Review: Everbound

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: EverboundEverbound by Brodi Ashton
Series: Everneath #2
Published by Balzer + Bray on January 22, 2013
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Mythology, Romance
Pages: 358
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
four-half-stars

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.

First Sentence: “Ancient Greeks called it the Underworld or Hades.”

Review:
Goodness gracious, great balls of awesomeness! I really liked Everneath, but I had some reservations. With Everbound, Ashton really delivers, solidifying the elements that made Everneath so compelling and ramping up the action. Everything gets ten times better in Everbound. Pardon me while I applaud Brodi Ashton for defying second book syndrome utterly.

Take note that I’m assuming you intrepid review readers have already read Everneath or have no fear of spoilers for that book. As you know, at the end of book one, Jack went to the Tunnels instead of Nikki. This leaves her on the surface miserable and hated by the town for being the last person to have seen the missing golden boy. Given Jack and Nikki’s incredibly strong connection and her guilt over his sacrifice, she will literally stop at nothing to get him back.

The first few chapters are a bit slow, but everything speeds up with the arrival of Cole back in town. Basically, Everneath alternated between awesome Everneath bits and flashbacks. In this installment, the flashbacks are greatly reduced and the plot has sustained forward momentum. While I did enjoy the flashbacks in the last book, they work to much greater effect here, and keep the reader from being thrown out of the present moment. The more linear storytelling fits this story perfectly.

Going into Everbound, I hoped to learn more about the Everneath and that is precisely what Ashton delivers. Her world building continues to be entirely excellent. Her fantasy world references so many different classic stories, mostly mythological in origin, though I felt some distinct shades of Alice in Wonderland in places, but still manages to be something entirely new and magical. I have some theories that I cannot wait to find out the correctness of in the next installment, particularly about Shades.

If you dread love triangles, have no fear because this one is awesome, and Ashton really doesn’t rub it in your face. The feelings involved are complex, but Nikki knows what she’s doing. She never questions herself or her actions, even though the reader does sometimes; her goals are set, and I love her dedication. Though I’ve never personally had a connection to Jack, I admire Nikki for not being the sort to be easily swayed, especially since it makes their love so much more believable.

Two things made Everbound absolutely incredible. The first is that, as they journey through the Everneath in an attempt to rescue Jack from the Tunnels, Ashton really digs in and develops Cole’s character. He spends much of his time on the periphery of Everneath, remaining largely a mysterious figure, but here we get a much closer look at the real Cole. Getting to learn some of his past and try to parse his precise feelings for Nikki will keep you intrigued and unsure all the way through.

The second thing is the ending. As soon as I finished reading, I immediately had to message a friend to discuss what happened, because shit gets real. The ending totally caught me off guard and fits the story completely perfectly. I didn’t see it coming, but as soon as it happened, I knew that it was precisely what needed to happen. Ashton brings various plot threads together to weave a gorgeous tapestry and to deftly set up the next book in the series.

Whether you loved Everneath or were on the fence, I urge you to give Everbound a try, because Ashton’s work is just getting better. I have a lot of faith that the next book will be even more astounding, and I only wish I did not have to wait another year to read it.

Favorite Quote:

“‘Whatever you think of me, I was honest with you. Just because you want to live the mortal life doesn’t mean that my path is any less moral.’
‘You feed off of people,’ I said.
‘But it’s their choice.’
‘You sacrifice humans.’
‘But it’s their choice.'”

42 responses to “Review: Everbound”

  1. Jaime Lester says:

    I am so happy to know that Everbound is good. I like Everneath but, like you, I had some reservations about it. I enjoyed it enough to want to read the sequel, but I have been worried that it wouldn’t be any better or maybe worse. So glad to know that isn’t the case. I can’t wait for this one now. Thanks for the review!

    • Christina says:

      Yeah, I definitely had a few reservations, though I did enjoy it. I think this one was much more solid, with a larger focus on world building, a faster pace, and a bit less romance. Plus, crazy ending of awesome.

      Ha, I feel you on how stressful no better or worse can be! If it’s worse, you can just give up on the series. If it’s better, holla! If it’s in the middle, you end up struggling through a whole series.

