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all hearthfires & holocausts

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Everneath - Brodi Ashton Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever. I've been anticipating Everneath for quite some time. When I first heard the premise, I got so excited and flailed around in impatient agony for months waiting for the time I could have it in my grabby little hands. The premise sounded like exactly the kind of thing I like to read; I'm a sucker for a retelling of greek myths, and Persephone is my favorite. So when I finally got it, I put down whatever I was in the middle of at the time and dove in headfirst. I read the first couple chapters... then put it down, and promptly forgot about it for months. It wasn't until a couple days ago that I even remembered I had it and made myself finish it. Why? Simply put: it was boring. The writing was boring. The characters were boring. Roughly 80% of the plot was boring. I had to fight to keep from skimming every chapter in its entirety, and really wanted to give up at about halfway through.The main problem with the story, aside from the overly simple writing, was the lack of emotion. While I know Nikki's emotions were meant to be muted in the beginning, I never felt a connection to her, or from her to any of the other characters. The most emotion I felt was in her interactions with Cole, even though I knew she would never end up with him. The friendships and family dynamics were dull and lifeless, and completely two dimensional.I never felt I knew Nikki, and certainly never understood her. The reasons for going to the Everneath seemed immature and unfounded, and while I sympathized with her reasons for Returning, I never understood why she segregated herself once she was there. Wasn't it supposed to be about making reparations? Why then isolate yourself and push people away when they got too close? Very little of her motives and reactions rang true for me. Additionally, I am quite sure every reader will have figured out one of the major plot points about 10 chapters before Nikki does. It was painful to read her dismissals and floundering when I already knew the answer, and knew it would bring her to the climax of the story.In my opinion, much of the story was filler and repetitious and could have been edited out to make a much tighter, more compelling story.However, as much as I wanted to give up halfway through, I'm glad I finished. The last 20% really picked up and became the engaging, exciting read I expected. If the entire book had read the way the last few chapters did, this would be a very different review. I am looking forward to the next book, where I assume the storyline will be reversed and hopefully more emotionally charged.