Saturday, January 26, 2013

Book Review: Everbound

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. Quoted from Goodreads


There's a technique in writing, where when you don't know what to write, you just start writing words, thoughts, something, and suddenly you find that you kind of do know what to write.  I'm hoping this is true, because while I really liked this book I'm not quite sure what to say about it. First, I suppose, is how unique this series is.  Yes, there's a bit of a love triangle and otherworldly characters, but the entire premise is totally different from any other book I've read. 

Second, there's the action.  Everneath, while I really enjoyed it, was a bit more slow paced.  Nikki was so depressed/drained through most of it, the book really seemed to be more about getting her life together, uncovering what really happened to her (and how), and and finding a way to escape her fate.  Everbound is all about saving Jack.  In the Everbound, Nikki is exposed to all kinds of crazy landscapes and almost zombie-like creatures as she and Cole try and make their way to Jack. Plus, Jack is fading, so there's the constant worry pushing the story forward, "Will they make it in time?" Plus there's the irony that Cole is helping Nikki save Jack.

Ah, Cole and Jack.  Poor Jack doesn't make a huge appearance in this book in real time.  To compensate, we get a lot of flashbacks of Nikki's memories about how she fell in love with Jack.  It makes you fall in love with him more, because he was so sweet, but it can't quite makeup for the fact that it is a flashback and therefore happened two or three (or a hundred, if you're counting the time Nikki and Cole were in the feed) years ago.  Still, Jack is so consistently good, you have to cheer for him.

Then there's Cole.  You know from the first book that he is a little twisted, his moral compass is skewed, and he doesn't view things the way a normal person would.  Despite that, despite everything that happens in this book (and he does some crazy stuff) I absolutely enjoyed his character.  I love how much he loves Nikki, even though she takes a long time seeing it, and that he will do anything (and I do mean ANYTHING--even stuff that makes you want to hit him) to "help" her. He is a deliciously ambiguous, strangely devoted, and an absolute wild card, which, for me, made him the character I loved to read about most.

I also loved all the mythology that connects in this book, while at the same time, it never feels derivative.  Yes, certain Greek myths get mentioned a lot, but I don't ever feel that this is a modern retelling or, really, even a based on  Greek mythology at all.  It gives the whole story a slightly more epic/historical feel, while maintaining it's autonomy.

Then there's the ending!  I love, love, love this ending.  It had the ideal, happy moment, mixed with the betrayal/cliffhanger that satisfies while leaving you longing for more--exactly right for  a second book in a series.  It contained the perfect twist, that I half expected, but with layers I never saw coming. I can't wait for next year and the final book.

For me, this book is a wonderful 4 stars.  I loved the characters, the picked up pace, and the excellent ending.  It absolutely lived up to the promise of the first book, and did more than maintain the pace until the third, it add whole new layers of intrigue and conflict.  So, if you're in the mood for a fun, really unique adventure, check out this series.  It's totally worth it.

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