Everless by Sara Holland
Publisher: Orchard Books
Publication date: 04 January 2018
Genre: Young adult fantasy
Page count: 361 pages
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
I received a free digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This review is spoiler-free.
Everless has been lurking on my TBR since late 2017, and I’ve only just had the chance to pick it up. I had heard amazing things about this book, but wasn’t sure about how much I’d enjoy it — I had thought I’d seen this kind of plot many times before. I was so wrong — Everless is a gorgeous, fresh fantasy novel that I lost myself in.
Time is a prison. She is the key. Packed with danger, temptation and desire – a perfect read for fans of The Red Queen.
In the land of Sempera, the rich control everything – even time. Ever since the age of alchemy and sorcery, hours, days and years have been extracted from blood and bound to iron coins. The rich live for centuries; the poor bleed themselves dry.
Jules and her father are behind on their rent and low on hours. To stop him from draining himself to clear their debts, Jules takes a job at Everless, the grand estate of the cruel Gerling family.
There, Jules encounters danger and temptation in the guise of the Gerling heir, Roan, who is soon to be married. But the web of secrets at Everless stretches beyond her desire, and the truths Jules must uncover will change her life for ever … and possibly the future of time itself.
I was really impressed with the world of Everless and the magic system that keeps the wealthy classes rich and ageless. Holland did a great job of establishing a class system within Sempra and how time as a currency affected the world and social structures. Although the country is contained within strong borders, Holland didn’t skimp on the details of the world building and wove so many details of surrounding towns and areas into the narrative. The magic system is what really won me over — it is incredibly impressive and ties in so well with the world. I feel that anything that messes with time can be incredibly complicated and has the potential either be confusing or filled with plot holes, but Holland covered all her bases. The magic system in Everless is one of my recent favourites and will remain so memorable to me.
The story is told from Jules’s perspective, and I really loved her as a main character. She’s clever and brave and strong, but has the hopes and sense of romance that a teenager does. I understood her thoughts and actions, even when she was distracted from her main goals, and thought she was realistic. I particularly enjoyed the fact that her romance with Roan didn’t overshadow the story or her character — this is definitely a book that keeps the romance as a side plot and it works perfectly. Jules is, in my mind, exactly what I want a YA heroine to be.
There is a wide cast of characters in Everless, but I have a few other favourites. Liam is high on my list — who doesn’t love a grumpy, brooding, villainous aristocrat? — but I also really liked Caro and Ina. It was so good to see friendships in Everless — I wasn’t expecting them at all and they enriched the story so much.
Overall, I really liked Everless — it is a clever, fresh, and incredibly fun book with high stakes and a twisty plot. Although the pacing wasn’t the most consistent, I flew through this book and am so happy I read it — in fact, I really wish I had read it sooner! I am, however, thrilled that I can pick up the sequel now and devour this duology.
Want to read Everless for yourself? You can pick up a copy at the following sites (affiliate links):