Everbound by Brodi Ashton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
(I've left the major spoilers out of this one - follow this link if you want to read the full review, spoilers and all!)
Brodi Ashton, you have done it again! Everbound was just as addictive and hard to put down as Everneath, but the ending was a million times more satisfying!
A short synopsis, to get you in the mood: The Tunnels, a pretty scary place that is somewhat analogous to hell, has taken Jack after he sacrificed himself to save Nikki. Nikki cannot forgive herself for letting Jack take her place, and so she turns to Cole in her efforts to save him. They trek through the Everneath to find him, facing various obstacles along the way.
Ashton's writing continued to grip me in Everbound. The prose flowed so well I barely noticed I was reading. You know how some books require a concerted effort to keep reading? And you are super aware that you are reading? Everbound was definitely not one of them. However, the writing was not simplistic to the point of boredom. It struck a perfect balance between simplicity and complexity - something that very few authors get that right.
I enjoyed Everbound's central story line a lot more than Everneath's. I have a mild (okay, strong) feeling that it was mostly because Jack was barely in this novel. Cole, for all his flaws, is just the more interesting and entertaining character to read about. Jack is one of those dull-as-dishwater lover-boys that is meant to look amazing compared to the evil guy. I barrack for the good guy in a lot of romances, but only if his character is three dimensional (spoiler alert: Jack is not). Besides the Jack factor, I thought the Everneath was a wonderfully constructed world. I did not question its 'realness' for even a second.
Even the secondary characters in this novel were better than those in Everneath! I was crushed (view spoiler)[when Mrs. Jenkins died. I thought that by helping Nikki she was sort of redeeming herself for how she treated Meredith. (hide spoiler)]. Regardless, I cannot wait to learn more about Ashe, Adonia and even Max going forward. I am especially excited to understand the Queen and her motives in Evertrue!
The ending to Everbound was equal parts soul crushing and extremely satisfying! In those last few pages, right before the true ending is revealed, I started thinking that everything was a little too happy. I prayed that something more dramatic would happen - and Ashton answered my prayers, hallelujah! And, even after all of that, I could forgive Cole all his evils, if only he hadn't (view spoiler)[been responsible for Mrs. Jenkins death (indirectly). (hide spoiler)]
Overall, this was a gripping read from start to finish, with a well-imagined world and interesting characters (besides Jack). Even better than Everneath!
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