My rating: 4 of 5 stars
So my friends and I were playing this game earlier this day; you had to describe the book you most recently read in just one word. I chose ‘curry’ for Everbound.
Alright, that was utter B.S. Candy floss will rain in Hell and my hands will be cuddling a puppy the day my friends inquire about my reading addiction. But nevertheless, if someone actually ever did ask me that, my answer would remain the same. Everbound starts off all bland and tedious, with Nikki obsessing over Jack, reminiscent of Saba from Rebel Heart, just like a curry. You wait for that twinge, rolling around the gravy in your mouth, anticipating that hot burn but it never comes. You lose all hope of ever breathing fire and swallow it down. And then, soon as it reaches your throat, it starts smoldering and crisping your larynx(or is it pharynx) with a vengeance. I bet Brodi Ashton wrote those to annoying chapters just to root out those worthy of continuing with the series and following Nikki on her quest to rescue Jack.
This installation takes off quite close to where we left off in Neverfall as well as in Everneath. The thing that mostly lures me in about this series is probably the mythology mix. Ashton incorporates myths into her story to create her very own world like no one’s business. I have to admit that I wasn’t quite that big a fan of Everneath until the introduction of those ancient Egyptian talks about souls and names. But I digress. So Jack’s in hell and all and Nikki’s in a crying jag. That is, until Cole comes to town and the whole adventure starts.
Now I’m going to state some facts(not spoilers) that will blow you away-
*There is a map of the Everneath. Not the roads and lines one but an actual overview of Hell as Cole sees it.
*There is very little of Jack. Most of the time is spent escaping Wanderers and jumping in the Lake of Blood and Guilt. Okay, so it might not appeal to everyone but all you anti-hero fanatics, jump the bandwagon.
*Lake of Fucking Blood and Guilt! With actual, honest-to-sock blood. And she dives right in.
*Ouros Limneo Ring of Earth/Water/Wind/Water.
*A showdown with the Queen.
*Cole fucking whatever-his-last-name-is.
*That cliffhanger. Why not just hang me from a cliff, eh Ashton?
The next best aspect of this book was probably the relationship development between Cole and Nikki. The wariness and mistrust that Nikki ensconces towards Cole evaporate gradually with the obstacles and perils they encounter and battle. Hell, it felt more real to me that Nikki’s apparently undying love for Jack. But worry not, it doesn’t turn into a full blown love triangle for Nikki will always be loyal to Jack. Still, this book had me so convinced I could root for Cole, such deception was implemented on Ashton’s part, so appallingly was I betrayed that 20 hours later I’m still reeling form shock. It’s all hidden daggers in this book.
There is a lot of teen angst but it never really has much sway over the story. Since Everbound picks up right after Everneath, Nikki’s pain and grief are still fresh. Even moving on, the wounds never fully heal as the characters have to rely heavily on Nikki’s memories of Jack, which she has been suppressing sine Jack’s sacrifice, to guide them to the rescuee. This book would probably be an emotional roller-coaster for readers less callous than I, readers who are more in tune with Nikki’s emotions. But that just isn’t me. That is probably my foremost concern with this series.
We are also provided with a copious amount of action and skirmishes. It’s really the opposite of Everneath in this aspect. Whereas the previous one is about Nikki’s determination to get life back on track and recovering from her addiction, going slow and steady, there is an underlying urgency throughout this book.
The ending before the ending wasn’t quite was I expected. I bet even you won’t expect that. I simply can’t decide on whether it was brilliant or hurried and cheesy, as a way to advance the story. Jury’s still out. But the cliffhanger. God, the cliffhanger. Yes. MOREMOREMOREMORE. YOU KILL ME. YOU DO. By and large, not as phantasmagorical and amazing as I expected but yeah, it was there.
Besides, the story- the cover. Gag reflex stimulated.
this cover has nothing whatsoever to do with the story(not that the previous ones did). I mean, come on! Who designs these covers? A good bashing from me please.