Evermore: Not recommended

Alyson Noel Immortals 1. EvermoreAlyson Noël Immortals 1. EvermoreEvermore by Alyson Noël

Evermore is the first in the Immortals series by Alyson Noël. Immortals are a bit like vampires… but not. Ever Bloom is a teenage girl who becomes entangled in the world of the Immortals.

Ever’s backstory feels pieced together from other works. Like Buffy Summers, she was one of the popular girls at her old school, but after a disaster, has to start over at a new school where she’s considered a freak and only has two friends. In Ever’s case, the disaster is a tragedy in which her family died; Ever survived with a scar on her forehead a la Harry Potter. One of the reasons she’s socially awkward is that, similar to Sookie Stackhouse, she’s telepathic and can “hear” people’s unflattering thoughts, and she falls in love with the first guy whose mind she can’t read. And in a plotline reminiscent of Twilight, the guy is a gorgeous immortal creature who is assigned to work with Ever in class; they begin a hot-and-cold relationship; and Ever utterly falls apart when Damen is absent from her life.

Ever’s survivor’s guilt — and how it affects her sister, Riley, who is lingering in Ever’s life as a ghost — is the most interesting aspect of Evermore. Unfortunately, the middle of the book sags and loses focus, too caught up in mundane scenes of cattiness and drama and Ever’s angst about whether Damen really likes her or if he’s more into his ex and/or the local queen bee (and he’s certainly flaky enough to raise those questions).

Flakiness aside, Damen is so over the top that I almost think Noël is pulling our collective legs. He’s stunningly gorgeous and has been a model. He’s filthy rich. He has genius-level talent in almost every field; for example, it’s implied that he taught Picasso to paint. He’s been friends with pretty much everyone who’s been famous in the last 600 years, from Shakespeare to the Beatles. One wonders why he’d need to go to high school at all. (The obvious answer is “to pick up teenage girls,” and indeed he does eventually reveal that he enrolled to get close to Ever.)

The supernatural plot becomes more prominent at the end of the book, but has major issues. There’s too much exposition, for one; the villain monologues and gloats at great length, and Damen has some infodumping to do as well. Then, the final showdown is resolved in an overly cheesy way.

Evermore is also plagued by “telling” prose, stereotypical secondary characters, and confusing metaphysics. Bad editing, too; for example, Ever’s late dog changes sex from one paragraph to the next. I enjoyed the interplay between Ever and her sister’s ghost, but cannot recommend this book.


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KELLY LASITER is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.

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4 comments

  1. I tried reading this on audio (downloaded free from my library). I started squirming within the first five minutes and by 30 minutes in I felt like I was being tortured. I can’t remember how far I got, but probably only an hour before I thought I was going to lose consciousness. It was horrible.

  2. I rolled my eyes at “Ever Bloom” and by the time I reached the end of your review I was snickering. Thank you! I think with your help the book has provided about as much entertainment as it’s going to. Yeah, and what’s with these creepy old/immortal guys hanging around high schools? Isn’t there a law?

  3. Ditto on the eye roll, Marion, except that mine was accompanied by an out loud “you’ve got to be kidding me.”

  4. I always roll my eyes at foreshadow-y names. I mean, do parents magically know, when naming their baby, what will happen to them later in life? One of the silliest examples is actually from a series I like. Remus Lupin. There was someone in HP fandom a while back who said “That’s like naming him Wolfy McWolferson!”

    Yeah, the creepy immortal guys hanging around high schools — somehow it’s supposed to be not creepy if they look like teenagers.

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