We Need To Talk About The Everless Duology And Its Time-Bending World
If you’ve read my “What I Mean When I Say ‘Good Storytelling’ In Fiction” post from the early days, you already probably know that I’m a sucker for storytelling that plays with time. Give me flashbacks, time warps, time travel, and all that jazz, and I’m pretty much sold. But an entire world that works with time (bound to blood, btw) as currency? That’s something I definitely need to check out. Suffice to say, I was stoked for the Everless-Evermore duology when I first read its synopsis.
(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.
Jules and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident a 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. Caught in a tangle of violent secrets, Jules must find the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.)
Already compelling synopsis, right?
So let’s break down this series review per book in a non-spoilery way:
Book 1: Everless Review
To be completely frank, IDK if it was just my reading mood at the time, but I found a good chunk of this one very slow and dragging. Not for lack of action or plot, but I didn’t find myself really connecting with Jules as a character (her emotions, motivations, and daily life) at first. The world-building was interesting, but it wasn’t as fleshed out as I hoped it would be. But it could have been intended that way.. I say this after reading Book 2, I think this was really meant to be a straightforward, not-too-deep fantasy journey. And for that, I can appreciate it.
But for someone who finds utter joy in drinking in fictional cultures and worlds, there was not a lot to consume here. Aside from the time-bound-to-blood aspect, which I wholly drank in.
As Jules took up Book 1 to really learn more about her past and the queendom’s harsh politics, it truly felt like a prologue of some sorts. Like we were looking for something, without really knowing what. Except that it has something to do with Jules’ hazy past.
I did find her relationships with side characters very compelling, though. Particularly with the two Gerling brothers who I was so obsessed to dissect because I found deep interest in how they were being portrayed, and how their actions contradict how they’re “supposed” to behave. Again, I wish we fleshed out her friendships more with Lora, Alia, and Hinton, and the tension that could have come from the supposedly ruthless Captain Ivan.
The plot twist at the end was GOOD, though. And although it felt lacking in a lot of departments, that could just be because I’m so used to chunky books that give a lot of depth and characterization. As I read this first book, it hasn’t really sunk in yet that this was just going to be a straightforward–kinda simple–story. And simple isn’t bad. I just didn’t really enjoy it as much I hoped.
As one book, I’d give this 3 stars. (I originally gave it 3.5 on my Instagram Stories.. but upon reconsideration, that just doesn’t feel right.)
Book 2: Evermore Review
This was MUCH better. Although that might also be because I had Book 1 for added depth to this sequel, so things didn’t feel as lacking. Honestly a part of me feels like the whole duology could have been one 700-page book. I think it would have been a lot more impactful that way. But I digress.
Now that I’ve settled in the fact that this is a straightforward fantasy tale with one enemy, one problem, and one direction to get there, I enjoyed this a lot more than the first one. As I mentioned before, I’m so used to fantasy books being so complicated and complex, with tensions running incredibly high at all times. This is a good break from that! The conflict is direct, and easy to follow. The magic system is still a bit loose, but at this point, I’m just happy we’re finally seeing it.
Jules grew on me, and her character was definitely fleshed out a lot more here with more dialogue, wit, and just overall personality. I honestly don’t remember much bantering in the first book, but that could be because Jules was in a very dark place.
Character relationships also had more depth. The romance in this one is a bit of a slow burn (as slow as you can get with 2 books), but it’s so clearly there. Which I loved. It was all very wholesome and pure. There was one moment where I felt like our love interest was showing subtle hints of possessiveness though… and I’m happy it wasn’t explored further.
Favorite characters in this one would be the newbies, though: Elias and Stef. And Ina.
I gotta say that the way this series was wrapped up was satisfactory enough. It felt a lot more action-packed, especially towards the end, which heightened the tension effectively. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I really appreciate the way Jules’ relationship with the antagonist was explored deeply, with a climax that landed one final blow in their age-old connection.
As the final book to this duology–bear in mind that it’s very straightforward–I’d give this a 3.5. That sounds low, but I did enjoy what we were given. I just wish there was more.
My final verdict is: get this book if you want a straightforward and quick fantasy read!
Each book is just a bit under 400 pages, so this should go by fast, especially once you reach Book 2. The world of Everless and Evermore is a unique tale that I think definitely warrants a closer inspection from a lot more in the book community. And I wish I could talk to more people about it, but I haven’t met a lot of people who’ve already read it–so please message me if you have, or ever plan to!
(I’m trying to be a lot more strict with my star ratings because I don’t feel like my current “rubrics” is cutting it. So I hope y’all focus more on my comments rather than the rating, haha! Star ratings are subjective, anyway definitely not absolute. It’s the explanations that count!)
My reading journey, as seen on the skimmingspines Instagram Stories:
Let me know what you think:
- Have you read this series? What do you think about it?
- Any time-bending fantasy recommendations?
- What time-related magic do you want to have? (I would love to manipulate time at the present. I don’t need to time travel, just the ability to speed up, freeze, or slow down time!)