Book Review: Everbound
By: Brodi Ashton
Published By: Balzer & Bray
Publication Date: January 22, 2012
Page Count: 384
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher
Audience: Young Adult - Fantasy, Greek Mythology Inspired
Oh. My. Goodness. I had forgotten how addicting this world and characters could be, but it didn't take long for me to fall back into a mesmerized state. Nikki is still fiercely loyal and courageous. Jack is still loving and faithful. Cole is still a mixture of angel and demon. The main difference between this novel and Everneath is the plot and setting. I won't go into plot details because I don't want to spoil this read or the first novel for those who haven't read it, but you seriously need to remedy that ASAP if you haven't added Everneath to your completed reads.
The setting shift occurs because the majority of this novel takes place in the Everneath. I loved this because it allowed me to get a better sense of the place and to learn more about how Everlivings, Wanderers, and Shades function. Getting a glimpse of the infamous Queen was also a highlight. I loved the structure of this society and the lore that comes along with each of the beings. One of the best aspects was learning the story behind Cole's transition from human to Everliving. It is also made clear how the transition occurs. All those nagging questions I had about this world were cleared up and now I am in awe of Brodi Ashton's creativity. There were so many twists and turns in this one that I never saw coming. She kept me guessing until the last word. Whew - that last chapter was a doozy. I wasn't sure whether I wanted to cheer or throw my book across the room. I think I'm most frustrated by the amount of time I will have to wait for the final novel in the trilogy. Goodreads states it won't be out until 2014. That is going to be one BRUTAL wait. I need to know what happens NOW.
Another aspect I love about this series is the structure of the narrative. It's told through a combination of flashbacks and narration from the present. I love learning more about Nikki and her relationship with Jack through the memories she shares with Cole. Nikki's memories litter the text like bread crumbs that I can't help eagerly collecting as I work to piece together the romance and life she had before meeting Cole. Nikki and Jack are one of those couples that make me sigh. I want to know where the guys like Jack where when I was in high school. He is a fictional guy you must get to know. Nikki is also worth your time. She is a kick-butt heroine who will stop at nothing to protect those she loves. I was constantly amazed by her bravery and tenacity; she inspires me.
Cole, on the other hand, infuriates me. One moment I am swayed by his pretty face and sweet words only to be smacked down by his sarcasm and deceit a moment later. I can't decide if I love him or just love to hate him. He is such a manipulator and nothing he does is selfless. He almost won me over a few times in this novel, but in the end I knew that he was up to something shady. Many readers are attracted to the broken, bad boy sort - Cole certainly fits that bill. I love the drama he causes, but I'll take Jack over Cole any day. This novel is heavy on the Cole due to the plot - I did find myself wishing that Jack would take his place on more than one occasion.
One of the things that makes this series so strong in my opinion is that it is inspired by Greek mythology and classic literature, but is not a direct retelling. Ashton truly uses the older works as a springboard for a world that is unique and wholly her own. It is nice to see something unique instead of the same recycled bits I have already read in other novels. In addition, I loved finding allusions to Dante's Inferno and The Odyssey embedded within this text. It's always fun for me to see some of my favorite older works reflected in newer favorites.
This series is quickly becoming one of my favorites. I would suggest waiting to get started until all the novels are out if you're not down with some cliffhangers and major anxiety attacks. There is a sense of resolution with each novel, but the last chapter is a doozy that leaves you wondering what will happen next. In true Nikki fashion, I know it will be epic and filled with danger. That's just how she rolls....
One Last Gripe: This one started out a little slow for me, but from page 70 on, I couldn't put it down.
My Favorite Thing About This Book: I adore these characters - flaws and all.
First Sentence: I see Jack every night.
Favorite Character: Nikki
Least Favorite Character: Max
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.