Everbound by Brodi Ashton.
Published January 22, 2013.
Published by Balzer & Bray.
Source: Won an ARC from Epic Reads' Tea Time (Thank you!).
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.
*Caution: Will contain spoilers for the first novel, Everneath. I will try not to include big spoilers for this one, though*
Well. If you haven't read my review of Everneath yet, I would suggest you do because the way I feel about this one is very similar to the way I felt about that one.
Nikki has not grown. She is still the same frustrating, flat character. She is a little bit less passive in this one, but I still didn't enjoy her. I make notes while I read in order to be able to write these reviews and one of my notes says "Nikki is a crazy person. Who does she think she is!?" which just shows you that I am not a fan of hers. She claims to be extremely determined to get to the Everneath to save Jack, yet when Cole, her way there, finally shows, she steps away from him. It's like as soon as he shows up, getting to the Everneath, which was all she talked about until that point, becomes less important than avoiding him. What?! Her actions don't match what we're told about her. She tends to let things happen to her instead of making them happen, which she did tons of in the first novel. She even admits in this one that she doesn't think! I didn't care much about her the first time around, and now I just don't like her. Not really an upgrade. At least I liked Cole better in this one. He shows more emotion and he seems to care more. I also like his dry sense of humour, which I think is shown a lot more in this novel. So that's something. I still think Jack is right for her, though.
Now, the Everneath. From the first scene in which it is featured, all I could think was "weird." It was very strange from the beginning. Someone explodes into a red mist that all the Everlivings breathe in? That's kind of gross, actually. It did get a little bit more interesting when the idea of the rings of the Everneath are introduced. I thought they were well executed and well involved in the story.
One of my biggest issues with the novel (aside from Nikki) was the convenience of it all. For example, when Nikki first enters the Everneath, Cole yanks her out just before she is impaled by Shades. He can just reach in and yank her out? And how convenient, that he does it right at that time. Another one that bugged me: it's just convenient for the storyline that time discrepancies in the Everneath aren't always the same from one day to another. It seems like an excuse for more events to happen in the plot, and I was not impressed.
In the end, I'll say at least there was more mythology in this one, but I was left with a lot of unanswered questions and not much motivation to bother reading the last book to have them answered.