Fresh perspective on dystopian genre revealed in “Everless”


“Everless” by Sarah Holland brings an entirely unique perspective to the dystopian genre. The novel follows protagonist Jules Ember through her life under the rule of the blood-coin society Sempera. In Sempera, wealth is linked directly with time; people have their blood drawn to make iron-infused time coins, most of which go to the wealthiest families to allow them to live several decades longer than they should. Jules and her father served under one of the wealthy noble families, the Gerlings, at their home Everless, until a nearly fatal accident occurred with her best friend Roan Gerling and his older brother Liam. As a result of the incident, Jules and her father were expelled from Everless and chased through Sempera by Liam, creating their deep-seated hatred for the Gerlings. Ten years after their expulsion, Jules’s father appears to be nearly out of time, his blood running thin through years of giving for blood-coins. This inspires Jules to give up everything she is familiar with to save him; she returns to Everless to act as a servant. During her time there, Jules begins to discover centuries-old secrets about herself and her unique blood, making her a firm believer that not everything is as it appears.

Though it starts off slow, “Everless” is suspenseful and easy for readers to follow. The novel flows easily for reader comprehension, but it is not boring either, as the mystery of Jules herself slowly begins to unravel until the entire puzzle is put together at the very end. Jules, unlike some characters found in dystopian novels, has her flaws and accepts them. One of these flaws is her childhood love for Roan, which she can’t seem to shake off. While still susceptible to mistakes, Jules is intelligent, and her actions are never too brash as she tries to do what she thinks is best for those about whom she cares. She gives up everything to get more money, more blood, to save her father.

“Everless” differentiates itself from classical dystopian novels because it is not romance-driven. There are a few moments of romance throughout the novel, but the story focuses solely on Jules and her journey of finding out who she really is. This allows Jules’s character to be built upon and understood in depth without confusing feelings of love. The entire basis of “Everless” is completely original. The novel is centered around the idea that time is literally money, which ties back into the basic human belief that we must work to make more profit.



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