I loved Everneath with the fiery passion of a thousands flaming suns, so I went into Everbound with high expectations. I'm so pleased to say that Ms. Ashton delivered an incredible sequel with all of the heart and soul of Everneath, but with even higher stakes.
What stands out to me the most about this book is the authenticity with which Ms. Ashton creates her characters. Not only do each of her main characters have distinct personalities and agendas, their personal emotional journeys ring very true for me. I really enjoyed getting to know Cole better in this book (though I am still Team Jack!), and I liked seeing Nikki start moving out of her grief and despair and into the kind of heroine who considers the cost of taking on the Everneath and then does it anyway because true love is worth the sacrifice.
I also loved the worldbuilding. We get to spend significant time within the Everneath, and it was amazing. I could see it vividly, and it felt as real to me as the scenes on the Surface.
Finally, I loved the plot. From about 1/4 of the way into the story, this book was impossible to put down. The stakes keep rising, the obstacles are FIERCE, and the ending? If I thought Ms. Ashton nearly killed me with the ending in book one, this one is infinitely better/worse. I can hardly wait to get my hands on book three!
What Left Me Wanting More:
For some reason, the beginning felt like it moved a bit slow for me, and I didn't really hit my holy-cow-I-can't-put-this-book-down stride until about 1/4 of the way in. However, I was still invested in the story from page one. Ms. Ashton has a gift for immediately connecting her readers with her characters.
Everbound is a complex, captivating story full of action, betrayal, drama, and heart. If you haven't yet given this series a try, I highly recommend it.