Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Book Review: Evertrue

Evertrue (Everneath #3)
Published By: Balzer & Bray
Publication Date: January 21, 2014
Page Count: 336
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher
Audience: Young Adult - Paranormal

This series has been quite the roller coaster ride for me. There have been moments of intense dislike for characters, but then I ended up finding some common ground that made me love the characters I originally found distasteful. There have been moments of extreme sadness and moments of joy. Laughter made appearances as did tears. I knew that this novel would cause intense reactions like its predecessors, but I honestly didn't know how things would go down and what Nikki's fate would hold.

Evertrue is perhaps the darkest novel in the trilogy. There is a strong sense of urgency in the plot from the opening chapter. Like with Everbound, for whatever reason, this one started slowly for me. It takes me several chapters to truly settle back into this narration style and these characters. Don't get me wrong - I love this series, but I have to find my momentum before I start reading at a quicker pace. I envy those who will be able to read the series straight through without having to wait for the next installment. I had to skim my reviews and notes from the previous novels to prepare my mind for Evertrue.

As always, I want to avoid spoilers in my review so I won't be discussing plot except in generalities. Ashton has yet again delivered a plot laced with the darker side of Greek mythology, sizzling romance, and lives on the line. The intensity from the previous novels is still present and forcing Nikki, Jack, and Cole closer to a conclusion that felt right and wrong at the same time. Tissues are a must with this one.

I am so glad I stuck with these novels; Nikki wasn't an easy girl to like - especially in Everneath. I thought her choices, in spite of her grief over her mother's death, to be insanely stupid. I wanted to smack sense into her on multiple occasions, but somewhere along this crazy journey, I found that Nikki and I had a lot more in common than I previously realized. She also changed so much throughout the course of her deadly adventures. Nikki's character growth is one of the things that makes this series such fun for me to read. She becomes a strong, loyal, courageous woman by the end of Evertrue. She is  a girl worthy of both Jack and Cole.

My feelings on Jack and Cole never faltered. My review of Everbound still encapsulates how I feel about these guys. I was a little miffed that this was yet another YA series with a love triangle, but as things unfolded, I realized the relationships in this one are much more complex than the typical love triangle. In the end, I could see why Nikki was drawn to both guys.

As with the previous novels, I enjoyed finding allusions to previous works. This one mentions Hercules on multiple occasions so naturally my mind went down that path. I also harkened back The Odyssey on several occasions as Nikki and crew traverse various locales on the Surface and in the Everneath.

Finally, I have to thank Brodi Ashton for sharing her creative take on mythology with readers. It also doesn't hurt that she created Jack and Cole. Like with Nikki, both gentleman vied for my attention and support throughout this series. In the end, I found that like Nikki, I had affection for them both. I will remember this series and these characters with bittersweet fondness.

One Last Gripe: Some of the loose ends - particularly in the Everneath - seemed to be resolved a bit too easily.

My Favorite Thing About This Book: I loved all the research type scenes where the characters were creating their plans and gathering information.

First Sentence: Jack rubbed his eyes and sat up in my bed.

Favorite Character: Jack

Least Favorite Character: The Queen

Now that Nikki has rescued Jack, all she wants is to be with him and graduate high school. But Cole tricked Nikki into feeding off him, and she’s begun the process of turning into an Everliving herself... which means she must feed on a Forfeit soon — or die. 

 Terrified for her survival, Nikki and Jack begin a desperate attempt to reverse the process using any means possible. Even Cole, who they expected to fight them at every turn, has become an unlikely ally — but how long can it last? Nikki needs to feed on Cole to survive, Cole needs Nikki to gain the throne in the Everneath, Jack needs Nikki because she is everything to him — and together, they must travel back to the Underworld to undo Nikki’s fate and make her mortal once more. But Cole isn’t the only one with plans for Nikki: the Queen has not forgotten Nikki’s treachery, and she wants her destroyed for good. Will Nikki be forced to spend eternity in the Underworld, or does she have what it takes to bring down the Everneath once and for all? 

 In this stunning conclusion to the Everneath trilogy, Brodi Ashton evokes the resiliency of the human spirit and the indomitable power of true love.

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