Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Review: Everbound by Brodi Ashton

Please note, this review will contain significant spoilers for the previous book. 

Title: Everbound (Everneath, #2)
Author: Brodi Ashton
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Released: Feb 14, 2013
Buy: The Book Depository
“Jack – the boy who got me through hell, the boy I Returned for, the boy I love – is in the Tunnels. He is a Forfeit. I know the truth. It should’ve been me.”
Everbound is a miraculous example of an excellent middle book. Despite not being able to recall a significant deal from the previous instalment, Everneath, and having major misgivings about the potential direction of the story in this one, Brodi Ashton effortlessly proves to me, yet again, that she has it perfectly under control. Doubts are clearly unnecessary where this author is concerned.

If anything, Everbound is better than its predecessor. The storyline is better handled; the flashbacks are more appropriately integrated throughout. Character growth is evident, relationships are convincingly honed… In fact, compared to the previous novel, Everbound is only a few small changes away from being a perfect book. Admittedly, the beginning (before Nikki’s journey into the Everneath to rescue Jack) is a fraction too elongated, the slow pace capable of inciting impatience (though the seamless recapping is much-appreciated). Other than that, the plot, despite being a fairly uncomplicated one, is brilliantly engaging. Once again, mythological ideas and metaphors play a substantial role in the story, providing the basis for Nikki’s tale. Our return to the Everneath brings us a more detailed and exciting glimpse into the lives of Everlings, and the roles of the Shades and Tunnels. The world-building, albeit unfinished in places, is wonderfully exercised to build a vivid picture of the Everneath.

Perhaps the most notable thing about this book (and Everneath, too, in fact) is the use of the love triangle. This is one of the incredibly rare moments when an author manages to perfectly defend the decision to include a love triangle. While Nikki is very much decided on Jack – and that firm certainty is a refreshing thing indeed – it is not difficult to appreciate Cole’s role in the book and his apparent feelings for Nikki. Jack’s presence is a flimsy one in Everbound, essentially giving way for an opportunity for Cole and Nikki to draw closer together. Now, be assured, this is not what it sounds like (and there is enough of a focus on Jack to please fans), but Ashton makes the most of occasion to develop Cole’s character brilliantly. He is intriguing and enigmatic, and this is done without bordering too close to overly-used romantic clichés.

Jack and Nikki’s interactions in this book are limited to shared dreams and flashbacks. Regardless, it is now more than clear that the two are a solid pair, and any previous reservations about the romance are wiped away. Several heartbreakingly emotional scenes give the romantic plot some appropriate substance, as do a few cheerier flashbacks. It should be stressed, however, that there is a large focus on the romance in this book, quite like there was in Everneath. The difference here is that it is used well to drive the main plot forward. By the time the ending arrives – an ending that is perfectly shocking – it is not at all a challenge supporting the characters in this book and connecting with their individual and shared stories.

With Everbound providing the best platform it can for the final book in the trilogy – one that hints at a momentous finale – I can only wait in anticipation for Ashton to surprise me again.

Rating: 4 stars

44 comments:

  1. Ooh yay! I just read a post where a blogger had a fantastic experience at an author signing with Brodi Ashton so it made me pick up the first book at my library today. Now I'm even happier with my decision knowing that you loved the second book. It doesn't hurt that the romance sounds amazing and that there are heartbreakingly emotional scenes.

    GREAT review!

    Sunny @ Blue Sky Bookshelf

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  2. Before I even start on how AMAZING your review is, I just have to gush and fangirl and gush some more on the pure beauty of that front cover! That dress is so gorgeous and the way it turns into smoke and mist...sigh. I would love a poster of it just to display proudly in my room :P

    I love the sound of Everbound. Especially with the Love Triangle. It's so rare to find an enjoyable Love Triangle in a book recently, so the fact that this one worked for you must mean Brodi Ashton is incredibly talented! I'm so happy that both love interests were strong, and this LT didn't become plain annoying.


    I really hope that the third book doesn't let you down, and only makes you an even bigger fan of this trilogy. (And I'm also hoping another pretty cover will be in store for us?!) Thanks for sharing your wonderful, very persuasive review with us Sam! :)

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  3. I just love it when a second book is better than the first one. With Everbound, it really seems to be the general consensus. I remember Lisa really liking the first book, but for some reason, I was never tempted to read it... until now. The fact that the sequel is so good makes the first book far more appealing.
    Thank you for the lovely review, Sam!

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  4. I read the e-novella Neverfall and for some reason, that completely ruined my prior excitement to pick this up. I definitely DO need to get to it, though. I've heard excellent things about it and am glad that Cole's role in this doesn't follow the typical love triangle tropes. Wonderful review, Sam! :)

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  5. Ahhh you are so lucky to have read this already. I am jealous. I enjoyed Everneath last year and found it a little slower, but I'm glad that this novel was strengthened much more than the previous novel. All good news for us.

