Evermore by Sara Holland
(Everless Book #2)
4 out of 5 stars
Out on the 2nd of January 2019!
“Don’t you know, Jules? Everything worth doing is dangerous.”
Review copy provided by the publisher through Edelweiss.
Spoilers from Everless below.
The Sorceress and Alchemist, the oldest and most powerful beings in Everless have returned. Caro, the Sorceress, once again sits at the right hand of the queen, whispering orders from the shadows in an effort to hunt down the Alchemist. Jules, the Alchemist reborn, is on the run and learning to embrace her past to put an end to this cycle forever. Now branded a traitor and on the run, Jules must piece together clues from her past lives to save the future of Sempera.
Evermore picks up straight after the end of Everless, with Jules having discovered Caro’s true nature and witnessed the death of her first love, Roan. From the first moments, Jules is thrown right into the action. I wasn’t aware when I started this book that it was a part of a duology – I had assumed that being YA it would end up a trilogy – so I was a bit surprised with how fast the pacing was. Things just kept happening. All the time. This isn’t a bad thing, and it certainly had me hooked.
I really enjoy Jules as a character, even if she does make dumb decisions and doesn’t react to certain events as a normal person probably would but hey that’s reincarnated all powerful beings for you. So often I found myself going, Jules. Wait. No. Don’t do that. WAIT- which was certainly frustrating at times but certainly led to an interesting story. Then there was Liam. I have always had a fondness for characters who only play at being evil and it was great to see his character explored more. If you felt like
The characters are something I’ve enjoyed in Holland’s writing. An issue I had with Everless was that Jules spent most of her puzzle-solving adventure alone, which I felt was a real missed opportunity. In Evermore, this is remedied somewhat with Jules having to rely on old friends and new to save the day. This introduced a host of new characters, including Stef, who I naively hope will feature in Holland’s future works. Besides being awesome by their own merit, I felt that Jules’ interactions with these characters helped flesh her out more than in the previous book.
As baddies go, Caro was pretty straightforward after her big reveal. An immortal sorceress whispering in the ear of the queen and stealing the blood-time of her subjects for her own power? Iconic. She’s so reprehensible and so easy to hate and I like that Evermore really challenges this view. As Jules begins to piece together her past, we learn more about how the fox and snake began their centuries-spanning feud and it becomes harder to hate Caro. Oh, she’s still awful but there’s more to her story than we know. And speaking of villains, there was one small glorious moment where I thought an even bigger bad would appear which would certainly have been a surprise.
Holland’s world of Sempera has such a rich lore and culture and while this has led to a bit of info-dumping and a bit of clumsy exposition I really enjoyed it. I said earlier in the ear that Rachel E Clarke’s The First Year utilised magic in such an interesting way and I’m inclined to echo that here. I really felt that Holland utilised her time magic in such unexpected ways and I really enjoyed it. Jules can stop time if pressed but she also leans to harness her powers to do incredible things. I loved everything about the world of Sempera from its unusual blood-time currency to its lore and mythology surrounding the Alchemist and Sorceress. Anyone who has heard me gush about The Thief Errant series knows I love a well-developed mythology.
Though I ended up giving them the same rating, I felt that Evermore stepped in in areas where its predecessor fell short. Overall, Evermore was a satisfying and fascinating conclusion to the Everless series. While I was a tad disappointed that this was the end of our adventure with Jules and Sempera (Maybe?), I thoroughly enjoyed it while it lasted.
On a personal note, I have just submitted my last assessment piece for my master’s degree! I will not promise that I’ll post reviews more frequently because I have more free time, but I hope this will be the case. All things going to plan, I will graduate in December!