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Everbound (Everneath #2) – Brodi Ashton

Everbound (Everneath #2) – Brodi AshtonTitle: Everbound (Everneath #2) by Brodi Ashton
Publishing Info: January 22, 2013 by HarperCollins
Source: Won
Genres: Fantasy, Mythology, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: February 7, 2013
Related Posts: Everneath (Everneath #1), My Lady Jane

    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.

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Warning: There are some spoilers if you haven’t read the first book, EVERNEATH so be prepared!

Compared to EVERNEATH, I found EVERBOUND to be leaps and bounds more enjoyable. Was it stellar? The answer that for me is still no, but I really got into the sequel much more than the original. I think part of it was the fact that I actually read the physical copy of this book instead of the audiobook (I was in a constant fight with the narrator of the EVERNEATH. It just wasn’t enjoyable) and I got to hear the voices as I pictured them sounding.

I found EVERBOUND to be a lot more exciting than its predecessor since in book two, we get to learn a lot more about the Everneath in general as well as the abilities and activities of all of the “beings” that reside there, including Everlivings like Cole. I was much more excited than the first book and was really captivated with all of the new ideas and explanations. EVERBOUND was much more action-packed and we really get further into the mythology side of the book.

I’m still so-so on Nikki’s character. For the first half of the book, I couldn’t help but compare her to Bella in New Moon – completely lost, utterly alone, and really depressed after losing her love interest. It was kind of annoying to read and okay, I get that you love him and you’d do anything to get him back, but the way it was written was bothering me and that whole deal just didn’t translate well from words to feelings for me.

NOW I get what people are saying with “OMG that ending!” because seriously — As a person who wasn’t entirely thrilled about the series to begin with, yes. OMG, that ending!!!! If I could rate the ending alone? It would have been five stars, hands down. As a whole? Not quite as spectacular for me, but definitely better than book one!

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Nikki: I felt like Nikki was kind of all over the place. Depressed, hopeful, lost, determined, feisty, flat… Even after two books, I still can’t figure her out and I’m still not entirely thrilled with her. I liked where she was headed in the end. She made some real progress to break out as a stronger character, but the beginning was a little rough for me!
Jack: Am I the only one who’s not on Team Jack? I don’t dislike him, but I’m just not connecting with him as a character. Maybe because he was absent in this book? Am I just missing the epic connection between Nikki & Jack? I’m not quite sure what it is but… meh.
Cole: I actually started to like Cole a LOT in this book. Not so much as a romantic interest for Nikki, but as an overall character. His personality really came out in EVERBOUND. He had some great snarky lines and you always know he has some trick up his sleeve, really making him one of the most developed characters, in my personal opinion. addiction_factor1

Read it!

I liked this one a lot more than the first book! I don’t seem to be on the same page as everyone else as far as teams go… but I’m okay with that! I actually enjoyed this one.

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE EVERBOUND

     Everneath      Sweet Evil

Everneath (Everneath #1) – Brodi Ashton

Everneath (Everneath #1) – Brodi AshtonTitle: Everneath (Everneath #1) by Brodi Ashton
Publishing Info: January 24, 2012 by HarperCollins
Source: Library
Genres: Fantasy, Mythology, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: October 28, 2012
Related Posts: Everbound (Everneath #2), My Lady Jane

     Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath. Now she’s returned—to her old life, her family, her boyfriend—before she’s banished back to the underworld . . . this time forever. She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can’t find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.
    Nikki longs to spend these precious months forgetting the Everneath and trying to reconnect with her boyfriend, Jack, the person most devastated by her disappearance—and the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s just one problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who enticed her to the Everneath in the first place, has followed Nikki home. Cole wants to take over the throne in the underworld and is convinced Nikki is the key to making it happen. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back, this time as his queen.
    As Nikki’s time on the Surface draws to a close and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she is forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole’s queen.
    Everneath is a captivating story of love, loss, and immortality from debut author Brodi Ashton.

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I downloaded the audiobook for EVERNEATH because I thought the concept sounded pretty interesting. I’ve been interested in mythology since I was young and I actually haven’t really read many books based in mythology yet so I was actually hoping of kind of a lot with this book. Sadly, I was kind of let down.

I felt like the story was really predictable and I think that was one of the main problems I had with the story line. Every time a situation was set up, for the most part I could see where it was going far before we got there. It did evolve into its own storyline but it was kind of a mix between its own story and a retelling… if that makes sense.

I really enjoyed the mythology side of if, but when it all came down to it, I just really didn’t care how it ended. I wasn’t pulled into the story and I didn’t feel like the author made me feel any connection with the characters. If it wasn’t an audiobook, I’m not sure I would have finished. I found myself just not caring what happened to them.

I think another reason I didn’t particularly care for it was that I didn’t end up liking any of the characters. Nikki seemed pretty dramatic and and yet flat all at the same time. I didn’t feel like she was becoming a real person for me and I never saw her as more than a character in a story. Jack Caputo wasn’t terribly intetersting to me either and I didn’t quite catch on to his appeal. He had a reputation of sleeping with quite a few girls before he started dating Nikki and that really turned me off to him. It never really seemed like he shed that reputation somehow. All of a sudden, it didn’t matter now that he was dating Nikki. I don’t know – I just didn’t see it. I guess Cole was the one dynamic character for me, but even still, he was just okay in my book.

