This review and others are posted at Inspiring Insomnia.
Nikki is on a rescue mission. If Nikki can't get back to the Everneath, her boyfriend, Jack, will be unable to escape the tunnels, and he will eventually die. She has the small comfort that he visits her in a ghostly form during her dreams at night, but with every visit, Nikki can see that his memories of her are starting to slip away.
But Cole is not one to take no for an answer, and he continues to insist Nikki should accept his offer of eternal life alongside him. Nikki's got other ideas, and she snatches a few pieces of Cole's hair – her ticket (hopefully not one-way) to the Everneath. Her attempt doesn't go as planned; the deadly Shades detect her presence and only a last-minute rescue by Cole to haul her back to the Surface prevents her from becoming dinner for the Shades. But Nikki won't give up, and she makes Cole an offer he can't refuse to force him to take her to Everneath, with Cole's friend, Max, tagging along. To keep the connection to Jack alive, Cole periodically asks Nikki to recount memories of Jack, so we are treated to sweet stories of their romance.
There is a scene straight out of every horror movie EVER when Nikki suggests she and Max split up to go in search of Cole. Smart Max has the common sense of every horror movie audience EVER, and he says, “No, that's an awful idea.” Nikki gets her way. Uh-oh; you know what's coming.
Through the two books, I know that I'm supposed to like Cole more than I do, but if you've read any number of my reviews, you know that I'm usually a sucker for the good guy. In this case, I'm Team Jack all the way, but I'm open to being persuaded to switch sides in the third book! Cole, so far, is a mystery to me, but he showed a little spark when he shared with Nikki a bit of his own romantic history with a girl named Gynna. Give me more of this, Brodi - I want to like the bad boy for once!
Just as in Everneath, I'm awed by the imaginative and dark beauty of this underworld. Everbound also brings in some great mythology discussions. A huge, game-changing twist at the end helps to elevate the story over Everneath. Did YOU see it coming? I didn't. And did you love it as much as I did?