I’ll admit I was hesitant to pick up this book. I was compelled by the summary, but I was afraid the book would fall into some of the stereotypes of paranomal YA that I have a hard time handling; specifically, that it would encourage jerky behavior from its male leads and uphold that type of behavior for a love interest. Luckily, the book totally exceeded my expectations.Nikki is at times, quite a mess of a character, but she’s also compelling. She definitely has some self-destructive tendencies, but can also be really self-determined and convinced what she’s doing is right. I think I would have been slightly annoyed with Nikki at times except I could never stop feeling sorry for what had happened to her. The idea of someone else feeding off your energy for a century, leaving you a broken shell, is enough to make me literally cringe.Jack and Cole are both fantastically written characters. They’re both intriguing in their own ways while being complete opposites of one another. Jack is the perfect, steady character that Nikki really needs when she returns, even if things between them are incredibly awkward at first. I like that at first we don’t know exactly what Jack’s role is, since the book is told from Nikki’s POV. I felt like I was figuring Jack out as Nikki was figuring him out for the second time.There is just so much going on in Everneath(in a good way!). You can read it as a mythological retelling, or as a story of the foundation of love, but there’s a lot of undercurrents about the price of immortality, what constitutes a human being, and who heroes are. These aren’t all themes that might be evident on a quick read-through, but they’re definitely prominent enough that I feel they should be acknowledged. These underlying tensions are really what compels me to the series, and why I want to keep reading.Final Impression: I wasn’t sure if I would like this book or not, but I liked the different take on mythology that I feel isn’t explored as much as some other lore. Even though Nikki had some pretty self-defeating behavior and thoughts sometimes, I never felt like I didn’t get where she was coming from. The way the characters are written and the subtle themes that run underneath this work make this a 4/5 star read for me.Review originally posted on my blog at Book.Blog.Bake.