Thanks to Hachette Children’s Group and Netgalley for the advance review copy.
When I saw the synopsis and the cover of this debut novel I jumped at the chance to request a copy. The idea of a state that uses time as money was too good to resist!
In the kingdom of Sempera time is bound to blood and metal to make currency. The rich can drink their endless bloodirons and live (almost) forever, but the poor are forced to live week to week, hour to hour. Jules lives in the impoverished town of Crofton with her father. His time is running out rapidly so Jules decides to seek employment at Everless, the grand estate of the Gerling family, from which they were both banished 10 years ago. Jules’ father pleads with her not to return but she is desperate. Days later she discovers her father in a cellar in the Everless castle with wine-stained hands, inches from death. In her grief, Jules is determined to find out what is going on and who she really is.
The original synopsis I read for this never mentioned a kingdom, so I didn’t realise Sempera was ruled by the monarchy. I was expecting the story to take place in a capitalist society and I think this would have been really interesting so I was more than a little disappointed when I read that this wasn’t the case. I couldn’t be bothered with another story of a servant girl running around a castle lusting after a prince. Thankfully, after a pretty slow start, it improves dramatically about a quarter of the way through and it gets much more interesting.
Jules isn’t very bright and she’s very over dramatic which gets irritating, but she is strangely likeable, as are all of the other characters. The relationships between characters are great and there is a lot of fun mixed in with the danger. Once the pace picks up it gets a lot more exciting and it is consistently intriguing, with a new surprise around every corner.
It takes a while to get going, and is odd and annoying in places but ultimately Everless is an exciting and original take on fantasy with a good bit of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff thrown in which I really enjoyed. I would recommend it for your next YA read!
Everless is out now.
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