Journal #1 – Everneath by Brodi Ashton
What I cannot quit fathom is how the character Cole is so incredibly creepy to me. I have been reading fantasy novels about male characters who have been zombies, vampires, werewolves, lychens, ghosts and every other kind of otherworldly creature, but none have given me nightmares (yes, literally) as did Cole after reading about him. The way that Nikki is made to crave him no matter how she feels – even if she can hardly really feel, as humans do, anymore – is frightening to me. How when Nikki Returns to her old life on Earth and Cole first shows up in her room (page 32) she is physically drawn to him in a way that she cannot control her own movements. She feels “emptiness” without him, even though she does not love him with the deep longing she feels toward Jack, the love she was forced to leave before becoming a Forfeit in the Everneath.
What is even scarier to me is that even though this book is written in first-person prose, we have no idea what Nikki’s real desires are. It is as though the animation of not only her physicality is sucked away from Cole’s Feeding off her, but also that he has stripped her of her mental animation. On page 33, we get that Nikki strongly desires to be away from Cole in her room, but she does not mentally voice for what reason she does not want to need his touch the same way she needed it in the century she spent with him in the Everneath.
On page 95, Nikki finally voices her wishes: “’If that were true, you’d find a way to let me stay here. For good.’” But she immediately goes into the internal thought of “I knew it was impossible; when you choose to be a Forfeit, you belong to the Everneath, and the pact is as strong as any other force in the universe…” She has this defeated outlook about getting what she truly desires –what she’s desired for a century – yet she doesn’t believe there is hope. All her efforts are like screaming into a void, and I can tell that from the way that I feel detached from her - because she is so cowardly, so inept to being proactive with seeking her desires.What I want more than anything after reading these first 100 pages is to understand what Cole could have done to make Nikki such an inanimate and subordinate person. Her quiet consciousness scares me to death, and I want to know what Cole could have done to suck the will so thoroughly out of her being.