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Howdy YAL!

I used to be the blogger called YAL Book Briefs, but I grew bored of the handle and changed my name to Howdy YAL. I also respond to MJ. I like to read, write, eat truffles, and watch bad Lifetime movies. 

Independence Day in the Underworld

Evertrue  - Brodi Ashton

Note: This review will be spoiler heavy since I have to let out my feelings for the way this book ended.  It’s not a total rant though, so don’t get your pitchforks out on me yet.


The Everneath trilogy probably has been one of the most exciting trilogies in YA’s recent past.  Especially that second book, Everbound.  Man that book was bad ass.  Its the antithesis of sophomore slump, but it seems like the sophomore slump finally caught up to it and the finale.  And that’s a shame.


Don’t get me wrong, Evertrue had a lot going for it.  Ashton’s writing is as engaging as always and if I didn’t think about what was going on I enjoyed the book a whole lot.  In fact, the first fourth of the book was great.  The characters were on par and then…and then Ashton decided to do a classic soap opera storyline line of amnesia.

And well, the book turned from being something to being the underworld  version of Independence Day.


Don’t believe me.  Well, I’ll explain my thesis that Evertrue is essentially a paranormal version of Independence Day:


Nikki (Jeff Goldblum): 

Yes, Nikki equals Jeff Goldblum’s character.  You know the average guy  (well, what’s really average about someone who’s going to M.I.T.) but manages to save the world despite his pitiful cable man status, that’s Nikki.  Except she’s female and doesn’t even have a piece of paper from a prestigious university to designate she’s special.  Rather she’s…I still don’t know.


I do like her though, as strange as that sounds.  I think she’s portrayed in a pretty realistic light, and I like the fact that she’s a little dimmer than most of these YA rocket scientists.  And she has grown up some…but still her whole idea of blowing up the Everneath with little thought it’s dumb.  The fact that she doesn’t regret it even though it’s causing all the everliving to cease in existence is just downright cruel.

Oh, I suppose they’re evil for being everlivings…but…ugh, I really don’t like the whole black and white view on good versus evil.  This was what had me enjoying the last few books.  Maybe the fact that she had this mindset throughout the whole book was why I found it to be lackluster.  Plus, really, Nikki defeating everyone with such ease.

This is Nikki we’re talking about, right?


Well, I guess if we look Nikki at in the context of Independence Day, Jeff Goldblum, her logic makes sense.  After all, Goldblum was able to defeat an advance civilization with a computer virus.  Sure…..  But then again in a book where the lead gets sent to rehab, despite the fact that drugs are never in her system at the end of the series, I guess logic ceases to exist in this universe as well.


Jack (President Bill Pullman):


Let’s face it, Bill Pullman was mainly in Independence Day because they needed more man candy to counter Jeff Goldblum’s awkwardness (I mean, Will Smith can only do so much despite his charm) and everyone always knows in a crisis it’s good to have a hot president.  Of course, even though President Pullman calls the shots the movie it’s really Jeff Goldblum pulling the strings.  Much like Nikki was the one wearing the pants in this relationship.


And like Bill Pullman Jack is sooooo boring.  He really has become a mancessory in a lot of ways.  Don’t get me wrong, I like him.  But I liked him better in earlier books.  Here he seems more or less along for the ride.  I think Jack was the strongest in the first book.  Luckily though, even though he’s a bit of a bore in this particular installment he doesn’t get Ya-ified with tropes.  He’s still a nice guy and I’m happy for him and Nikki.


Cole (Randy Quaid):

Oh, Cole.  Poor, poor Cole.  It seems like any character who’s named Cole gets the sour end of the lollypop like the demon did in Charmed.  But since I’m comparing this overall to Independence Day not Charmed.  I think it’s safe to say that Cole is the Randy Quaid of this book.


This is a character who I loved to pieces not because I saw him so much as a love interest but because he was such an intriguing character.  I liked that he was a sadistic bastard.  But then he just had to go and get soap opera amnesia and all that hard scheming he did, well, was futile.  Instead, he really became a Randy Quaid of this book and after sobbing for him for maybe half a paragraph Nikki got over it.

To be fair though, it wasn’t even his ending so much that bothered me.  It was the way his character was assassinated.  The amnesia thing really, really didn’t work for me.  It turned a sadistic bastard into a stupid tool that Nikki and her boy toy could manipulate.

It was just an easy fix.


I wanted a nice fair game, damn it.  I didn’t get my showdown between these two like I wanted.  I just was…really underwhelmed.


The Rest of the Everlivings ( The Aliens):


While the actual world that the everlivings lived in was built was well developed.  The everlivings and their society for the most part was overlooked.  Oh, we knew about a few of them.  But we really didn’t see an overview of everliving society in general.  They were as 1D as those aliens in the movie.  Which I guess made it okay for Nikki to nuke them.


Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate this book.  I can see a lot of people liking it.  If I didn’t think about it, I would’ve loved it.  But the longer I thought about it the more I got annoyed with it.  Maybe I’m being too hard on it though.  I think after the second installment, I might’ve expected too much.   

Source: http://howdyyal.wordpress.com/2014/01/24/the-underworlds-version-of-independence-day-evertrue-by-brodi-ashton