Paranormal Young Adult
Balzer + Bray
Source: ARC from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
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?
Evertrue is a thoroughly satisfying conclusion to the Everneath trilogy, returning us to Nikki and Jack as they struggle to come to terms with the shocking revelation at the end of book two. Ms. Ashton is oh-so kind to her readers, giving us a brief recap of the major points we need to remember from the last book as we head into this final one, and providing us with everything we need to hit the ground running with our striking couple and the young man who is the bane of their existence. While perhaps the least emotionally gripping of the three, this concluding story never lacks in action or adventure, taking us on one last epic journey before saying goodbye to a beloved cast of characters.
Part of the reason our hearts aren’t in quite as much danger of being shredded in Evertrue is due to the fact that Nikki and Jack are finally together physically as well as emotionally – an unbreakable team ready to take on everyone and everything standing in the way of their lifelong happiness – so the romantic tension is ratcheted way down from previous books. While the lack of tension is a mild criticism, it’s simultaneously a huge relief, the solidity of Nikki and Jack as a couple allowing us to focus on the more pressing matter of Nikki’s new connection to the Everneath (one I’m being deliberately vague about as to avoid spoilers for those who haven’t read book two).
As he has always been, Cole is yet again a highlight of this third installment, Ms. Ashton writing him so beautifully that even with all the things he’s done – the lies he’s told and extravagant manipulations he’s orchestrated – our first instinct is still to trust him. To give him the benefit of the doubt and search desperately for the good in him we’re hoping is actually there rather than simply being a figment of our romantic idealism and overactive imaginations. Cole is vulnerable in a way he's never been previously, any anger we may have harbored over past deeds unable to stand strong in the face of his newfound innocence, and somehow we fall even more in love with him than we were before. His love for Nikki is something we’ve questioned throughout, wondering if his feelings are genuine or if they’re simply tied to the future he so desperately wants for himself, and if his desire for her stems from the heart or simply from ambition. By the end we have our answer in truth, his place in our memories forever solidified as he, Nikki and Jack engage in the final battle.
Evertrue flows perfectly (if wrapping up a touch quickly with regard to the queen), moving forward quickly and smoothly to ensure we have trouble finding a point at which we can set the book aside and get back to our real lives. This series is a favorite, and I will be waiting with breath held to see what Ms. Ashton brings to life next.
This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.