    I'm excited to get my hands on this and like you, the love triangle in these books didn't bother me at all. I thought it worked in with the novel direction.

    Even for a romance centric novel I still managed to enjoy Everneath's direction because it felt rather dreamy and driven rather than lots of "I love yous" there was substance so I'm glad to see it continues to drive the novel.

    I am sooooo happy to hear you liked this and I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of this and the final instalment to.

    Brilliant review, Sam!!

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  6. I haven't picked up this series but after reading your brilliant review, I think I'll have to add the books to my read list. I'm usually not a fan of stories with lots of flashbacks but I'm curious to find out how the flashbacks are integrated throughout this one. Thank you, Sam!

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  7. Ooh, it's unusual to hear that the second book is better! I'm a little upset we won't get to see much of Jack but I am interested in finding out more about Cole! The ending has definitely got me intrigued as well - thanks for the review :).

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  8. I haven't read the first book but I have heard about both. This cover makes this book more recognizable to me. I just want to read it because of the cover! I know another blogger who found it boring with an explosion at the end. To see that you liked mostly all of it I'm very reassured if I start reading Everneath.

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  9. I absolutely loved the first book, so I hope this sequel measures up with it. By the sounds of it, it will. Lovely review! Really excited to read this book!

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  10. I plan on reading this soon, so I'm going to come back and read this after. I'm encouraged seeing your 4 stars, though. :)

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  11. YES! So glad this book didn't disappoint! It's rare to find books where the romance drives the story forward...and I'm so thrilled this particular one does! Awww....I feel a little sad that Jack doesn't appear as much as I'd probably like him to, but I'll trust you when you say there's enough scenes to please fans<3 heheeee Awesome review Sam! I can't wait to read this :)

    P.S I STILL CANNOT GET OVER HOW GORGEOUS THE UK COVER FOR EVERBOUND IS!!!! I really hope the AUS cover is the same as the UK one!!!

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  12. For some reason, I loved Cole right from book 1. There was soemthing about this bad boy that drew me in. Now, reading your review I fear he doesn't really has a chance? I mean, yes I love Jake..

    This is the horrible thing about Love Triangles. It makes the readers anxious. Looking forward reading it :)

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  13. Sam! I want to read your review SO BAD, but I want to wait until I finish writing mine. It's hard to write because everything I want to say and talk about would be a spoiler. I will say that my instincts about Cole were spot-on. I'm going to hurry and finish my review so I can read yours. I'm dying to know what you thought!

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  14. Everneath has been on my kindle an age, I've really got to start this series, it sounds so good. Lovely review, as always :)

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  15. Yay, I'm so glad you still really enjoyed this one in spite of not being able to remember much from the first book; I usually forget what happens in prior books too. I'm excited to find out more about Cole and see how the characters and love triangle continue to develop.

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  16. I've heard nothing but praise over this book, Sam. I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed it. I can't remember a thing from the previous book, so it's great that there were reminders of what happened in the first book. Also, I'm glad that the love triangle worked! Lovely review, Sam! :)

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  17. WASN'T THIS BOOK AWESOME SAM?! I loved it so much, and completely agree that it was better than the first book (even though I loved that one as well). I thought she did a stunning job progressing both the Nikki/Jack relationship and the Nikki/Cole relationship without ever making me shake my head in frustration over a possible triangle. It never felt like a true triangle to me since Nikki's love for Jack never wavered. Cole was absolutely fascinating though. So glad you enjoyed it as much as I did!

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  18. Thanks for this fantastic review, Sam! This took off all my worries about the romance. Especially with my recent experience with another love triangle *coughs* Boundless *coughs* . Haha! I'm so glad to see that this is even better than its predecessor and almost everything is very well developed. I can't wait to be reunited with Jack! Lol. :D

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  19. I keep on meaning to re-read Everneath but I just didn't get its appeal. After this glowing review of the sequel (even better, you say?), I definitely need to re-read! I'm glad that this didn't disappoint you and yay for more world building! I'm quite curious to learn more about Cole now.

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  20. I read Everneath not so long ago and I can't wait to continue reading this one. I'm happy to hear that this book might be even better, since I loved the first one already :) This is indeed one of the rare love-triangles that work and I dare to say that I even like it.. It's there for a reason and it has a role in this book. I appreciated all the flashbacks, so it's good to hear that she kept them. Gorgeous review Sam :) I hope to read this one soon.

    Mel@thedailyprophecy.

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  21. The second book in a trilogy can go either way. It's good to hear this one was better than the first, and sets the stage for an exciting Book 3.

