Everbound (Everneath #2)FeaturedHot
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. Now she is 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. No matter how she tries to reach for his hand, she can never find it. 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 help in the only way he can: by taking her to the Everneath himself. Nikki and Cole, along with Cole's bandmate Max, descend into the Everneath, only to discover that their journey will be more difficult than they'd anticipated—and more deadly. From a Lake of Blood and Guilt to Sirens' alluring tricks to insurmountable walls of rock and flame, the trio is given every reason to turn back and give up. But Nikki vows to stop at nothing to save Jack—even if it means making an incredible sacrifice of her own. In this breathtaking sequel to Everneath, Brodi Ashton tests the bonds of destiny and explores the lengths we'll go to for the ones we love.
Immediately, after starting Everbound I had the sinking feeling it was going to tear at my heart. And I was right because obviously Nikki is still hurting over Jack's sacrifice with no way to save him. That is, until Cole reappears in her life and together they travel down to the Everneath to save Jack. And I should warn readers that this is not a happy novel and it does contain its fair share of teen angst, but, in my opinion, warranted. While Nikki and Cole navigate the Everneath, they rely heavily on her memories of Jack to show them the way. I was a little wary of the book containing flashbacks to help move the plot along because those types of novels don't seem to work well with me. Thankfully, I enjoyed it and I feel it helped fill the void for Jack's smallish role in this installment.
Another thing I loved about Everbound was how much action was added this time around. Whereas Everneath moved as a slower pace and it almost felt like you could feel Nikki coming out her drugged haze, Everbound is the opposite with just enough action sequences, paired with bittersweet flashback memories of Nikki and Jack. But at the same time there is this layer of urgency to get to Jack before he disappears forever. So many obstacles are thrown at our characters, that I started to doubt if there would be any sort of resolution because Ashton doesn't make it easy for them. After all, this is based on a Greek myth. Remember all the tragedy, pain and suffering? Ashton really doesn't hold back and I really appreciated it.
Then there is the love triangle. And I really have to applaud Ashton for it. I know, I know. Not another dreaded love triangle. But let me tell you, I LOVE IT. Originally, I was solidly on Jack's side, but I'm finding myself more and more conflicted as this series goes on (much like I am with the Unearthly series). There seems to be so much more to Cole than I expected. He's such a complex character and learning more about his past in Everbound had me questioning who the true antagonist is. Cole says there are no heroes. But is he just resisting the person he could be or has he accepted his fate and role as a true Everliving? I am unsure. All I know is that I was throughly deceived in this book because the ending was nothing short of clever.
Final Verdict: I expected to find "Second Book Syndrome," but instead we have a story that significantly picked up the action, dived into more complex characterization and a conclusion that left me stunned. Fans of Everneath will loves this and those who weren't particularly impressed with the first book, will find a better novel here.
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.
Every card was played just right. Everbound builds with each chapter until the ultimate high at the end of the book. Everbound really explains a lot of about the Everneath and more of the rules of Cole's world. I find that world so fascinating. I love how Brodi Ashton has take a completely classic myth and morphed it into something completely new and awesome.
Cole is one of the best villains out there. Brodi Ashton plays him just right - I know he's the villain, yet I cannot help to completely love the guy. This was my feeling in Everneath and in Everbound, I fell even harder for him. I love that in Everbound readers really get to see a different side of Cole and really learn more about him and a little of his past.
The books end, I cannot even. Holy bananas! Things get real intense and real emotional. I was staring at my book in complete shock unsure of what had just happened and had to reread it again to double check. It was pure brilliance. And it has me SO excited for the third and final book in the trilogy. I love the path Brodi Ashton has set and cannot wait to see how it turns out. While I didn't see the ending coming, as soon as it happened, everything fell into place for me and it made my love for Everbound that much great. It just made so much sense.
Everyone should check out Everbound regardless of your feelings about Everneath. It was just so great! The only complaint I can come up with is the fact that I have to wait a whole year for the epic conclusion to Nikki, Jack, and Cole's story.
What I Loved:
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.
What Left Me Wanting More:
The fact that I have to wait a whole year for the next book, when that ending makes me want it immediately!
The Final Verdict:
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.
This one actually managed to keep going from the last and although I felt a couple of sections were a little repetitive, it kept a good pace and my attention. The roles are reversed because of Jack's sacrifice at the end of the last book and knowing the truth about where he is, Nikki searches high and low for a solution to get to the Everneath and rescue him. This isn't as easy as it may sound, and to me still kinda impossible, but she is so dedicated to trying, and just receives dead ends and bad news at every turn.
But I really admired her dedication and loyalty. I can totally feel her guilt and grief over what Jack did for her, and given how things played out, and it was her that should be there, it doesn't really get any easier for her.
