I was a bit baffled by this book at first. I couldn’t figure out if I liked it because it is by Gail Carson Levine who I highly admire or because I actually enjoyed the book. I certainly like Fairest and Ella Enchanted more, but Ever is still really good.

Kezi lives with her Mati and Pado under her God, Admat. Her Mati gets sick very suddenly, and her Pado promises to Admat to sacrifice the first person to congratulate him if her Mati gets better. Kezi is already nearly 16, the age at which girls are married. She has an eye out for a certain boy, until she meets Olus.

Even though she knows that she will die in thirty days, Kezi can’t help but fall in love with Olus. She’s very offended by Olus’s confession that he is the Akkan god of winds. He is immortal, while her death approaches rapidly. Olus thinks he has a way to save Kezi, but it will take a lot of work, and a good amount of chance as well. Kezi must say goodbye to her Mati and Pado in order to survive. She questions her God Admat and doubts her existence thus far.

I generally enjoyed this book. It seems that Levine has stepped out of normal fairy-tale retellings such as Fairest and Ella Enchanted. I think that it might be a sort of compilation of Greek myths. The idea of many Gods and a scene at the end certainly led me to believe that. Except in Greek Myths, there were many Gods of winds, one for each direction. I’ll be interested to ask Ms. Levine this when I go to one of her signings in May.

This book was written differently than other books she wrote, in that each chapter switches between Kezi and Olus. Half of me likes this, because it enhances the romance between them. On the other hand, I don’t think that I would have liked Olus that much if it had been narrated just by Kezi. Their romance seemed a little quick, and I only felt that Olus really loved Kezi, and Kezi said she loved him. By the end, of course, I saw that Kezi really did love Olus, but it wasn’t apparent at all times.

I must say that the cover really bothers me. Olus describes Kezi as…

She is lovely. Her skin is bronzed, a little oily, so she seems to shine. Her eyebrows, her lashes and her hair match the amber beads at her sash’s fringe. Her eyes are the golden brown of autumn oak leaves. Her nose bulges a little at the end- an olive nose, Hannu would call it.

The girl on the cover has very pale skin and very dark hair. Her nose does not bulge at the end at all. Kezi comes from a rich family, but the girl on the cover is wearing a tunic that looks rather poor to me.

Overall, Ever impressed me. I enjoyed the plot, and Olus’s voice. It’s not my favorite of Levine’s books, but probably third best.

Comes out May 6, 2008.