I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Everbound by Brodi Ashton
Series: Everneath #2
Published by Balzer + Bray on January 22nd 2013
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
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Nikki Beckett could only watch as her boyfriend, Jack, sacrificed himself to save her, taking her place in the Tunnels of the Everneath for eternity — a debt that should’ve been hers. She’s living a borrowed life, and she doesn’t know what to do with the guilt. And every night Jack appears in her dreams, lost and confused and wasting away.
Desperate for answers, Nikki turns to Cole, the immortal bad boy who wants to make her his queen — and the one person least likely to help. But his heart has been touched by everything about Nikki, and he agrees to assist her in the only way he can: by taking her to the Everneath himself.
Nikki and Cole descend into the Everneath, only to discover that their journey will be more difficult than they’d anticipated — and more deadly. But Nikki vows to stop at nothing to save Jack — even if it means making an incredible sacrifice of her own.
In this enthralling sequel to Everneath, Brodi Ashton tests the bonds of destiny and explores the lengths we’ll go to for the ones we love.
There are exactly two types of books that I tend to gravitate towards: Dystopians and Greek myths. Both feature characters in impossible, bleak situations. Those stories are dark, deadly and often times, down right tragic, not always ending with your standardized ‘happily ever after.’ Hmm… I’m not exactly sure what that says about me as a person, but I digress. I think the real allure is rooting for the underdogs even when it seems like they’re up against the inevitable. It’s the spark of hope in these character driven novels. The passion and determination of the main characters. The dynamic relationships that form as a result of these scenarios. But mostly importantly, it’s the nagging thought in the back of your mind, wondering what you’d do if you were in their position, which paves the way for certain type of admiration for the strength in the protagonist. Everbound was that kind of book for me.
Immediately, after starting Everbound I had the sinking feeling it was going to tear at my heart. And I was right because obviously Nikki is still hurting over Jack’s sacrifice with no way to save him. That is, until Cole reappears in her life and together they travel down to the Everneath to save Jack. And I should warn readers that this is not a happy novel and it does contain its fair share of teen angst, but, in my opinion, warranted. While Nikki and Cole navigate the Everneath, they rely heavily on her memories of Jack to show them the way. I was a little wary of the book containing flashbacks to help move the plot along because those types of novels don’t seem to work well with me. Thankfully, I enjoyed it and I feel it helped fill the void for Jack’s smallish role in this installment.
That’s right. *weeps* There isn’t much Jack in here. That made me really sad in the beginning, but then there was Cole, who is a completely different character for the better. Nikki is oblivious to Cole’s feelings for her and at times that did annoy me. What was it going to take for her to see it? Did his love have to punch her in the face? Apparently. Yet, she failed to take much notice and that, unfortunately, led to a tragic ending… And if you’re wondering, yes, there is a cliffhanger. In this case, I liked it only because I think Ashton set it up nicely even though I must now suffer more than a year to know what happens next (WHY?! *weeps* HOW SHALL I SURVIVE?).
Another thing I loved about Everbound was how much action was added this time around. Whereas Everneath moved as a slower pace and it almost felt like you could feel Nikki coming out her drugged haze, Everbound is the opposite with just enough action sequences, paired with bittersweet flashback memories of Nikki and Jack. But at the same time there is this layer of urgency to get to Jack before he disappears forever. So many obstacles are thrown at our characters, that I started to doubt if there would be any sort of resolution because Ashton doesn’t make it easy for them. After all, this is based on a Greek myth. Remember all the tragedy, pain and suffering? Ashton really doesn’t hold back and I really appreciated it.
Then there is the love triangle. And I really have to applaud Ashton for it. I know, I know. Not another dreaded love triangle. But let me tell you, I LOVE IT. Originally, I was solidly on Jack’s side, but I’m finding myself more and more conflicted as this series goes on (much like I am with the Unearthly series). There seems to be so much more to Cole than I expected. He’s such a complex character and learning more about his past in Everbound had me questioning who the true antagonist is. Cole says there are no heroes. But is he just resisting the person he could be or has he accepted his fate and role as a true Everliving? I am unsure. All I know is that I was throughly deceived in this book. Like, egg all over my face. Feels rain down on me. Then by the end, ultimately, I drowned in it.
Usually, I have this habit where I rate books immediately after finishing the last page and this, admittedly, leads to a lot of books having inflated ratings from me. (I’m working on that.) But even after leaving Everbound’s review waiting to be written for almost a week, I still feel this was an excellent second novel. I expected to find “Second Book Syndrome,” but instead we have a story that significantly picked up the action, dived into more complex characterization and a conclusion that left me stunned. I think fans of Everneath will loves this and those who weren’t particularly impressed with the first book will find a better novel here. There’s really not much to say other than to wonder, how many children must I offer up for book three?
Interested in winning an ARC? Check back with us at the end of the month for our Top Cuddles of 2012 Giveaway Hop. (Yes, that was a bit of shameless self-promotion. I regret nothing.)
ARC was provided by HarperTEEN. Thank you! As usual, no monies or favors were exchanged for a positive review. I just happened to like something all by my lonesome. Shocking, I know.