Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Everbound by Brodi Ashton - Book Review

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.

In this enthralling sequel to Everneath, Brodi Ashton tests the bonds of destiny and explores the lengths we’ll go to for the ones we love.

Warning; Spoilers for Everneath ahead.

Everbound was one of my most anticipated recent reads, since the tense, heartbreaking ending of Everneath had me itching to get my hands on it. I didn’t know a whole lot about it before I read it aside from the fact that Nikki goes with Cole to the Everneath to try to rescue Jack, and that it has one hell of a cliffhanger.

Oh, and that the cover is pretty frigging gorgeous.

Needless to say, when Everbound finally found its way into my mailbox, I tore the packaging open like a kid on Christmas and pranced around my living room like…well, like a kid who just opened an amazing Christmas present. I caressed the cover, opened the book to a random page in the middle, ran my fingers over it, and did the one habit I have that is even more nerdy than reviewing books for fun; I put my nose right up to the page and took a nice, long sniff. I imagined I could smell the awesomeness I was expecting to find in those pages. (Little sidebar here; this paragraph is the reason I don’t see myself ever becoming an e-reader person; I won’t get that excitement over a cold, flat battery-operated reading device.)

I began reading right away, expecting to be locked in my room for hours until I either fell asleep with my cheek pressed to the pages or the book ran out of them, whichever came first. Unfortunately, something totally unexpected happened that completely ruined these plans.

I got bored.

The middle of Everbound is a perfect example of what Middle Book Syndrome (MBS) is. Scenes begin to feel dragged out, the plot is watered down, the characters don’t hold their usual charm, and the book just isn’t as good. It’s got to be incredibly hard for a writer to write a good middle book; it doesn’t have the fresh wonder of the first or the high-speed tension of the last. It’s like a pit-stop along the way, and very few writers manage to write a second book to a trilogy that doesn’t suffer from MBS. Unfortunately, Brodi Ashton isn’t one of those writers. But there is a very bright light at the end of this rather mundane tunnel.

I’m going to be honest, when I came to the last pages of Everbound and felt my stomach drop down to my feet over one insanely game-changing revelation, I got the feeling that the novel was written just to get us to this ending. It was like the majority of it was filler, a slow-moving vehicle in which to take us from Jack’s descent into the Everneath to…OMG WTF WAS THAT WHAT HAPPENS NEXT WHERE ARE THE REST OF THESE PAGES????, as I like to term Everbound’s ending. But it’s enough to make that sub-par journey worth it. It’s enough to bring me back to the enthusiasm in the story that had me nerding out all over my living room. I spent at least an hour after turning that last page re-analyzing the entire novel, putting into it the knowledge the ending gave me and seeing an entirely different story. Entirely different characters with entirely different motives. That doesn’t change the overabundance of Q&A dialogue, or the plethora of time spent reading Nikki’s musings, but it goes a long way toward making Everbound a better novel than I thought midway through.

I still definitely did like Everneath better, but I can see now what all the talk over this one is about. My suggestion to anyone who enjoyed Everneath but finds themselves bored while reading Everbound; just keep reading. It’s the advice that got me through the roughest patches, and it’s the best advice I can give anyone else.

Everbound - 3.5 out of 5 stars

No comments:

Post a Comment

As you may or may not know, life is eating up way too much of my spare time right now, so pretty please don't hate me if it takes me a few days to get back to your wonderful comments. I read each and every one from my phone, and they always make my day. <3