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  22. I can't wait to start this one, and I'm thrilled that it is setting the stage for the final book to be amazing! Wonderful review, Sam! <3

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  23. I'm so glad this is a case where the book actually lives up to the cover! Beauty and substance. ;) And on top of that, this doesn't suffer middle book syndrome? Brodi Ashton is a miracle worker. I need to start this series ASAP. Brilliant review, Sam! :)

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  24. Eeep I haven't read the first book in this series yet, I tried the audio book a few weeks, but it failed epically, I have a kindle copy so think I will definitely have to get to that soon, as I adore the premise of this book. I will be back later to check out your review Sam :)

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  25. *Squee* this is sitting in my tbr pile and i cannot wait to read it. I am reading ARC's at a dizzying pace to get to this and 3 other pre-orders that arrived and your review is just killing me.

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  26. Why oh why haven't I read Everneath yet!? This series sounds amazing! The covers are stunning too. Thanks for the great review, Sam! :)

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  27. I haven't read Everneath and hope to soon. I dread the love triangle but I am happy to hear it is done well. I can handle that. Also thrilled that this doesn't suffer middle book syndrome. I am always disappointed when a book is just a middle book, I had that experience recently and it is a downer.

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  28. Ooh! Looks good! I really have to read everneath soon!

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  29. LOVE hearing that a book is better than the 1st. I just skimmed because I still want to read the 1st. Great review though, and glad that you enjoyed.
    Happy reading,
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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  30. I haven't read your review, at all, haven't even skimmed. I don't want to know anything lol. With 4 stars I'm going to take it you were happy enough :)

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  31. Uhh, can't wait to read Everbound!! I really liked Everneath, but I can't imagine that I will be able to accept the love triangle or Cole as a fun character. I'm very excited to heard that Everbound is such a fab sequel and probably even better than the first book!:)

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  32. "Everbound is only a few small changes away from being a perfect book."

    And this is NO CHANGES away from being a perfect review, Sam! I was already desperate to read this book, but NOW? OH MY WORD. I love how you've touched on the romance and love triangle and and and... oh, wow. Your review = perfection! ♥

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  33. Gosh, another series I have yet to read..(I know, I know...don't hit me!)...I'll get to this one too! Once again, I have heard nothing but amazing things about this series, and the plot for this is so unique and intriguing, I can't wait to fully read the descriptions of the world and surroundings. I'm also excited to meet the characters and see what relationship they have. I've actually been hearing great things about Cole after this book, so I think he's going to be my fav, even if Jack is the "end".

    I'm glad you enjoyed this, Sam! Brilliant review! :D

    ~ Maida

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  34. Uh because I haven't read the first book in this series I won't read your review now. I'll go back to it once I read it. I've heard nothing but great things about this series and I hope I'll get some time to read it soon. :)

    I'm glad that the sequel didn't disappoint :D

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  35. Great review Sam :D I'm so glad you enjoyed this book. I haven't started this series yet, because of love triangle thing, but I do own the books.. :) Hoping to start them soon, since I have peeked at ending, and I think I might like these books :) Maybe :D Anyway. Glad you enjoyed it so much :) <3

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  36. I can't wait to pick this up, Sam. I even more excited when you say this one is better than the 1st. Lovely review. :)

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  37. I am starting this tomorrow so I probably shouldn't have read your review but I couldn't stop myself! :P I found myself thinking the same sorts of things about the love triangle in the first book so i'm happy that it doesn't become another cliched love triangle in this one. Cole was such an interesting character in Everneath and I am looking forward to finding out more about him in this one, as well as seeing how Jack and Nikki's relationship has progressed. Brilliant review Sam!

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  38. Gosh, I had such mixed reactions to the first book, but all the raves for this one have made me really interested. Almost everyone has rated it more highly than the first, too! Hmm, dilemmas, dilemmas.

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  39. I loved Everneath and I'm so looking forward to read Everbound! I'm so glad that you enjoyed it! Great review, Sam. <3

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  40. Still unsure of this series. I read the first book and rated it 3 stars but I guess the second book will make my mind up for me. Great review lovely!

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  41. Sounds interesting- I'm glad you enjoyed it more than the first, and enjoyed it overall! I tried Everneath when it was first published but just couldn't get into it and found the characters, particularly Nikki, frustrating- I have always been intrigued by the covers, and I love this one! Great review!

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  42. Yay! You enjoyed this! I finished EVERNEATH about a month ago, and it literally BLEW MY MIND. I mean, after that killer ending (it was so, so cruel), it's impossible not to be excited for the sequel, right? I'm not a fan of Cole, so I don't know what I think about Nikki spending so much time with him. But I am excited that we'll get to know more about him and his character.

    Lovely review, Sam! Really can't wait to get EVERBOUND!

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  43. What a wonderful review! I'm really quite excited to read this book!

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  44. Okay, my review finally went up, so I had to come back and see what you thought. I totally agree with you about the love triangle thing! I was worried about what Brodi was going to do with it, but damn, she pulled that off great!

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