Ever is the latest novel by Gail Carson Levine, an author who has proven herself time and time again to be an enchanting storyteller. In this latest fantasy from a talented author, Kezi is a girl from a monotheistic family in a setting that sounds kind of Eastern Mediterranean, biblical times (Israel? Greece? Really, I have no idea, that’s just my guess). When Kezi’s father makes a vow to Admat (God) that results in his having to sacrifice his daughter, however, Kezi’s beliefs are challenged. Not because of her impending death, but because of Olus, the goatherd who reveals himself to be the Akkan god of the winds.
Kezi and Olus fall in love (unrealistically quickly), and embark on a journey to change Kezi’s fate by making her immortal. This journey is a literal one, but also a quest searching for the truth; Kezi has always believed in Admat, the one supreme being, but she’s just found out about more than forty other gods!
Ever is a love story, an adventure, and a few other things, but what I noticed most about this book was a distinct fairytale-like quality; that’s the best way I can think to describe it. It doesn’t really have depth in terms of great characterizations or realistic relationships–but as I was reading it, that was okay, because it didn’t feel like all that was necessary. It also has beautifully drawn settings and an interesting mythology. The writing is simple and clear, setting the fairytale-like tone I mentioned earlier. It’s not a deep story, exactly, but it does require thought. It’s simple, thoughtful, and an enchanting story that, if readers do not look for what is not there, they will definitely be able to appreciate, but there have been mixed reviews. Taking it for what it is, I loved Ever, and I devoured it in a morning! It’s not my favorite of Gail Carson Levine’s books, but it is certainly one that is worth reading.