This was a pretty action packed book, as Nikki tries to find Jack along with some unexpected helpers. She has to face the shades as well as some of her own fears and insecurities because there are lots of things in the everneath that feed on emotions and that will give you a skewed view of things.
The ending was wild and I have some suspicions about the changes in one of the characters and was completely taken aback by the actions of another character and if you look back over the story you see how far back the deception went and I was just beginning to gain some more respect.
I can't wait for time to read the conclusion and I am thankful it is already released.
Bottom Line: Good second book that kept my attention.
I loved this extended tour of the Everneath! Sure most of Everbound is spent in the labyrinth, but we also get glimpses of one of the Commons, a market, and a human sacrifice. Not a pretty site. There’s also more about how the Everneath is powered and a little on its history, which is all interesting. Probably the more interesting addition (aside from the labyrinth) are the Wanderers. They’re essentially the Everling equivalent of zombies, only scarier. Of course, Nikki and Cole had some run-ins with these creatures. I’m purposely not saying anything about the labyrinth. You’ll just have to read Everbound and discover it for yourself! It’s a pretty strange place.
There’s only a couple of issues that I had with this sequel. At first I was a bit frustrated with Nikki. Her determination to go after Jack was a little over-the-top. Her whole “I’d rather die than live with this guilt” attitude was annoying and selfish. If she’s dead she definitely can’t help him, and she doesn’t really think about what that would to her father. She essentially says he’s survived without her before, so he can surely do it again. Selfish. The second problem was all of the flashbacks. They’re necessary to keep Nikki connected to Jack, but I really didn’t care about how their love came to be.
The labyrinth and the very ending is where Everbound really shines! Cole’s admission at the end…I was not expecting that! I seriously did not see it coming! I had no idea how this would end so that there could be a third book, but that ending certainly does it! Finally Nikki stands up for something that actually makes sense, so I cannot wait to get my hands on the final book!
ARC received from HarperTeen
Release Date: 1-22-2013
Reviewed by: Middle Sis Jenn
The Sisters Say: Ever-lustful, Ever-heart-breaking, Ever-entertaining
I was scared to start this one because I am firmly in the Team Cole category (go ahead, judge me, I don’t care!), and I know that it can’t work out because he is, what I consider, the dark hero who will be responsible for Nikki’s freedom and her downfall. Jack is her man, her white knight, and it will always be him she loves---blah! So, there is where my hesitation came from, BUT I am so glad I read this one. It was fantastic! Brodi brought the Everneath to life (even though it is, technically, death), and I was drawn straight into this blood-thirsty, powerful, and upside-down world.
Besides Cole, the world that Brodi created was my favorite part of the book. In order to find Jack, Nikki must trek through the rings of the Everneath—all the while, facing darkness and dangers that are unthinkable and terrible. Brodi borrowed slightly from Dante’s description of the Underworld, but she gave it her own spin. The imagery was full and dimensional, and I really felt like I was watching it on the big screen as I was reading it. The rings were somewhat non-threatening at times, but you just knew it was an illusion and that around the next corner lurked something completely and irrevocably evil. The Everneath is full of amazing terror…I have no idea why Nikki wouldn’t want to rule it! But that’s my maniacal lust for power that apparently Nikki doesn’t share ? Cole, sweetie, I will rule with you any day!
Nikki was the same Nikki as the one we saw in Everneath. She is both strong and weak, depending on the situation, but it is her love for Jack that keeps her going. I truthfully am not a huge fan of her because I think she is too rash. She leaps head first without thinking about the consequences or even to see how far the fall might be. She leaves behind her family and friends, with no explanations, and that kind of bugs me about her. I admire her for risking her life for the person she loves, but I think there had to be a better way for her to handle everyone else. So…that’s my beef with her, but it might just be me judging her because I think she’s choosing the wrong guy.
And my favorite: Cole!!!! Even for those of you who are firmly in the “Kick Cole’s Butt” Category, I think you will like seeing a bit more from his background. I loved seeing things from his perspective, and I think you can really see that Nikki is everything to him. Now whether his intentions are pure are not—that’s yours to judge. I think he is truly in love with her and that will eventually bring out his true heart, but he is so afraid of something that he keeps those true feelings hidden. You can really see this in this installment because Cole’s friends are all concerned with protecting him from Nikki. So while he might have ulterior motives (I mean he does want to take over the world), I still think his actions come from the heart—even though he technically doesn’t have one! ?
Looking back, I probably should have suspected, but I didn’t! I didn’t see it coming at all! And let me tell you, WoW! What an ending it is! I can’t believe I have to wait at least another year to find out how everything ends!!!!!
For fans of Everneath, mythology, and paranormal romance, this is a MUST READ!!!
I was sucked in from the very first page!
Everbound has it all!!!!!!!!!!!