Author: Sara Holland
Pub. Date: January 8, 2018
Rating: ♥♥♥♥ – 4.5
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.
This will be a spoiler free review.
Huh, time really does equal money.
I really enjoyed this book, and I’m ashamed that it sat on my shelf for five months before I got around to reading it – though five months after publication is better than some of the two/three-year-old books I have.
I listened to the Audible version of this book, despite having bought a hardcopy when it first came out, and it did not disappoint. Sara Holland clearly knows how to write, and how to tell an amazing story. The world building alone had me captivated, and the idea that your life is literally currency is pretty wild. I had heard amazing things about this book prior to release and still more after release, and I’m SO glad that this book lived up to the hype. This book also had so many twists – some big, some small – but it made for a captivating read.
Everless follows Jules Ember, a young girl who lives in the land of Sempera. Here your blood, the years you have left to live, equal money – blood coins. In a process that turns blood into money, the rich become practically immortal, while everyone else suffers Forced to pay taxes, her father is quickly running out of time, bleeding as much as he can, but it’s killing him. In an attempt to save his life, and get her father’s years back, she agrees to become an Everless Girl – a servant at Everless.
It’s a place that her father warned her to never go back to. Ten years ago, Jules and her father fled, and she risks everything to come back. Caught between needing to help her father, a tangled web of secrets, and two people she had never thought to see again, Jules has to figure out how to change her fate and how her decisions might impact time itself.
I really liked Jules as a character, her backstory and her actions felt real and believable. There wasn’t a moment that I wanted to grab her by the shoulders and shake her, questioning her judgment. She took matters into her own hands but didn’t deny help when it came her way. I really liked that she knew how to play the game, having lived in Everless as a child, she knew how to survive there.
I’m not going to lie, while I didn’t hate Roan, and also didn’t like him. He seemed too good to be true. Kind of like that stereotypical attractive guy who’s really nice to a girl, who he clearly knows likes him, so he kind of patronizes her and treats her like a sibling…do you get me? What I’m saying? He just felt ingenuine towards Jules – but that doesn’t bother me.
Because let’s face it, I was totally on #TeamLiam from the beginning. I don’t know – I just knew from the beginning that what people saw of him on the outside, wasn’t really the core of who he was. Also, I might have a thing for the “evil” brothers/princes/whatever, can you blame me? I will say the ending made me a little frustrated, because I was hoping for traveling scenes between those two (vague because spoilers) in Evermore. I love those kinds of scenes, but I guess I’ll have to wait and see what happens next for these characters.
Would you live in Sempera?
My answer – as cool as the world sounds, I wouldn’t. Unless I could be guaranteed some kind of security – I don’t need to be a Gerling or a royal, but I definitely don’t want to have to give up my blood/life to survive.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments!