In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.
No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.
But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.
Harper Collins sent me a copy of Everless by Sara Holland in exchange for an honest review. Everless is one of those rare books that have left me a little lost; I’m not sure where to start this review! I suppose the important thing I should explain before getting into things is the basic premise of the book. I included the summary (above), so be sure to give that a quick read first.
So, the entire idea behind Everless is that in this world the currency is time. Your lifespan is in your blood; your blood is the physical manifestation of your time in this world. When you run out your time is up and you die. People bleed themselves and make iron coins from their blood, and these are used to pay for things. You pay for everything with your time. This works out really well for the rich and powerful since they receive payment for lots of things, they then consume the blood/iron coins and that time is then added to their lifespan. It doesn’t work out very well for the underprivileged and poor, as they receive next to no time and are constantly having to spend their own.
I know it sounds weird, but it actually worked really well. The author did such a great job of fully exploring this concept and completely integrating it into the world she created. I love how the author really explored every way in which this form of payment would impact her world. A lot of interesting ideas in YA books fall short because not enough effort is put into fully developing and exploring them, and I was very relieved that Everless wasn’t another one of those.
Another thing that I loved about Everless was that there was no “instalove” and no love triangle. Those are both such common tropes in YA that it is incredibly lucky to find a book that has neither of those things. In fact there wasn’t much romance at all. There were hints of it, and the romance was perfectly set it up to really take off in the sequel. But this book primarily focused on the growth of the main character, Jules, and the plot.
I really enjoyed Jules, the main character. One of the things that I loved about her was that she was kind and let her heart really help her make decisions but at the same time the things she did actually made sense. I can’t even begin to tell you how many books I’ve read where the main character does something that leaves me blinking and thinking to myself how does that even makes sense? Why would he/she do that??? I loved that I didn’t have any moments like that with Jules.
The plot itself was interesting, fast paced enough to keep things interesting, and well thought out. It was fairly predictable, at least it was for me, and there were no plot twists that really shocked me. But overall I liked the plot, it was interesting. This book was so good, it really exceeded my (admittedly low, I wasn’t expecting to like this one) expectations. This one is a 4.5/5 stars for me. Half a star taken away because I found things pretty confusing in the beginning and wish it had all been explained a little bit clearer.