AUDIOBOOK IMPRESSIONS

Narrator:  Amy Rubinate //  This was one of my least favorite narrators so far. Her voice was weirdly breathy and it kind of made everything seem extremely dramatic when it shouldn’t have been. I did like her voice differentiation though – I got a good feel of who the different characters were with different voices, so that was good. I just didn’t care for her narration overall, and as always, I think it affected my opinion of the book too.

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Nikki: I just didn’t like her. Sometimes she was helpless, sometimes she was stong. Sometimes she was emotional and others she was void of any emotion. I just felt like her character was kind of all over the place and she didn’t really grow in any way or learn a lesson. I don’t know. I just never connected with her.
Jack: I never really cared for Jack either. I felt like his backstory didn’t match the person he was once he and Nikki started dating. What made him change? Were they more rumors than true stories? And don’t even get me started on how tired I am of the whole captain of the football team and/or cheerleader dynamic. Maybe my high school was just so small that that kind of stuff didn’t matter, but I never relate to those “popularity” aspects of a story!

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Library Read

This was an okay read for me but unfortunately I think the narrator KIND OF ruined it for me. Even still though, I can tell this one wasn’t 100% a me book. I did enjoy it though and want to continue the series! Will probably borrow these books, though.

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE EVERNEATH

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1) – Robin LaFevers

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1) – Robin LaFeversTitle: Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1) by Robin Lafevers
Publishing Info: April 3, 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Source: Library
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Mythology, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: July 21, 2012
Related Posts: Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin #2), Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin #3)

    Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf? Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.      Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

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GRAVE MERCY follows the story of Ismae who after escaping the terrible fate of an arranged marriage to an oaf of a man is delivered to the convent of St. Mortain, the patron saint of Death. There she learns how to fully embody her true calling as the daughter of Mortain and learn the ways of death from her fellow Sisters and nuns. Upon the abbess’s approval, Ismae is sent out on her first big mission to protect the duchess of Brittany and to assassinate any traitors to her beloved country. When Ismae gets tangled up in the people of the court of Brittany, she finds it more and more confusing on who to trust and how to best fulfill Mortain’s will with her own feelings mixed in, especially when that means possibly betrayal of a man she may be falling in love with.

Once again, this is a book I probably would not have picked up if it were not for the glowing reviews of my fellow bloggers. This is what makes me so glad that I started my blog and am able to find such great books out there that I never would have known about otherwise!

First off, I really loved that this story was about the handmaidens of Death, but somehow had a positive spin on it. It wasn’t sinister or cruel — Ismae and her fellow Sisters are trained to assassinate those who have been “marked” by Death himself and are only the vessels to carry out His will. These are the traitors, the brutes, the tyrants – All who are deserving to suffer Death’s revenge. And even still, the story takes on so much more than pure assassinations and executions.

I really enjoyed the character development. I was surprised to see more time spent developing the minor characters that were of questionable intent versus what we usually see of the minor characters as sidekicks to the heroes. But in a way, it was actually perfectly fitting to the story. We are dealing with royal politics here and there were many hidden motives and people not to be trusted!
My favorite thing, of course, was the development of Isame & Duval’s relationship. Duval seems like one of those guys who just gives you his crooked smile and has you instantly hooked! I love any love interest that is played off as sly, witty, and sarcastic, making our strong heroine question the “weakness” of falling in love and finally bringing down that wall. And we get all of that and so much more from Duval!
Ismae really reminded me a lot of Katsa from Graceling — They had very similar natural talents (killing, fighting, etc) and that sense of surprise when they find themselves falling for a guy! Silly girls. We all swoon – It’ll happen to you even if you’re a badass! I found myself making quite a few comparisons between these two awesome heroines.

I was really interested in the whole plot of the duchess Anne and how young she was (thirteen!), yet really stood her ground, knew her politics so well, and was the head authority of all of the court. Usually the side stories (or main stories I guess in this case…) about politics and warring strategies usually don’t interest me, but this was written extremely well and it really helped that we got to know Anne so well. If she wasn’t prominently featured in the book and we were hearing of her story from afar, I don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much. She brought a nice aspect to the story and made a good friend for Ismae and softened her character a bit as well.

I thought it was great how deeply the story really took us, constantly turning our loyalties as to who we could really trust. It was just such an interesting concept and a really original story that it really had me hooked. I couldn’t guess as to how it would finish!

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BUY IT!

Wow, I was so impressed by this book. It started off just a teensy bit slow but totally swept me away!

QUOTES

  • p 31: “Good intentions are only lies the weak tell themselves.”
  • p 161: “I kick my right foot out of the stirrup, swing my leg over the saddle, and send both feet into the face of my attacker.”
  • p 454: “Like the tumblers in a lock, my mind shifts and moves.”
  • p 549, Last line of the book: “For while I am Death’s daughter and walk in His dark shadow, surely the darkness can give way to the light sometimes.”

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE GRAVE MERCY