Review: Evertrue by Brodi Ashton

Evertrue
Brodi Ashton

Balzer + Bray
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review.
Releases January 21, 2014 
336 pages
YA / Fantasy / Mythology

Find it on Goodreads

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indie Bound 

Now that Nikki has rescued Jack, all she wants is to be with him and graduate high school. But Cole tricked Nikki into feeding off him, and she’s begun the process of turning into an Everliving herself... which means she must feed on a Forfeit soon — or die. 

Terrified for her survival, Nikki and Jack begin a desperate attempt to reverse the process using any means possible. Even Cole, who they expected to fight them at every turn, has become an unlikely ally — but how long can it last? Nikki needs to feed on Cole to survive, Cole needs Nikki to gain the throne in the Everneath, Jack needs Nikki because she is everything to him — and together, they must travel back to the Underworld to undo Nikki’s fate and make her mortal once more. But Cole isn’t the only one with plans for Nikki: the Queen has not forgotten Nikki’s treachery, and she wants her destroyed for good. Will Nikki be forced to spend eternity in the Underworld, or does she have what it takes to bring down the Everneath once and for all?

In this stunning conclusion to the Everneath trilogy, Brodi Ashton evokes the resiliency of the human spirit and the indomitable power of true love.

FINALLY! A trilogy conclusion that doesn’t leave me disappointed or completely disinterested! I’ve been having very bad luck with series enders lately, so I was hesitant going into Evertrue. This was a series that I shouldn’t have liked, but the first book, Everneath, grabbed me and refused to let go. While the second, Everbound, didn’t quite have that same spark as the first, it was still a lot of fun and an unusual take on mythology of the underworld. Luckily Brodi Ashton took all the magic from the first book and the action from the second to build a finale that was well worth the wait.

Though I must mention that glancing at the cover of Evertrue for the first time, I thought our main character was turning into an octopus Ursula type character. Something about the way her dress swirls around her looks like tentacles to me.

SPOILERS FOR EVERNEATH AND EVERBOUND AHEAD

Evertrue opens up moments after the second book finishes with Nikki reeling from the news that she’s on her way to becoming an Everliving and that Cole’s niceness in helping her rescue Jack was all a ploy to trick her into choosing eternal life with him and take over the Everneath throne. Cole nabs the compass that is Nikki’s earth-bound heart and disappears into the night. After the initial wave of anger and bleakness pass, Nikki decides it’s time to take those immortal bastards down and she’s going to blow up the underworld. You know, because that’s going to be super easy.

Nikki is as determined and hard-headed as ever to do what she thinks is the only way out of her immortal predicament, sacrificing her life if needed. This is nothing new. It’s who she’s been since the beginning. It’s the two men in her life who have changed. Jack returned from his time in the Tunnels bigger, stronger and a lot angrier than the sweet boy from Everneath. He has a hair trigger temper switch that goes off whenever Cole is brought into a conversation, much less when he shows up to make out with his girlfriend to “feed” her so she doesn’t waste away during her transformation.

The myth of Hercules shows up early on, set up by a summer school writing class, and weaves its way throughout the story in a parallel to Jack and his decent into anger. Meanwhile Cole remains as big of an asshat until he suddenly doesn’t remember who he is or his megalomaniacal plans to rule the Underneath with Nikki by his side. I’m a sucker from amnesia stories where the originally douche-y male character becomes like a sweet puppy (see Erik from True Blood).

The first half of the book meanders a bit, mostly setting up the pieces for the second half. It involves a lot of repetitive conversations and driving from here to there in search of Cole. It isn’t until the second half that things pick up and the entire series is paid off by events in the Underneath itself. Nikki really grows into herself and goes from talking about fighting for herself to actually doing something about it. The ending is equally heartbreaking and satisfying.

Ashton long since left the Persphone myth behind her, creating a world full of potential horrors hiding just below the surface. All of her own mythology pays off in a satisfying conclusion where characters are redeemed for past wrongs and face the consequences for the actions from the previous volumes. I have been pleasantly surprised by this entire series and its addictive take on mythology. Thank you to Ashton for breaking my trend of bad series’ enders. 

 

I received an ARC from the publisher in return for an honest review.