The Everlasting by Tim Lebbon

(No Series)

Thirty years ago, Scott s grandfather slaughtered his best friend, then committed suicide. Now the spirit of the murdered man has returned, seeking the ancient volume that can return him to life -- forever.
Pursued by this savage spirit and accompanied by a strange woman who claims to be immortal, Scott must do the impossible. He must find the book that may have driven his grandfather to murder and destroy it before its secrets can be revealed.

The Everlasting was a originative, mentally-stimulating, poetically-written novel. Lebbon truly blends his words together beautifully, making this one almost a haunting experience. Similar to Gothic works I've read, you can almost envision fog, the wind, dark nights, fading ghosts, whispered sounds in the walls, and picture things in your mind as if looking through a lens. The talent he has with writing words is indisputable.

The genre is Horror; however, it's more of an adult fairy tale very heavy on fantasy. There's little actually scary about the novel, but there are rich suspenseful scenes that do get the heart-stilling effect. It's a classic adventure/journey/treasure at the end of the map type book. Scott and Nina are on the search for something valuable with the stakes being astonishingly high.

Scott as a character is fine enough, I suppose. It's a personal pet peeve of mine but I kept shuddering whenever the hero of the story kept saying, Papa. When he said this word I felt like someone was rubbing sandpaper on a chalkboard. He also says it a lot With his age it seemed even more so unrealistic and strangely childlike. Nina was intriguing and you never know where you stand with her, which was the point. The other ancients that were introduced were also disturbing and fascinating in their individual ways.

What hurt this one more than anything was both pace and length. If the story would have had more to happen with more action-filled pacing, it would have been more interesting in the first half, yet it would have lost the surreal type experience Lebbon seemed to be shooting for. The second half held more events and took off nicely, with Scott and Ninas experiences becoming more interesting and reader-patience friendly. 

Really, I feel this book would have been able to keep it's unique, beautifully written appeal and the interest of the reader more had it just been shorter. It's already not a lengthy book, but it would have served much better as a short story or novella because of how much it was forced to lag. The introspection was heavy, which is fine if more had been going on, but the struggle to get into the novel before the second half will turn off some readers.

Despite that major flaw, the plot was surprising. There are plenty of secrets waiting to be unearthed, hidden in layers of strange characters, unsettling events, and a uniquely patterned story which speaks of unusual things like "The Wide" and "The Book of Chords."  Quite mystical, it excels in some points while sometimes hurting itself.

Overall, the pacing didn't pull me in for so long, hence the lower rating, but still enjoyable for its bleak world, written with a talented hand. When you're in the mood for this style, it serves a perfect fit.

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