  2. Denise Z says:

    I have Everneath on the wishlist, but have not yet read the series. Sounds like it is a real treat. Thank you for sharing with us.

  3. I still have to read Everneath! I’ve heard only great things about this series. I’m so happy that the sequel didn’t disappoint 🙂

    • Christina says:

      I had a few issues with the first book, but this one focused more on my favorite parts and was generally much stronger, except so far as the cover goes. :-p

  4. Lynn K. says:

    This review makes me so excited. O__O I can’t wait to learn more about Everneath (AND Cole).

  5. OMGOSH, Christina, you make me want to re-read it right now! That ending was sooooooo amazing! Kat just finished it yesterday and the ending got her too! *sigh* WHY MUST WE WAIT. SO CRUEL. T_T

    • Christina says:

      Yes! If the ending actually surprised all three of us (and not in a WTF that makes no sense kind of way), then you know it’s good.

      A WHOLE YEAR?!?! WHY, BRODI, WHY?!??!!

  6. kimscarecrow says:

    I haven’t read this series yet, but I need to! Good to know you enjoyed it.

    -Kim

  7. Giselle says:

    Omg! This sounds so good !I’m so excited! Sequels disappoint me so often. I love that they go in the tunnels and in the everneath, and dude what is the ending? GAH!! I can’t wait to get a hold of this one! I only read 1 other review on it and it was also very positive!

  8. Ashley says:

    Wow, great review! Everbound sounds AMAZING!!! I really enjoyed Everneath and now I’m even more excited for Everbound! I can’t wait to read it!

  9. Ahh!! You’ve got me so excited for this one. I’m glad I’ve pre-ordered it. Not overly enthused about the love triangle, but if it’s well developed, and everything else is as awesome… 🙂

  10. I’m not reading this. I am not even SKIMMING this because I AM FREAKING DYING FOR IT. But I just wanted to stop and tell you that I hate you for this review. *runs away*

  11. Jen B. says:

    I have had Everneath on my wish list since it first came out. I had reservations but now that I have read your review of the second book I am really excited to start this series. Thanks for the review.

  12. I’m so excited for Everbound so it pleases me that you liked it.

  13. /pulls hair out

    I’m SO excited to get my hands on this especially after that heart breaking ending.
    Pre-ordered and excitedly waiting for it to arrive. Glad to hear that you liked this!

  14. The cover is beautiful. I admit I usually get attracted by the book cover and I’m happy that this book has both good cover and story. I must pick up a copy of Everneath!

  15. Wow!! I had mixed feelings about the first book too (2.5 stars, I’m afraid), so I had no intentions of reading this, but after seeing your reaction/review I am reconsidering. Hmmm. Maybe I’ll wait for book three to come out before I pick them up, though. Nicely reviewed! As usual.

    • Christina says:

      Oh dear, but I can see that. There was some world building that didn’t really get explained to the possible plot hole level, and the characters didn’t really grab me that much. However, I SUPER loved what world building there was, which kept it a 3.5 for me. This one’s much stronger, I think.

  16. ohdamnbooks says:

    Yes, the ending just made me speechless and stare at the book in horror. I so can’t wait for the second installment to come out! Nice review! (:

  17. Bea Tejano says:

    I have Everneath on my TBR list and I can’t wait to read it and then read this one too!:)

  18. Nori says:

    Wow, I am now officially obsessed with my need for this book! I really liked the first one a lot more than you did, so this one has to be beyond amazing! It’s always so nice to hear about a sequel being so good!

  19. let it be says:

    I haven’t read Everneath yet, actually I just heard about it for the first time about a week ago when I read another review. I love the sounds of the storyline and i can’t wait to read both of them.

  20. Kayla Beck says:

    I did not love Everneath, but I have to know what happens now, damn you. 😛

  21. SHIT GETS REAL! OH YEAH PLEASE!

    Legit this is on my January TBR and I cannot fricken wait. ALL OF YOUR FLATTERING WORDS CONVINCE ME SO MUCH THAT I AM TYPING IN SHOUTY CAPS! LOUD NOISES!

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