Everneath is a modern-day retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth. Retellings of myths such as these can be difficult to do, especially in a modern-day setting where things can go wrong pretty quickly. For this reason and for the fact that cover was striking (come on, you say to yourself, you know they're just prettying up something crappy), I was hesitant to read Everneath. However, I felt Ashton's attempt was highly entertaining and I was hooked from the beginning.
Nikki (is it only me who finds it strange to read their own name over and over again? perhaps) is a genuine character with flaws that I could understand. One may not agree with her choices but consider the emotional turmoil going on in her life when she agreed to be "fed" off of for a hundred years and ultimately serve the Everneath. Of course I do not think Nikki quite understood the deal she was making or the ultimate consequences of her decision, of course that is until she is given six months on the "surface" to live before serving the rest of her existence in the Everneath (not pleasantly of course). Despite having spent 100 years in the Everneath, only six months have passed for those on the surface.
The story centers around Nikki attempting to make amends with those she left behind but quickly become overwhelmed with the task and finding it overall selfish of her to do so. Jack is the boyfriend she left behind, who she believes has betrayed her at one of her weakest moments. Their relationship is no longer but Jack is a constant presence and she attempts to keep at a distance. This is in contrast to what she apparently came back for but she has second thoughts. Cole, the one who ultimately "fed" from her, is also a major presence in the book. He is seeking to give her immortality without serving the Everneath as a slave, but it would mean Nikki would have to feed off of others like herself. In the end, it comes down to Nikki deciding to stay or go, become a slave or have immortality, to fight to live or to go willingly.
I really enjoyed the characters in Everneath and felt the myth was well entwined in the story. I love mythology and found it was fun to see it used in the way Ashton did. Ashton even threw a little Egyptian mythology in the mix, a big win in my book. I look forward to the next installment in the series!