Title of the work
Country of the First Edition
Country/countries of popularity
First Edition Date
First Edition Details
Brodi Ashton, Everbound, New York: Balzer & Bray, 2013, 380 pp.
Young adults (Teens)
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Author of the Entry:
Michael Stierstorfer, University of Regensburg, Michael.email@example.com
Peer-reviewer of the Entry:
Markus Janka, University of Munich, firstname.lastname@example.org
Elżbieta Olechowska, University of Warsaw, email@example.com
Brodi Ashton (Author)
Brodi Ashton studied journalism at the University of Utah and international relations at the London School of Economics. She published her debut, Everneath, in 2012, as a first volume of a trilogy (vol. 2 and 3 are entitled respectively Everbound 2013, Evertrue 2014). Ashton blogs and comments on her writing at brodiashton.blogspot.com. She lives in Utah with her husband and two sons. She says in her blog, that both her parents were “Greek myth geeks,” she learned about mythology in her childhood and brought the mythological inspiration to her Everneath trilogy. In her writing, she focuses on romantic fantasy for teenagers and young adults. She published another novel, Diplomatic Immunity in 2016. The same year, she began collaborating with two other YA authors, Cynthia Hand and Jodi Meadows. The three friends working under the nickname The Ladyjanies produced My Lady Jane in 2016, My Plane Jane in 2018; the third novel in the same cycle, My Calamity Jane is scheduled to appear in 2020. All her books are very popular and were translated in a number of languages.
Profile at amazon.com (accessed: September 25, 2019)
Blog (accessed: September 25, 2019)
Bio prepared by Michael Stierstorfer, University of Regensburg, Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org
German: Brodi Ashton, Ewiglich. Die Hoffnung, trans. Ulrike Wasel und Klaus Timmermann, Oetinger, 2013.
Sequels, Prequels and Spin-offs
Spin-off: Neverfall (Everneath Book 2), a 107-page spin-off to Everneath told by the point of view of a male protagonist was published also in 2012 by Balzer & Bray in Kindle format.
Brodi Ashton: Everneath, 2012
Brodi Ashton: Evertrue, 2014
A seventeen year old high school student and cheerleader, Nikki, is determined to rescue her boyfriend Jack, who saved her from the underworld, called Everneath in volume 1 of the trilogy. He is threatened by black shadows sucking out his emotions and energy. After finding the Hades-figure Cole, who kidnapped her and brought to the underworld in the past, Nikki asks him, what to do. He reveals to her, that she will encounter dangerous circles, which are made of the four elements, water, fire, earth, and air. To prevent Nikki from having to cope with these infernal labours alone, Cole accompanies her with his rocker band colleagues Max and Ashe. After passing through the labyrinth, where singing Sirens and groaning Zombies attack the protagonists, Ashe and Max are arrested by Adonia, the dangerous and power-hungry queen of the underworld. In the last moment, Nikki and Cole manage to escape by jumping into the black tunnels full of soul destroying shadows, which attack the protagonists. In the dark tunnels, which can be compared to Tartarus, Nikki finds and saves Jack by recognizing his hands among thousands of hands. But there is no happy ending: during their Katabasis, the Hades-figure Cole kissed Nicki several times. By doing so, he transformed her into a demonic vampire of the underworld. Consequently, she cannot kiss Jack again, because her kiss would suck out his life. Because Nikki and Jack love each other, they decide to wipe the underworld out, so that Nikki’s metamorphosis could be revoked.
In the second volume of the Everneath trilogy the myth of Hades and Persephone is re-focused and modernized. It is combined with the myth of the Sirens and of the Minotaur, imprisoned in the labyrinth of Crete. The Sirens serve as guardian figures keeping the protagonists away from Adonia’s castle. Also the labyrinth provides a protective zone to mislead Nikki and her friends, so that they get stuck in the underworld. The myth of the Minotaur offers a new background to describe the eternal love between Jack and Nikki. Nikki’s love for Jack is likened to the thread of Ariadne, the daughter of king Minos, leading the hero safely through the dangerous labyrinth (cf. Everbound, 107) and enabling him to reach the exit. The love of the young couple is transported into a mythical sphere and acquires an additional nobility. The deceitful Cole schemes to make Nikki a heartless underworld soul sucker like himself. To achieve that, Cole kisses her three times. Here the Hades-figure Cole is shown as a hybrid between Hades and a vampire. This twist fact reminds us again of the popular Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. The female-protagonist is transformed into a demonic creature by Hades, who acts as a new variation on the vampire theme. After her metamorphosis, Nikki’s heart is stolen and taken to the treasury of the Persephone-figure Adonia, who desires to possess all hearts of the underworld inhabitants to rule over them. Nikki becomes once again mentally connected to Cole. In this novel, characters of his kind are viewed from the conservative perspective, with loathing and disgust. Nikki wants to destroy the heart of Cole in order to save her own. That happens in the last novel of the trilogy named Evertrue. This updating of the ancient myth also includes a gender variation of the Orphic myth: Nikki takes the role of Orpheus and descends into the underworld to save Jack and bring him back to the surface. Jack takes the part of Eurydice, who waits in the underworld for salvation and rescue by his heroine Nikki. Finally, it can be said that the setting of the underworld is a hybrid between the labyrinth of the Minotaur and the circles of hell, taken from Dante’s Inferno. The readers are briefly informed about the myth of Theseus and Ariadne and the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice by the narrator. The ancient sources remain unnamed. The love of Nikki and Jack is compared with these mythical stories in order to ennoble it and present as eternal. The characters and the settings are mixed and combined with several mythical elements in order to create an intense romantic plot against an ancient mythical background.
Michael Stierstorfer, Antike Mythologie in der Kinder- und Jugendliteratur der Gegenwart. Unsterbliche Götter- und Heldengeschichten? [Ancient Mythology in Contemporary Children’s Literature. Immortal Stories of Gods and Heroes?]. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2017, 128 pp.
Markus Janka, Michael Stierstorfer (ed.). Verjüngte Antike. Griechisch-römische Mythologie und Historie in zeitgenössischen Kinder- und Jugendmedien. Heidelberg: Winter 2017, pp. 13-27.
Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer, “Orpheus and Eurydice. Reception of the Classical Myth in Children’s Literature.ˮ In: Katarzyna Marciniak (ed.), Our Mythical Childhood… The Classics and Literature for Children and Young Adults. Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2016, pp. 291-306.