Nikki and Jack’s relief at escaping the Everneath at the end of Everbound (2013) is short-lived, as they face the highest stakes yet.
Nikki’s health starts to fail immediately as she transitions into an Everliving. She will die if she doesn’t feed. A transitioning Everliving can only feed on the Everliving who holds her Surface heart—in Nikki’s case, and to boyfriend Jack’s ire, Cole. Worse, Nikki has limited time before she will need to feed on a Forfeit. She doesn’t want to damn an innocent to the Tunnels—the fate she narrowly avoided in Everneath (2012)—but Jack and Cole will do anything to keep her alive. After Cole and his band are attacked by followers of the Everneath’s queen (hoping to thwart their plot to depose her and put Nikki in her place), only Cole escapes, but he does so with amnesia. Nikki and Jack capitalize on his memory loss to convince him that he was working with them to destroy the Everneath for good (which would prevent Nikki from dying or having to feed), but they can’t be sure how much to trust him, as his memories may return. As in previous installments, the prose is sprinkled with references to Greek mythology. The beautifully orchestrated obstacles and rising tension position the characters so that they must succeed or die.
Although the denouement passes very quickly, the ending satisfies and will break some hearts. (Paranormal romance. 13 & up)