So instead of sitting around and moping preparing waiting for the inevitable, Nikki Beckett gets up off her arse and takes some action. I liked that and thought that Everbound was off to a good start. And it didn’t disappoint …much. I certainly liked this better than Everneath but most of my quibbles with the first book in the series continued to bug me in this instalment.
I understand that Nikki is really focussed on keeping Jack alive through their shared dreams and finding a way to rescue him from the Everneath for good. However, I’m tired of her going on about her remorse about not yet having attempted to fix the relationship with her father and brother. I find it strange that she talks about the twinges of conscience at the strained relations at length, but doesn’t even seem to try. It almost felt as if Ashton didn’t know how to integrate this part of the story into her narrative, but feels compelled to mention how important a point this is. Maybe it’s there to create additional tension (or maybe it’s just a compulsory feature of YA literature). Whatever it is, it’s not quite working for me, because it feels so disconnected. Nikki’s dad trying to get her to go to therapy sessions might not feel as unnecessary if she didn’t get to do what she intends to do after all, if the obstacles were greater, if she were really risking a rupture in her relations.
I still can’t make head or tail of Nikki’s relation with her (former) best friend Jules. What’s up with Jules. I cannot shake the feeling that there is something sinister about her. Is there more to her watchful distance than her concern for Nikki and Jack or the (romantic) feelings she might be having for Jack, or for either of them for that matter?
Nikki really takes a lot of things for granted without second-guessing people’s motives or intentions. She’s focussed and driven, but also terribly oblivious to what is actually being said and done. She only seems to question their behaviour for a moment and dismissing any qualms she might have in order to single-mindedly pursue her goals. She’s a postponer, filing away anything that seems strange or noteworthy in the back of her mind for later reference and investigation at a later time – when it might be most likely be too late. She wonders about jack’s changed physique but doesn’t stop to get to the bottom of this. I bet there’s more to it than is hinted at in Everbound and I wonder why Nikki does not seem worried by the change. It’s probably just the relief at having Jack back though.
The ending is probably supposed to prepare the reader for the big showdown in the third book, but it was rather anticlimactic for me. I wasn’t surprised. I wasn’t even particularly interested. If there were further development in the minor characters of the Queen, Jules, and Max, I might be convinced to read on.
Nikki, please do get an army to take on the Everneath next time!
All in all, I did enjoy Everbound a great deal more than I did Everneath. Then again, I wasn’t in such a morose mood this time around, but I doubt that my personal self-pitying moping had that great an effect on my reading pleasure the last time.