Hi everyone! This is Julia of The Broke and the Bookish, formerly blogging on my own at The Competitive Bibliomaniac.
I read mostly historical romance, but can often be found reviewing paranormal romance, young adult books (mostly distopian/fantasy), fantasy/sci-fi, classics, and the occasional non-fiction book about languages.
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Everbound , the second in the Everneath series, is a book with its pros and its cons. The series delves into a modern day twist on Greek, and really all, mythology. This series is heavily inspired by the Greeks though.
First a summary (spoilers for Everneath if you haven't read that...):
Nikki was supposed to get sucked into the tunnels at the end of the last book, as her time on Earth had run out (long story), but Jack, her long time friend recently turned boyfriend, jumps into the Shades instead of her, taking her place in what is tantamount to being buried alive in Hell.
Pleasant thought that.
Anyway we start this book out with Nikki trying furtively to figure out a way into the Everneath so she can rescue Jack. Her plan? Trick Cole into giving up a part of himself so she can enter the Everneath through the Shop-and-Go. One problem. She doesn't know where Cole is.
The first part of the book is pretty slow and centers around her grief for losing Jack as well as the whole town's grief over losing their caricature of the small town hero. (more on that later). When Cole finally does show up, more passably boring things happen yadda yadda ... then they are in the Everneath, which really is the most interesting part.
I mean really. I could care less about what is going on at the Surface when there is an awesome world to discover in the Everneath, one that has a time limit because Jack can only last so long in the tunnels. It's a great setup!
This is where we run into one of my major nitpicks: the world building aka lack of a use of descriptive language. I noticed that I had a hard time picturing the Everneath. It wasn't until Nikki was describing one of the maze rings that I realized the problem. Here is the sentence that stuck me:The sight was so unearthly, it took my breath away. And then no description of what she was seeing follows. The plot just moves forward. How am I supposed to get a sense of setting when you describe a scene as "unearthly"? I have only known Earth from experience, so explaining what she is seeing would be greatly appreciated.
A minor nitpick I have is character development. I think our main leads (Nikki and Cole) are pretty fleshed out and not cardboard. Jack, especially in this book, slips more into a cliche then a character to me. The secondary characters are more like devices to move the plot then anything else. Pawns for Cole and Nikki to use... but that said, I really like the plot.
The plot was what saved this for me. It is such an interesting twist on classical mythos. And just like the myths, bad things happen to our main characters and through the journey, shit happens you can't escape from.
Which brings me to Cole. Oh, Cole. In my first review, I fondly referred to him as "a big fat tool." He is probably my favorite character just because he is so well developed. In this book, he reminded me so much of how I picture Hades. We spend a lot of time with Cole through this book. I don't want to give too much away, but I really need to talk about the ending... so spoiler tag!
Do I recommend this book? If you liked the first one, sure. It's more of the same along those lines. Though frustratingly written at time, the plot is engaging and I read the book in a day, so it's an easier read.
A serious question for you Cole lovers. I am really interested in hearing why you think that he is better for Nikki then Jack? Is it just because he is more interesting? Because I can understand that. But I just don't see him as relationship material...
I am interested to see where this series takes us next.
Originally posted on GR in February 2013