Neverfall by Brodi Ashton
Novella published by Harper Collins (Harper Impulse)
Release Date: Available Now
Reviewed by: Middle Sis Jenn
The Sisters Say: Gritty, Personal and TranscendentA thrilling new novella from the author of the Everneath series!
Jack is trapped for eternity in the Tunnels while Nikki has managed to evade Cole's grasp . . . for now. But Cole is more desperate than ever to find answers about Nikki, his best chance for taking over the throne of the underworld. How did she survive the Feed? Can Cole find another Forfeit like her who can survive it too?
Cole's quest leads him to the other side of the world, to a mysterious, dangerous society known as the Delphinians, whose price for information might be higher than Cole can pay—a price that could destroy Nikki. But when Cole attempts to steal the answers instead, his mission ends in disaster. Faced with centuries in a Delphinian dungeon, Cole is confronted with questions he's been too scared to ask himself: Is he really obsessed with the throne—or is he obsessed with Nikki? And can she really give him a new beginning as the Everneath's king . . . or will she instead bring about his tragic end?
“It had shaped my soul to fit with hers and only hers. It had graced me to see the truth but simultaneously prevented me from doing anything about it. In the moment I faced dying, I finally knew my reason for living.” Loc 1255-1257
For the most part, I am a fan of novellas, the growing trend in YA literature. I love getting to see through another character’s eyes, and I especially love getting to delve deeper into a book’s world. However, with every novella I’ve read, there seems to be something missing, and I can’t quite put my finger on what it is. All I know is I’m not fully satisfied at the end. And this happens with my favorite characters—Warner’s Destory Me, Aiden’s Elixir. I don’t know what it is, but I just want something more.
This novella is written from Cole’s point of view, and if you follow my reviews, then you know I am a HUGE fan of Cole. I like the broody, rebellious guys; and I even have a soft spot for the bad guys—hoping that maybe they aren’t beyond redemption. So, of course, the best part of this, for me, was getting to see inside Cole’s head—see how he thinks, what his motivations are, how far he is really willing to go—and who he is willing to lose. I definitely saw a new side of Cole in this one, and I’m not sure how I feel about that.
From the first book, I have heard that Cole gained a huge following, which I think was quite a surprise. I’m thinking that this book was part of Brodi’s way of showing us who he truly is so we won’t be so enamored by him. We see how truly obsessed Cole is with ruling the Everneath, and even more so, with Nikki. But, it’s not the Romeo and Juliet, Catherine and Heathcliff kind of tragic love obsessed; instead, it almost seems more dangerous and sinister. Cole is more dangerous that I would have imagined, being that I believed (and still do somewhat) that he is going to take a turn to the side of good. Seeing this side of him was definitely enlightening.
What bugged me about the novella, though, is that if felt rushed and slightly unfinished. Cole is searching to find how Nikki survived the feed, and this action fell flat for me. I was intrigued by the Delphinians because this was a new aspect to the history of the world; however, Cole’s search for them and eventual meeting just didn’t have the flare I wanted. It did open my eyes to the cruelty of the Everneath and everything surrounding it, but I expected fireworks, and instead got a bit of playing with matches.
Still, I liked the revelation that Cole had at the end. It fit more with what I imagine Cole to be, as opposed to what his actions say about him. I still don’t think he can be trusted, but I think that he still has a heart, and as long as he has a heart, he can be saved—or better yet, do the saving.
I’ll leave you with a quote that made me laugh at loud. (I will say, I liked Cole’s humorous inner monologues).
“I considered for a moment grabbing Jack, squishing him into the shape of a giant football, and spiking him into the bus; but I refrained. Jack may have had a small brain, but the rest of him was quite large.” Location 572-572