Review–Evertrue (Everneath #3) by Brodi Ashton

Evertrue (Everneath #1)
by Brodi Ashton
Summary: 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.

Source: I purchased a Kindle copy.

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This review and rating will be slightly unfair. Like the other books, I enjoyed the finale in the many of the same ways. However, because it does conclude the novel, it has the unfortunate fate as to speak for the entire series as a whole now that it’s all over. Evertrue was interesting and the stakes were pretty high. Nikki wanted to destroy the Everneath to avoid becoming an Everliving. With Jack’s help, she embarked on an adventure to find out how. I liked the plot because it was unique and it involved more mythological aspects. More elements of the Everneath were explored. Cole was also a wonderful character because he once again became the character Nikki needed but couldn’t always trust. I loved not really knowing what the big picture was and if he was trustworthy.

But I did have some issues with the series. In the first book, I understood Nikki’s drive to Return and say goodbye to her loved ones. I kind of understood (in the beginning before she chose to Return) why she would choose the Tunnels over being an Everliving because she’d rather die than hurt anyone else. And she wouldn’t want to live without Jack. In the second book, I understood Nikki’s drive to rescue Jack so he wouldn’t suffer. I also understood her still resisting Cole because if she could save Jack, she wouldn’t want to live without him. No use sacrificing themselves for each other on repeat. I got all that. But Nikki wanted to destroy the Everneath to avoid becoming an Everliving in the final book. I did not understand. How many people/souls/things would perish if it ended? Is that number somehow more important than the handful of WILLING Forfeits she’d have to feed on by being an Everliving? And she could still maintain a life with Jack. But Nikki’s main focus was that she was utterly unwilling to Feed on Forfeits. It’s already annoying to me when people are difficult about stuff like that, like not wanting to hurt/kill a person even though it’s not really that big of a deal to me in the grand scheme of things. Maybe I’m just not that kind of person. I would totally drain a willing person to be immortal and not even think about it. I guess I take Cole’s side. Maybe I’d be different if they had to Feed on unwilling innocents. But Forfeits are not only willing, they are bred for it. I thought there could have been a decent compromise regarding her life as an Everliving. Taking down the entire Everneath just bothered me.

I also thought there were far too many convenient plot devices in Evertrue that assisted Nikki in destroying the Everneath. I already thought the destruction was unnecessary, but it was entirely too easy to do, despite having serious and improbable instructions. I thought Cole’s amnesia was fine and entertaining, but I hated that he always had a “natural instinct” and remembered stuff at just the right time. Always. This just added to making the impossible too easy. Another example: you’d have to destroy all Everneath hearts and surface hearts of every Everliving. The characters were all just like.. well we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. And then what happens? The surface hearts magically appear in the same place as the Everneath hearts after one convenient event. Really? I mean.. REALLY?  And it bothers me when heroines make crazy decisions like destroying the Everneath with little to no knowledge about it and never once thought about her ignorance possibly hurting so many people. To save herself (and the handful of WILLING Forfeits she may have drained in the future), she held so much in her unknowing hands. I’m all about characters not understand the consequences of their actions in the moment, but it just bothered me that it was easy, it was done, and she suffered virtually nothing at all.

I just wanted to shake her and ask her what was so horrible about draining a willing person once every 99 years, spend Jack’s lifetime with him. Maybe she could even end up with Cole afterwards, mirroring much of Ashe’s own story by learning to love again after your first. (Spoiler, it doesn’t end that way). It’s just that I find the entire reason for the plot to be pretty flimsy in the end when I saw so many more ways it could have resolved itself without the loss of handfuls of people (since hurting people was her whole freaking issue in the first place!)

What I did like about Evertrue were the characters and their interactions with each other. Cole lost his memory and became quite hilarious. Jack and Cole’s uneasy relationship was entertaining. I enjoyed reading along and finding out what would happen. I was invested in the story. It was extremely addicting and I couldn’t put it down.


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