I discovered this book while I was deciding which YA book subscription box I wanted. Ultimately I decided to subscribe to Owlcrate, but I follow many of the boxes on Instagram I didn’t pick. More than one choose Everless between the December/January time frame. It sounded too much like the bland movie In Time to interest me, but I kept seeing this book again and again. So I read it. Like Six of Crows, I thought Everless was good, but didn’t love it. Some unidentified “spark” was missing for me in this book.
Lack of sparks aside, it’s a way better story than In Time. I thought I would throw that opinion in this blog post since many people who mention reading or considering reading this book make that comparison. It’s also not as much like that movie as I expected. In Time is a dystopia/sci-fi, and Everless is fantasy. In both world-building and tone, the stories are very different.
In Sempera, time is currency, only received via blood extractions. The rich can live for centuries without aging and the poor die young when they run out of years to give. Everless is home to many of the rich profiting off the time-as-currency system. Jules worked there as a servant when she was younger, but an incident sent her and her father on the run. Returning is a mistake, but with her father’s life–and her’s–on the line, it’s a mistake Jules has to make.
Sempera is a really interesting fantasy world, woven in with political intrigue and interesting mythology. I’ll take a book with all the Sempera myths, please.
Unfortunately, the main character Jules is…uninteresting? Naive? I’m not sure what exactly it was I didn’t like about her, but I was ultimately more interested in the plot driving her actions, rather than in the character herself.
If there is one thing about Everless that feels similar to In Time, apart from the literal time-as-currency concept, it’s the romance. It’s so lackluster. Jules pines for a guy she hasn’t seen for years. A guy she has always hated clearly pines for her. Also, *sighs*. I think I have a type. I was rooting for the unexpected, probable “bad guy” romance before I think the author intended for me to do so. But things are not what they seem in this book…
That twist was not a surprise for me, but instead a delight. That other twist however…WHAT. Didn’t see that one coming.
The twists, in fact, are the book’s great strength. Mystery may not be its primary identifying genre, but the mystery is what kept me reading it. There was always something I wanted answered that the author led me on with throughout the book.
The romance may be weak, and the main character boring, but the world-building and plot mystery makes the book worth the read. For a well-developed take on an unoriginal concept, Everless is a great choice. (And my word means a lot in this case: it’s not often that I recommend a book purely for its plot. I usually need something from my characters to think highly of a book. In this case, the mystery was all I needed.)