Title of the work
Country of the First Edition
Country/countries of popularity
First Edition Date
First Edition Details
Brodi Ashton, Everneath, New York: Balzer & Bray, 2012, 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 Sehnsucht, trans. Ulrike Wasel und Klaus Timmermann, Hamburg: Oetinger, 2012.
A seventeen year old student and cheerleader, Nikki Beckett, whose mother died in a car accident, is trapped for a hundred years in an uncanny underworld named Everneath, ruled at some point by the Egyptian Isis and Osiris, then by Hades and Persephone. Nikki lies imprisoned in a cave together with the underworld-rocker Everlasting Cole, who steals her energy in order to feed himself and who is performing with the band “The Dead Elvises.” The immortals in the Everneath remain immortals sucking emotions from unhappy human victims called Forfeits. Earlier, Nikki and her best friend Jules met Cole in a popular club. Then a lovesick Nikki was convinced by the rocker to come to the underworld. She still loves her ex-boyfriend Jack, a quarterback from the football team at her high school. Their relationship ended, because she accused him of having sex with her archenemy Lacey. Nikki is allowed to leave the Everneath to say goodbye to her family and her ex-boyfriend Jack on earth, as time passes differently on the surface and the hundred years in the underworld lasted only six months on earth. They all are under the impression that she was in a rehab clinic. During her time on the surface, Jack and Nikki fall in love with each other again. But Nikki is not allowed to stay there any longer and is kidnapped by dark shadows named the tunnels, which would bring her back to the underworld. There, she will be at Cole’s side, ruling as the new queen of the world of the dead. In the last moment, Jack rescues her but jumps himself into the black tunnels which transport him into the parallel world. Nikki decides to save him and bring him back. This part of the story is told in the rest of the trilogy.
In this first part of the Everneath trilogy, the myth of Hades and Persephone serves to focus a contemporary story: the young girl liberates herself from a misogynist boyfriend under whose control she remained for a long time and who brought her massive unhappiness. The role of the mythical Hades is played by the immortal Cole, who abducts Nikki to the underworld, like Hades abducted Persephone in the fifth book of Ovid’s Metamorphoses. This parallel to the myth is mentioned in the book in order to inform readers about the ancient narrative, but the main source of the myth, Ovid’s Metamorphoses, are not mentioned. In order to develop in a conservative way Nikki has to leave the uncanny rocker to start a family life with her human boyfriend Jack. After visiting a club she is taken into the underworld for half of a year as prisoner in the parallel world of Everneath. But this captivity feels for Nikki like 100 years of horror and pain. Back on earth Cole visits her regularly and suggests her that she would become the new empress of the underworld at his side, if she marries him. If she agrees to this plan, Nikki would never see again the people she loves. Nikki embodies a new and modern type of Persephone being seduced by a devilish figure, who wants to use her for his own tyrannical aims. Cole behaves as a bad ruler, because he has no heart and like the Christian stereotype of Satan, he is keen to seduce innocent girls. At the end of this novel, Nikki can be saved by Jack, her Messianic boyfriend, in the last moment. He sacrifices his life for her. The ancient myth is pedagogically functionalized to show teenage girls and readers, that they should not follow rockers or other dubious young men into their homes after a club night. Nikki did that and that is the reason for her suffering in the underworld. According to this conservative view, sex before marriage may lead to death as also suggested in the prominent Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. Nikki also finds herself in a triangular relationship, because she is adored by two men, like Bella in Twilight. Cole is also a hybrid figure between Hades and vampire: he sucks his victim’s emotions and energy to retain his immortality. The role models in this book are archaic. The men are active and damage or rescue women. The female protagonists are passive victims, who are exploited by bad boys. Everneath is an amalgamate of Greco-Roman mythological motifs and modern fairy tale themes.
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 (eds.). Verjüngte Antike. Griechisch-römische Mythologie und Historie in zeitgenössischen Kinder- und Jugendmedien. Heidelberg: Winter 2017.
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.