In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.
No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.
But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.
I’ve read the Romanian version of the book
Genre: YA Fantasy
Page count: 344 (Romanian Version), 384 (English Paperback Version)
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ (3.45/5)
Hmm…I think this might be the first fantasy book I’ve read in Romanian. Like ever in my life.
Guys, it feels weird.
Even though it seems like I read faster in my mother tongue (which is weird because I don’t really read that much in it), I constantly have the feeling that I don’t quite grasp the story as I should. And I actually should’ve grasp it better because I kind of liked it.
I might have a problem with some words that sound completely weird in Romanian and I might refer wrongly to them as to how I imagine they are in English. So, if I get some words wrong, signal me, I might’ve got lost in translation. But I would try to avoid them anyway, I don’t want to make a fool out of myself!
First things first, this world that Sara Holland has created is kind of untouchable. It is an interesting concept of a timeless world in which the most valuable thing is, you guessed it, time. People are born with time in their veins, time that can be extracted, materialized into blood-iron and then ingurcitated like it is effervescent vitamin C. Quite an interesting concept, I might say I declare myself a fan.
This so-called time extraction (directly from the blood) comes, however, with a trick of itself: the rich can feed with the time of the poor (until they run out at some point) and become nearly immortal (but not quite). It’s like they are some weird time-thirsty vampires. Not fair.
Those who can offer something for the wide interest, like, let’s say, protection from some weird forest bandits, claim in return time from people’s life. Pretty nasty concept, don’t you think? Yeah, power is everything.
Well, as I come to realise, this book really has a similar concept to the film In Time (2011). You know, the one with Justin Timberlake, Olivia Wilde, Amanda Seyfried…The rich suck the time out of the poor, they live centuries and so on?
That’s a good film with a good plot, but that doesn’t mean that this book is a complete copycat. If you give it a little time, you’d come to realise that the idea, yes, is similar, but the details are the ones that make everything different. I am not going to debate now the authenticity of this book because it is not my place to be. I am here to talk about my feelings and thoughts towards it and to cut the discussion short: I don’t think that the book is a copy of the film, only based on the same idea, like many, many, many other things in this life. Just saying.
Back at it, the whole atmosphere is just kind of sad if you ask me. And uncomfortable. I would hate to live in a world where I need to cut open my palms in order to get currency to survive. Ick. No, thank you.
Even though I felt kinda into the book while reading it, I have to admit that I couldn’t really feel anything about the characters. I didn’t have much connection to any of them and the least of connection I’ve had with the main character, Jules Ember.
I couldn’t quite grasp Jules’ personality throughout the book. I really felt like it went missing at some point (the personality, I mean). She always experienced so many emotions, but she never expressed them but chose to shove them in some corner of her being and keep the obedient servant attitude on. My girl, if you feel that something is unfair, you shout it out. You’re the main character, you’re not dying, trust me. And also, you’re undying crush for Roan? A bit too much, girl. A bit too much. But I kind of understand you. I’ve had childhood crushes too at some point. Still too much until some point.
Something weird is happening to the other characters too. I couldn’t see any of the characters as the way they were presented in the book, I just couldn’t. It wasn’t right in my mind. No one seems to be as expected and some people feel so sleek that you just cannot trust them, even though they might appear good to you.
Even though there are certain things that I wasn’t a fan of throughout the book, it was kind of enjoyable overall, at least for me. It had something that made me enjoy reading it, but I cannot name exactly why. Maybe it was so uneventful that I just read it too easily. It’s full of contrast this one. It had some things that aroused my interest and I think it had to do with the way magic is seen and used in the times of Sempera. But some parts were so full of blah…
I am looking forward to reading the next book as soon as I find it. I do hope that after reading the next one, the whole Everless mass of feeling in my mind is going to get a better contour. So, for the Everless Duology, I have a message – You better shape up, ‘cuz I need a book who can keep me satisfied.
Setting aside the joke, I liked the book in a mediocre kind of way, but I think it might have greater potential, the end kind of tried to force it that away. So, not a completely bad read, afterall. It really has some interesting concepts that demand to be explored.