Goodreads Summary: Nikki Beckett could only watch as her boyfriend, Jack, sacrificed himself to save her, taking her place in the Tunnels of the Everneath for eternity — a debt that should’ve been hers. She’s living a borrowed life, and she doesn’t know what to do with the guilt. And every night Jack appears in her dreams, lost and confused and wasting away.
Desperate for answers, Nikki turns to Cole, the immortal bad boy who wants to make her his queen — and the one person least likely to help. But his heart has been touched by everything about Nikki, and he agrees to assist her in the only way he can: by taking her to the Everneath himself.
Nikki and Cole descend into the Everneath, only to discover that their journey will be more difficult than they’d anticipated — and more deadly. But Nikki vows to stop at nothing to save Jack — even if it means making an incredible sacrifice of her own.
**Do NOT read if you haven’t read Book One!**
My Review: I actually think this will be my favorite book of the Everneath trilogy and I haven’t even finished Evertrue yet. BUT this book had everything I needed — just enough exposition, tons of emotion, literary tie-ins (greek mythology), emotional turmoil, and character development.
Ashton, in my opinion, did a phenomenal job with Cole’s character in this book. I’m actually going to go out on a limb and say that he is her best character in this series. While Nikki didn’t annoy me as much as she did in Everneath, Cole really stole the show for me throughout this entire book. He’s still complicated, manipulative, charming, and very attractive. I can definitely see the allure about him — as can Nikki. But of course, she is entirely focused on Jack, which is understandable & appropriate.
Here’s where things get a little off for me – we all know that you will/typically do anything in the name of love (whether it’s logical or illogical, stupid or smart) and Nikki, in my opinion, was very stupid. Not judging her at all. Who knows, if I was in her situation, I would probably do something equally as stupid. But I’m not her, so I’m going to pick apart this whole situation.
We know that Jack is in the Everneath as a Forfeit because he took Nikki’s place at the end of the first book.
All of book two is about Nikki and her desperate measures to get him back. She learns early on that the only way to get to the Everneath and get Jack back is to have an Everliving escort her — meaning Cole. Red flag #1.
Taking in to consideration all that we know about Cole, it’s obvious that he is NOT going to help her (unless there is something in it for him). Nikki knows this. Or she should have. You see my issue? Book one gave her all the reason in the world to NOT trust Cole, but she risks it anyway — for Jack. Stupid. Understandable, but stupid. Red flag #2.
And then let’s not forget the fact that the Everneath is rules by a queen and there are all of those emotion sucking minions that do her dirty work. NIkki knows nothing of the Everneath and how it works, and as she learns it, she is either learning it from Cole (Red flag #3) or from that old lady, whose name I can’t remember.
The decision to trust Cole and go into the Everneath figuratively blind unlocks a whole mess of BS that take place, including learning more about Cole. This was a fun book. Watching Nikki realize how big of a situation she got herself it, experiencing her struggle with trusting Cole and being away from Jack. It was all part of a great reading adventure.
I really enjoyed this book. A lot. In spite of Nikki being one of my least favorite characters (she still annoys me, but not as much), I really enjoyed this journey. Learning about how Jack fell in love with Nikki. Learning about Cole’s background and his feelings as well. And then experiencing the Everneath as a reader. It was a lot of fun. Max is a cool dude, as well.
The end of book two makes me eager for book three, but it also makes me anxious because I’m nervous about how this story is going to end, especially with this “love triangle”.
Oh well, onto the final chapter of this trilogy!
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars!