Saturday, March 30, 2013

Everbound (Everneath #2) by Brodi Ashton: review

Goodreads rating: 4.24
Hardcover, 358 pages
Published January 22nd 2013 by Balzar + Bray
Series: Everneath #2
Source: Bought, signed

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.

WARNING: SPOILERS FROM BOOK 1

At the end of Everneath, we were handed a pretty big cliffhanger. Nikki's boyfriend, Jack, has taken her place in the Everneath, leaving Nikki heartbroken and without a way to get him back. Apparently, Cole feels like he needs to distance himself from Nikki and her wrath. He still believes that Nikki is the right one to overthrow the current queen of the Everneath so that they can come to power and rule it. But Nikki doesn't want that; all she wants is Jack back, so that she can live a normal life again. As much as she hates to admit it, though, she needs Cole in order to get to a place in the Everneath were she cannot be found by the queen and consequently killed for what she is. As I think about this now,  realize that this is kind of a filler book. Something happens at the end that will change everything for the third book, but really, this entire book is about rescuing Jack, which didn't even need to happen in the first place. I did really enjoy the writing though. I've never liked Cole, and Nikki is so obviously not interested in him anymore, so there's really no love triangle, except that he wants her as his queen in the Everneath. No big deal. But Nikki is having a hard time living her life without Jack, especially since people seem to have it in their heads that she knows where Jack is. Well, she does, but not in a way that will make her not sound crazy, and she still doesn't know exactly where in the Everneath he is. Which is why she needs Cole.

There really wasn't much romance in this one. All Nikki is focused on is finding Jack in the Everneath, which is a romantic notion in and of itself, but it's the driving force of the plot and so there is no other romance. But I guess what really made it worth it is that, since you tend to lose yourself in the Everneath, Cole kept getting Nikki to tell him stories about Jack and how they met, and how things were before she ever met Cole. And her talisman that she has down there to remind her of above the Everneath is a note from Jack. But I guess I was sort of expecting the "love triangle" to broaden. That's the typical sequel syndrome, and this one had all the right elements. The main love interest is off somewhere, whether by choice or otherwise, and so the other guy in the triangle steps it up and woes the girl to the best of his ability. But Nikki and Jack have such a strong connection that there was no way Cole was going to be able to get between them. I guess that's a good thing, but then, for me, it's not a love triangle. I have to feel something for the other guy. But Cole does him something at the end that makes us readers hate him even more, so there are literally no redeeming qualities to Cole for me anymore. Even though he chooses to help Nikki, he makes up for it by screwing her over in the end.

Like I said, now that I've had time to think about it, this was really a filler book. I've heard from a lot of authors that the second book is the hardest to write. And while this wasn't the worst of the filler books, I've realized that there could have been other layers to make it more than just about saving Jack, and then that shocking thing that happens to Nikki in the end that I can't tell you about. That's not to say that this was a bad book. It's better than some of the other sequels I've read (even if it did have some symptoms of the sequel syndrome), and I still enjoy Ashton's writing. I was glad I got to finally meet her on the Dark Days tour and then again when she was touring with Cynthia Hand and Jodi Meadows. And, I mean, I can't not give props for this cover. I wish I had a dress that curled into smoke at the bottom! There were also exciting parts. We get to see a lot more of the Everneath. We haven't really had any concept of what it's like down there, but I was glad to see Ashton incorporating more myths than just the Persephone story. She kept adding more layers to this dark, complicated world, but in a way that was easy to understand. It will definitely be interesting to see what happens in the next book, especially after that ending! Definitely recommended for people who read and like Everneath.

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According to FTC guidelines, I'm obligated to share with you that all of the books that I review on my blog are either purchased by me or given to me by an author/publisher. All of the opinions expressed in my reviews are mine and I do not receive any sort of monetary goods for writing either good or bad reviews.