Ever by Gail Carson Levine

(Cover picture courtesy of Life Simplified.)

Falling in love is easy…

…for Kezi, a beautiful mortal, dancer, and rug weaver, and for Olus, Akkan god of the winds.  Their love brings Kezi the strength to fight her fate, and it gives Olus the strength to confront his fears.  Together—and apart—they encounter spiders with webs of iron, the cruel lord of the land of the dead, the mysterious god of destiny, and the tests of the Akkan gods.  If they succeed, they will be together; but if they fail, Olus will have to endure the ultimate loss, and Kezi will have to make the supreme sacrifice.

Newbery Honor author Gail Carson Levine has created a stunning world of flawed gods, unbreakable vows, and ancient omens.  Her story of love, fate, and belief is spellbinding.

Based on Mesopotamia, the world Gail Carson Levine has created in Ever is a nice chance after reading a lot of Euro-centric fantasy lately.  It follows that familiar mythic structure you find all around the world while still remaining free of too much cliché.  When you enter the world of Kezi and Olus, you realize just how much effort Gail Carson Levine put into world-building because of the social structure, religion and history we learn throughout the novel.

One of my main problems with the novel is that I couldn’t really connect with Kezi or Olus.  I know I am far from the target age group of Ever, but even so, I should have been able to connect with them on some emotional level, but I couldn’t.  As they struggled through their challenges, I really found myself not caring what happened to either of them.  To me, they seemed like flat, one dimensional characters, even though common sense says they shouldn’t because of their believable motivations and backstories.  Perhaps it is just me who couldn’t connect with the characters (it wouldn’t be the first time), but it’s something to keep in mind.

Ever is told from the points of view of both Kezi and Olus, which would be fine if it weren’t for the fact that Gail Carson Levine writes such short chapters.  It doesn’t build suspense when it’s done this way; it’s simply annoying and more than a little bit confusing.  Yes, I know it’s an ages 10 and up book, but give your readers some credit here!  The shortest chapter I saw was one line and one paragraph long (chapter 53, by the way).  Now that is getting ridiculous, don’t you think?

I give this book 2.5/5 stars.

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  1. Cassie

    Yes, Ever has some rough edges. I just read and reviewed Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst for knowsprose.com. Same concept at the heart of the novel, but it has much smoother writing. (Also, this one doesn’t really dip down toward the middle grade reader quite as much. I think Ever was trying to reach too broad of an audience maybe.)

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