Review: Everless by Sara Holland

Synopsis/Cover Image from Publisher's Website:
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.

Fans of Victoria Aveyard, Kendare Blake, and Stephanie Garber will devour this lush novel's breathtaking action, incredible romance, and dangerous secrets.

Sara Holland's Everless was one of my most anticipated releases of 2018. Not only was the cover exquisite but also the premise sounded unique and fresh. Time as currency? I was definitely intrigued. As the praise and rave reviews began pouring in, the larger the hype grew and the more excited I became. Thankfully, Everless was everything I had hoped it would be, and much, much more. Everless is intoxicating as well as spellbinding. It was so incredibly easy to lose myself within its pages - ten more minutes would become an hour and an hour would quickly become several and before I knew it I was at the end.

World building can make or break a fantasy, in my opinion, and thankfully, it made the book in this case. Sara Holland has created such a lush world within the pages of Everless. It was incredibly easy to picture the kingdom of Sempera, and I also enjoyed the detail she put into the Gerlings and their aristocracy as well as the alchemist and sorceress. Actually, the story of alchemist and the sorceress was one of my favorite parts of the book, and I especially enjoyed the way in which Sara Holland presented it through whispers and long passed down stories. It added a questioning, suspenseful edge to the novel- Were the stories correct? How much was fact and how much was fiction? Were there hidden clues to be found within?

Additionally, I found the characters to be well developed and likable. Jules is a woman on a mission, and nothing - not even the cunning, tricky Gerlings - can get in her way. Jules is headstrong, determined, and dauntless. She'd do anything to save her family, especially when it comes to the father she loves so dearly. Over the course of the book, Jules deals with a fair amount of change - scenery, family dynamic, friends, etc; however, never once did Jules falter in the sight of the unknown. She embraced it, and I appreciated that about her. It was fun to see her on her journey and it was even better to see her pull in wins. In addition to Jules, I also liked her father. He was incredibly caring, the type of person who'd give his last shirt up to keep someone else warm. Seeing him and in turn seeing his relationship with Jules made it crystal clear why Jules would risk everything for him. He was her world and she was his. I also enjoyed the power players encountered in the castle. The queen was twisty and chilling. The princess was reckless and easy to trust as well as love. The two princes were like day and night. Roan was warm and welcoming while Liam was foreboding and staunch. While Roan should have been the easy favorite, Liam was the one I was drawn to. He had a twisty, dark past, but I had a sneaky suspicion there was more good to him than met the eye.

The plot of Everless best described in one word? Thrilling! Once the story got going and the adventure and thrills started churning out in rapid speed, I was one hundred percent hooked. I loved the court drama, the sabotage that kept peeking up, the bad that came with the Queen's arrival, and the feeling that something incredibly sinister was at play. I read this book way faster than I would've liked, but I couldn't help it. I also appreciated that while there's romance, it isn't a huge part of the book. There's a slight touch here and there, which ended up being plenty. Additionally, I liked that the romance wasn't what I had expected - the ending of the novel truly managed to surprise me!

In all, Sara Holland's Everless is a stellar debut. Blending together romance, suspense, and royal intrigue, Everless will most likely end up on many Best of 2018 lists and rightfully so.

4.5 stars!!

Everless is now out!

Source: eARC provided by publisher for review - thanks HarperCollins!

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  1. Ah I am SO convinced of this book's amazingness!! I've heard a lot of people say that it's incredibly immersive, and I'm so glad you got swept away by it too!! I also really like the sound of Jules - she seems like such an awesome heroine.

    Terrific review, Lauren! I need this book more than ever now, haha ;)

    Amy @ A Magical World Of Words

    1. Amy, I think you're totally going to love it! It's so deserving of all the praise it has been given :)

  2. Wow! It sounds like you really enjoyed the book??? 😊 I need to read this one. I've been putting it off for too long. It sounds AMAZING. Excellent review, Lauren!

    Have a wonderful week. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. Thanks, Alyssa! I think you'd really enjoy it given your love of fantasy! I'll be curious to hear your thoughts when/if you read it :)

  3. Love the sounds of this, especially the alchemist and sorceress aspect. The character do sound wonderful too. Great review!

    1. The alchemist and sorceress is so much fun! At first, I didn't think too much about it, but as the book continued it was easy to see how much importance it held.

  4. Now that I've seen so many positive reviews like yours, I'm scared I'll be disappointed! I've been trying to lower my expectations, and failing! It's great to hear that the worldbuilding was done well and the romance wasn't too overpowering!

    1. You know I felt the same way when I started - I was SO WORRIED I was going to be that person who didn't love it. But it didn't happen to me and hopefully it won't happen for you.

  5. Another great review for this book. It's definitely going on my TBR. The idea of time as currency just fascinates me.

  6. Sounds like this one is worth picking up. I like the concept of the story.


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