Review: Everbound by Brodi Ashton

Rating: 5 stars
Pub Date: January 22, 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (an imprint of HarperCollins Children's)
Genre: young adult, fantasy (mythology), romance
Format/Source: Hardcover, my own copy
Status: Book 2 of the Everneath trilogy

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.

Wow. A lot of people like to complain about sequels, describing this phenomenon as the "second book syndrome" as if it's the author's fault and not the fact that 1. as readers, our expectations are usually ridiculously high and 2. obviously in a trilogy or other more-than-just-two-books series, there's no way the author can give us a happily-ever-after kind of ending...yet. So I've decided to go into reading second books with a more positive attitude...and I gotta say this more open perspective has been paying off for the past two months as I've been treated to some real winners like Prodigy and Through the Ever Night. Now, I liked Everneath and I liked Neverfall so I had a feeling I'd like Everbound. I just wasn't sure how much. However, Brodi Ashton blew my expectations away with Everbound. Seriously, this was a great read. 

 Kind of like Harry's pre-Hogwarts days, the novel moved rather slowly before Nikki, Cole, and Max finally descended into the Everneath, but I get it. Those chapters really set up the direness of Jack's situation, which is obviously not really good. I like that the roles have been reversed and now Nikki has to experience at least part of what others, including Jack, went through when she went to the Feed. Not to bag on Nikki, because clearly Cole is always the mastermind behind basically everything (foreshadow much, Brodi?!) but she made the decision to go with Cole and now she's still dealing with those consequences, and one of those consequences is Jack's possible and possibly imminent death! While I wanted these chapters to move more quickly, I liked that Brodi used them to show how just over the course of 24 hours, Jack's condition could fluxuate wildly.

Speaking of Jack, I love him. Seriously, love him. I mean, how can you not? The boy got all dark when Nikki left him the first time, what with his piercing and his adorable tattoo with a super deep meaning, and then TOOK. HER. PLACE. IN. HELL. You really can't not love him after that. And I am totally in love with Brodi's use of flashbacks. I found them not only relevant to the story (using them to solidify her anchor), engaging, and not at all distracting like flashbacks can occasionally be. See, I knew in Everneath that I was supposed to like Jack, but I didn't always get why. Now that I see Jack and Nikki's past, the evolution of their relationship from friends to epic lovers, I understand why they're epic lovers and why I'm supposed to love Jack, which, in case you didn't realize, I do.

As for Miss Nikki, I gotta hand it to her and to Brodi for writing her this way: I am so glad that she realizes how deeply she messed up when she chose to go with Cole to the Feed and that she is so dang determined to make up for that clearly horrible lapse in judgment AND make sure that no one else continue to pay for it, whether it's Jack, his family, Nikki's family, etc.  She's so dedicated to fixing this mistake that she is willing to DIE for it, to die for Jack. That's a ballsy move, and I applaud it.

And finally, Cole. Oh, Cole. I feel so sorry for you, I really do. But then you go and do something SO DOUCHEY that I wonder if you've been taking lessons from Kanye Imma-let-you-finish West or something. I mean, honestly, every time Cole opens up and I think I've got him figured, he just lets me, well, okay, Nikki, down. Man, I've got to stop feeling so much when I read! :D But at this point, I'm really unsure if there is anything truly redeeming about Cole. I'm sure Nikki is 100% with me on this one. I guess we'll just have to wait to find out in Everneath 3: It's Everneath-iest (Brodi's current public working title).

A few words about the ending: I kind of had a feeling it would come to that. Throughout the entire novel, I was expecting something similar to happen. But then...Jack happened, and I was all excited. Yay! Jack being awesome! Awww, adorableness commences! And then WHAM! Yeah, even though I was expecting it, I STOPPED expecting it and I was thusly completely blind-sided. Well played, Brodi, well played. I see what you did there. But I can't fault her. Clearly with the way we leave things at the end of Everbound, Everneath 3 is going to be epic in every way imaginable. And I for one can't wait to see Nikki smack the stupid handsome smirk off Cole's stupid handsome face. Maybe there will even be a boy fight. That would be awesome. *crosses fingers*

So, yeah. Go read Everneath, then Neverfall, then Everbound. Laugh and squee and curse Brodi Ashton and then come here and commiserate with me and we'll sit here and count down the days until #3. :)

Recommended for: mythology fans (Brodi hit just about every myth I expected and many I didn't and it was spectacular!), lovers of lost romance & starcrossed lovers
Not recommended for: Anyone who dislikes angst and broodiness and slightly cheesy romance. Also sexy bad guys
Book Links:

About the Author:
Because of two parents who were Greek myth geeks, Brodi grew up thinking the latest fashion trends were inspired by Aphrodite, and a good conversational opener was, “So, which mythological character do you most resemble?” Despite these social shortcomings, Brodi found a great husband who’s always her first reader. They live in Utah with their two young boys, who still have no idea why she's at the computer all the time.

Brodi received a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Utah and a Master’s degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics.

Author Links:


  1. I was at such a loss for words on what to say on my review that I came and stalked yours. (: Reading yours made the ideas spark and the words flow.

  2. I love angst and broodiness and sexy boys! Lol! I'm totally looking forward to this one!