Evertrue by Brodi Ashton Published by Balzer + Bray
on January 21,2014Genres: YA Paranormal Pages:
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.
Oh, Evertrue. My dear, dear Evertrue. This is one series finale I’ve been anxiously awaiting since I read Everbound over a year ago and in most ways, Evertrue thoroughly delivers. A major narrative choice in the novel knocks the wind out of its sails, but this is definitely a finale to remember fondly for the most part.
In previous installments, I liked Jack and Nikki and how they were characterized individually, but there wasn’t a good feel for their relationship; Everneath was about it falling apart and being put back together while Everbound had Jack being rescued while we saw a few flashbacks to better times. This time around, we get Jack and Nikki together the entire time, which lets us see how well their present-day dynamic really works. Even though I ship Cole/Nikki for the crack, I ship Jack/Nikki too because they’re good together. SHIP EVERYONE.
However, as much as I like Nikki, I can’t help but wonder how many brain cells she has left. She’s overly silly at times, especially at the beginning when coming up with ideas, and she’s getting outsmarted at every turn. Either Cole is really that smart or Nikki is really that dumb. I lean toward the latter because she should know him a little better by now. Did she really expect to find her heart there? I can’t remember her being quite so dim in other books.
And speaking of Cole, what happens with him is why I’ve rated this installment lower than the others. Nikki and Jack can’t destroy the Everneath without his help and he’d never choose to help them as he is, so readers have to see everything they loved about Cole from the first two books and the novella disappear. He becomes a living, breathing Deus ex Machina with amnesia until our hero and heroine need him to remember something, at which point he remembers what he needs to. It’s the sort of development that takes the easy way out because it’s clear the ending will not happen any other way. It’s nice to see how he really feels about Nikki without his manipulative personality getting in the way, but it’s not quite worth the cost.
Though disappointment lingers and I’ll miss the Cole I came to love in the same odd way Nikki did, the Everneath series will always remain one of my favorites for its creative worldbuilding, all its twists and turns, and its heroine Nikki. No matter how silly she can be, she’s a knockout of a girl who came to life in a refreshing series. It’s a bittersweet goodbye, but the sweetness is so much stronger. I’d definitely recommend this series to anyone who is looking for a good series to binge in its entirety or paranormal YA that does something new.