Author: Brodi Ashton
Page count: 368
Publication date: January 22, 2013
Source: ARC won Pitch Dark Books
Goodreads rating: 4.41
*warning: spoilers below for Everneath
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.
Okay, so this is definitely a strong case of “It’s not you, it’s me”. I really struggled with this review. I contemplated and contemplated on what to rate this. Why such fickleness?? Here's the thing. Truthfully, this is a good sequel and I really enjoy this series. In fact, I just read Everneath recently. It was my last book of 2012, and I adored it. Everbound on the other hand.... Like I said already, it is a solid book, but I guess you could say that my.... indifference to a certain character just really kind of dampened my feelings on the book as a whole. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to try and be as honest as possible with my reviews, especially when it comes to criticism. I am a critical person, but when I first started reviewing, I went a lot easier on books because I hadn't read in so long and truthfully, as much as I read in the past, the YA genre is way different now than when I was younger, so it was a whole new world to me. But anyway, now I have been full on reading for about a year now, I am much more confidant with what my likes and dislikes now and how to approach writing my reviews.
Okay, moving on. Right now I want to talk about how Everneath ended. If you haven't read the first one yet and don't want to be spoiled, back away now. At the end of Everneath, Jack sacrificed himself for Nikki, and went to the tunnels in her place.
When the sequel picks up, Nikki will do ANYTHING to find and rescue Jack, including her teaming up with Cole. So, yes, we finally really truly see the Everneath ladies and gents. And it's pretty awesome. Ashton weaves some incredible world-building. It's fascinating to see how it all works down there. I have to admit that the first book was a much quieter, slower book, but it touched my heart on a greater level. The world-building is significantly grander, better in Everbound and there is tons more action. However, I didn't feel that emotional connection that I had so much with the first book, and that made me sad, and sometimes feeling indifferent. I’ll get to why I feel that way in a bit. Hang on.
Since Cole and Nikki are working together to find Jack, this obviously means they spend the most time together in the story. This is both good and bad, for me. As a writer, reader and lover of stories, I appreciate the fleshing out of a character, and showing their layers and complexities and all that good stuff. You learn a lot about Cole in Everbound. You begin to understand what makes him tick, and why he is the way he is. I appreciate that he's a complex character, but I also find Jack to be as well, and I find him much more interesting. I'm pretty sure (?) I'm in the minority here but I just don’t really like Cole all that much. I tried, I really did, and I was open and excited about learning more about him in Everbound, but even with tapping into his deeper self, I guess I find that I just don’t really care all that much? I am more than anything bored of him, and therefore, found myself unenthused about most of this story.
However, here I was pretty bored, and then, BAM, the ending! There's a twist and people, it's a dozy. I NEVER SAW IT COMING. NOT ONCE. I was completely fooled!
It was especially exciting because I am rarely surprised/shocked when it comes to twists in books, tv shows or movies. It happens, but less and less these days, so I have to give major props to Ashton.
I was afraid that I wouldn't be that compelled to read the last book, but the ending, and the plot set up for the third book is downright thrilling, and not to mention unexpected. I feel like this series is good, but the next book has the potential to be mind-blowing. Bring on the next book now please!
Ultimately, If you're team Cole, you are going to be happy with his expanded role as well as all his scenes with Nikki in the Everneath. Fear not, Jack lovers, because he does play a role in this book, albeit a much understandably smaller one than in the first, but he's definitely there, and I don't think you will be disappointed. Let me just say that by the end of the book, the triangle gets REALLY complicated, and I cannot say, even though I want to so badly, in what way it gets complicated. Does this involve the twist I mentioned above?! You'll have to read and find out for yourself. :twirls evil moustache:
- Plot B
- Characters B-
- World-building/setting A
- Relationships B-
- Pace B
- Writing Style B