I’ve always loved a good fantasy novel and when I worked in publishing, I was lucky enough to work on an incredible debut where time was literally money…
Evermore by Sara Holland was set in the world of Sempera where people paid for things with time from their lives. Days, hours, minutes – they were all drained from characters’ blood and converted into iron coins. These, when melted into a drink, were consumed by others who would gain time.
It was a simple concept – time is money – but so cleverly, and darkly described.
With the big stately home of Evermore as a backdrop, Sara introduced us to the novel’s heroine, Jules, who is forced to take up a job at the house to earn money for her and her poor father. But Jules used to live at the house and her history is tied up intricately with its inhabitants. A history she slowly starts to uncover, realising she’s not all she seems…
Underlying all of this is the legend of the alchemist and the sorceress – a pair that used to be close friends but turned against each other. Ever since the alchemist stole the sorceress’s heart, she’s since been on a mission to find and kill him, retrieving what was hers.
There’s more to the legend than that but I don’t want to inadvertently give anything away for book 2 – Evermore.
I loved Evermore, not least because the colour on the jacket was beautiful, and so like the ocean, which does feature a little in this book.
When I left publishing, this was the book I was desperate to be sent when it published – the world I had to return to even if I wasn’t working on it anymore!
With book one ending on a hell of a cliffhanger, I was pleased to see that book two picks up exactly where we left, plunging us straight back into the world of Sempera where Jules is a lot more clued up on her past.
The character development is brilliant, and Jules, although headstrong and stubborn at times, is still incredibly likeable and impressive. It’s refreshing to have a heroine that admits to feeling fear – and Jules certainly does. This just makes her enemy seem more intimidating rather than making her seem weak, as some might criticise.
I don’t want to say too much and give away any huge plot twists but I would say that Sara Holland has delivered again on book two, increasing the pace and danger of book one and maintaining the incredibly simple yet clever metaphor that time is money. The ending and resolution was a little too simple for me but the build up was incredible – which is probably why I read it all in just a few days!
I may be bias but I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on what Sara Holland does next..