*Mini Post by the Belle*
Author: Sara Holland
Series: Everless Series
Summary: In the kingdom of Sempera, time is money — extracted from the blood, traded in coins, and taxed to the hilt. Wealthy aristocrats like the Gerling family live for centuries, while the commoners struggle to survive.
Jules Ember loathes the Gerlings. She and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident drove them away. But now, desperate to earn time, Jules returns to Everless amid preparations for the wedding of the youngest Gerling lord to the Queen’s daughter.
Jules soon discovers that Everless holds more temptations — and danger — than she thought possible. Stories from her childhood begin to take on new significance, dragging her into a past she hardly recognizes and revealing a tangle of violent secrets that could change her future — and the future of time itself — forever.
Belle Rating: D+
Target Audience: Young Adults
Story Notes: The story begins in the village of Crofton, with our main character Jules. She is out in the woods trying to hunt for food to try to exchange it for coins to pay for her and her father’s home. While she is out, it is noted that she has a weird connection to time…it seems to slow down a little bit every now and then…and she’s the only one that she knows of that can sense it. As she returns to the market (with little success) she finds out that there is extra work needed at Everless for the upcoming wedding. Each servant would get paid a year’s wages for every month they work there. While this is a screaming deal in most people’s eyes, Jules doesn’t have any desire in going. I mean, the cruelty there is the whole reason why her and her father fled to begin with. However, when she comes home to a tax collector and a very sick dad giving away precious time (blood) to try to pay for their home, she takes it upon herself to go. Everything seems okay while she is at the castle. The work is hard, but she is getting paid very well for it. Then…her dad shows up…hours before the Queen is due to arrive…and he warns Jules to stay away from the Queen! She is dangerous and would want Jules dead if she finds her! But, instead of going back home with her father, Jules sends him away with some coins…Unfortunately…her father did not make it back…and what’s even worse is that there is evidence that he tried to break into the Gerlings’ vault. Sooo…after much crying, Jules takes it upon herself to find out what is so important in the vault that her father would die for and figure out why the Queen would want her dead?
Writing Style: All in all, this is an okay book. The problem that I had, however, is that the author was trying to keep you in suspense and totally shock you towards the end of the book, but…by doing so she left me confused half the time. I was doing great. Up until her dad died and Jules was trying to get more information about herself. I mean…based how the author has built her world and her story, I understand why Jules doesn’t know what the heck is going on (which means you have no idea either), but I felt like it could’ve been done in a better and smoother way.
Weaknesses: I have briefly touched on this in the previous notes, but I find this to be a recurring problem in books that I have been reading lately. Authors try to keep you guessing and build suspense, but do so in a way that just leaves you thinking “what did I just read?”. And this book has this problem. To be honest, it was so confusing that after a few days that my brain shut it out and I completely forgot about the book. I had to go and find this book again to remember what I had to do a review on!
Strengths: I liked the idea of the story. Although kinda gross and gruesome, it’s interesting how you can get and give time using your blood and it’s actually being used as currency. And I will admit, that the “big reveal” wasn’t a complete bust for me. It was pretty surprising. I just felt that there should have been more information so the book didn’t feel so “herky-jerky”
Final Thoughts: Again, it had a lot of potential and wasn’t really memorable. Will things change and much needed information be revealed in the next book? I can’t say. But I can read it for you and find out if it’s worth your time 😉