Saturday, January 25, 2014

Novella Review: Neverfall by Brodi Ashton (Salute Your Shorts, #5)

Salute Your Shorts is a weekly (ish) feature hosted by Heidi at Bunbury in the Stacks. It highlights and reviews short stories and novellas, both of which don't receive too much attention in the blogosphere. 

Title: Neverfall (Everneath, #1.5)

Author: Brodi Ashton 

Rating: 3 Stars

I suppose that, when compared to other YA Novellas, Neverfall is kind of amazing. Yet, taking into account that the novellas I usually read are either written by Australian Authors (Melina Marchetta's Ferragost) or Adult Urban Fantasy Authors (Ilona Andrews), Neverfall fell short of the exemplary novella-writing I've come to expect when I crack open these short stories. While it was entertaining and kept me engaged (for the most part), I struggle to find the real purpose in it. Is there a point, because really, I would have picked up Everbound with excitement even without this filler piece. 

Neverfall is told from Cole's PoV and every few chapters or so, we are gifted flashbacks to Cole's meetings with Nikki and his perspective of their brief exchanges. In the present-day, however, Cole is desperately trying to find an answer to why Nikki was able to survive the Feed - and what the secret is to finding another human who can survive it too. Although the beginning of this novel is slow, and I did skim a few sections, it gradually picks up as Cole's quest takes him to places that we, as the reader, could have never imagined. In fact, I find myself being bowled over, once again, by the creativity Ashton uses throughout this series and her deft incorporation of Greek myth in a modern setting. I am still very much in love with it. 

Where this story fell flat for me, though, is my understanding of Cole. In Everneath it is very obvious that Cole has no real or true feelings for Nikki. We don't really have a love triangle on our hands as Cole simply wants Nikki so that he himself can survive for thousands and thousands of more years and, of course, gain power along the way. In Neverfall, this understanding of Cole is only confirmed as he is truly only interested in Nikki for what she can offer him. When extenuating circumstances force him to question his life and his reason for existence, however, he rapidly comes to the conclusion that he is, in fact, in love with Nikki. Now, I still firmly believe that Cole has an obsession with Nikki - nothing more, nothing less - even at the end of this short story, which really proves that this novella is pointless. Cole doesn't change and although it says he changed, we have nothing to substantiate that claim and his change of heart is so quick that it is missed in one small sentence. 

Nevertheless, I still enjoyed being back in this world, reading the banter between Cole and his best friend, Max, and re-familiarizing myself with the world Ashton created. If nothing else, Neverfall is a great reminder of what the Everneath Series offers and it throws in some creative new settings and mythology at the same time. Although I wouldn't have missed out on much - or lessened my understanding of Cole - if I had skipped this, Neverfall remains a must-read for all fans of Everneath. 


  1. Haha, love the name of this meme! I really hate Cole, than this novella did not change my opinion at all. I guess once I made my decision, I couldn't really change it.

    Fab reivew, Keertana! <33

  2. Novellas can be so tricky, mostly I just feel eh about them

  3. I love novellas when they're done right, but I don't know that I'll pick this one up. I do like the reminder to finish the Everneath series. I read the first one so long ago and it had sort of a haunting sadness to it. I loved it. I'm happy I waited to read the other books because now I can finish the series without the wait. Wonderful review, Keertana! :)

  4. Rachel I waited to read the last two books in this series together and quite enjoyed them. I'll hopefully have those reviews up soon, but I can't wait to see what you think and compare notes! :)

  5. Oh I would love this one. I love the Everneath series, and seeing it from Cole's perspective seems really intriguing even if I felt that Cole was a bit of a jerk sometimes in the book in comparision to Jack. Hehe. I can't wait to read Evertrue now that you have mentioned this series. Great review Keertana. :)

  6. Emma, I definitely think Cole winds up being the "bad guy" of the series in Everneath, though that really turns around (a BIT) in Everbound and by Evertrue. I enjoyed getting his perspective here too so I'll be curious to see how you think this one is if you pick it up.

  7. I'm not the biggest fan of Everneath, and haven't picked up the rest of the series, although all the buzz is making me reconsider! Neverfall seems like one I'd skip, though, if I decide to continue on with the series. I'm really not liking the sound of Cole's sudden change of heart, and I'm sure I'd be pretty skeptical of it in all honesty. Despite seeing more of the word Ashton has created, I think that I'll be passing this one up.

    Lovely review, as always, Keertana! <3

  8. Hmm I personally am not a fan of these in-between novellas. If they contain important enough information for a reader's understanding of the series, then they should have been included in the actual books. If not, then I fail to understand why they're really being written, except as a way to appease fans/increase anticipation. And I am not a fan of either of those tactics.
    That being said, I am not opposed to reading them necessarily if I want a quick and easy break in between longer ones. Maybe I'll read it as something quick and easy.
    I do like Cole's character the best, but I am with you that he's obsessed with Nikki, but not much more than that.

  9. @Aneeqah: I agree that you can definitely skip this one, though I have a feeling your thoughts on the series miiiight change with Everbound. It really is THAT much better that Everneath ever was. ;)

  10. @Amanda: I'm really not a fan of these either, but I think they do provide some interesting insight. Marissa Meyer uses them quite effectively and the novella she wrote about Wolf before Scarlet had SO much more world-building in it than the previous two books combined, so since then I've tried to keep up on reading these so I don't miss too much.


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