Author: Brodi Ashton
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release date: January 22, 2013
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Summary: “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.” – Goodreads
If you liked Everneath, Everbound will far surpass your expectations. It’s much easier to talk about why I didn’t like a book as opposed to why I did, but I’ll do my best to sum it up.
First off, it seemed like the author’s writing had improved. The writing in Everneath wasn’t poor, but the syntax and word choice could have been better. It seems like Ashton stepped up her writing here. The creativity level in this was higher as well. The Everneath isn’t just a rocky, cavernous space. It has towns and an absolutely mental maze, plus I mean really, all of those hands? Sticking out of the wall and grabbing at people in the dark? I’m going to have nightmares for months.
My one small gripe is that I wish the Queen had been a stronger character. She’s very easily manipulated into leaving Nikki and Cole alone, with one mere mention of her dead lover. I didn’t think that was strong enough, nor realistic enough, of a blood lusting Queen. I expected her to pose more of a threat, as villains generally do. Even so, it wasn’t major enough for me to dock a full point for.
The ending though? Oh. Oh my goodness, I did not see that coming. All I have to say is that Cole was really growing on me. I thought, “he’s so selfless. He must really care about her in order to go through all of this. Maybe I misjudged him.” And then I was smacked to the ending, when he turned her into an Everliving, using her boyfriend as bait to get her where she needed to be. I think we can all agree that Cole is a self serving, cold hearted, manipulative dick.
The ending as a whole was well executed, especially with Nikki’s declaration that she’s going to destroy the entire Everneath. Not sure how she’s going to do that, but I’m excited to watch it unfold.
For its better-than-average writing, twist ending and creativity, and only being docked a half a point for an impotent villain, Everbound gets a 4.5.