’t come across as anything particularly special and unique. She reminds me of a lot of other YA female protagonists. However, I did like her and her Belle-like stubbornness to save her father and do what she thinks is important for herself and Sempera. Secondly, the more we get into the story, the more we discover that there is more to Jules than meets the eye and her journey becomes one of realisation and discovery. Also, she is not too bogged down by romance which is awesome!! There is some romantic tension between her and Roan Gerling but the plot happens which derails any chance whatsoever at romance. Woo hoo!
What I appreciated the most about Everless, especially as a series starter, is that it built up the world enough to keep me interested, but it wasn’t so full-on that it took over from the characters and their stories. Similarly to the characters, I like seeing a world develop and expand with each book in a series so it gives me something to anticipate and be intrigued by. Secondly, I think the backstory and mythology of Sempera woven in as stories for the younger servants worked really well. In fact I’ve always liked it when authors do that with their worlds as you’re learning more about the world alongside these characters and it feels natural and unforced. It also gives us hints as to the identities of characters like Jules, the queen etc so as you get closer to the character reveals, you’re putting the identity puzzle pieces together in your head. I know quite a few people might not like that and think it makes character arcs predictable, but it is something I like once in a while and I appreciate it when I want an easy read like this.
Also, whilst I’m on the subject of world building, props to Sara Holland for appealing to my inner language and linguistic nature:
Take off the ‘a’ on Sempera and you have ‘Semper’ which means ‘time’ in Latin!
Moving on, I really enjoyed how the story unfolded. It wasn’t a ‘gripping onto the edge of my seat’ read but there were enough elements to make me carry on reading and find out the ending. Speaking of that ending, that was a cliffhanger I did not see coming.
I’m not super hyped for the next book but I will be carrying on with the series as it was enjoyable and it made a nice change to read a less daunting YA fantasy for once.
Have you read Everless yet?
If so, what are your thoughts?
Thanks for reading and have a brazzle dazzle day!