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Blog Tour: Reviews: Everneath | Hallowed

Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Hallowed (#2) by Cynthia Hand

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Purchase: BookDepository
Release Date: 1/17/12
Age Group: Young Adult
Rating: Perfect Bed Partner
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+ Hover for Summary »For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought.

Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.

Described by Richelle Mead as “utterly captivating,” Unearthly received outstanding reviews, garnered accolades from New York Times bestselling authors, and was named an Indie Next Pick. In this heart-wrenching sequel, Cynthia Hand expertly captures the all-consuming joy of first love—and the agony of loss. This beautifully woven tale will appeal to fans of Lauren Kate, Becca Fitzpatrick, and Aprilynne Pike.

I honestly cannot think of two more complementary stories to throw together for a blog tour. I commented on a blog a couple of days ago that I had read both Hallowed and Everneath within a few days of each other and I feel like buckets of SAD has been dumped all over me. What's ironic is that they are two COMPLETELY different stories, with characters who are nothing alike, yet they left me feeling the exact same way--eager for what's next and a little bit hollow inside.

Both books are bursting with a melancholy tone right from the first couple of chapters. In Everneath, Nikki Beckett has just escaped the clutches of Ashton's variation of the Underworld, called (surprise!) the Everneath, and has one goal in mind: to say goodbye to her family, friends, and the boy who got her through the horrible ordeal she wishes to forget, in a somehow better way than her previous abrupt departure. We revisit Clara Gardner in Hallowed and Hand instantly sets the tone for the rest of the book with a touching goodbye between Tucker and pieces of himself he's forced to leave behind. And what's worse? Someone so vital to Clara's life, a character (and the not knowing whom is pure torture), who we've no doubt become immeasurably attached, will die in the pages that follow. Talk about torn heartstrings.

Pros for Everneath:
  • The Seamless Blend of the Borrowed and the Unique
While Ashton may have taken from the Greek myths we were all taught at some point, she completely spins her own tale that stands strong and fresh among all the other retellings. Ashton incorporates what I was cheated out of in books like The Goddess Test, where I failed to see the connection, the innovation. It was such a paranormal (Yup, I went there.) take on the Hades/Persephone myth, what we perceive as the Underworld/Hell. Somehow Ashton cloaks Everneath in a deeper darkness than we've known in other retellings, adding a striking quality to this story.
  • The Lack of Hope Until There's a Touch
Maybe this is just one of those "me" things, but the utter despair that washes the story really made Everneath memorable. It's that pain and hollowness that really strikes us down and causes our hearts to burn with sympathy for everyone involved. I mean, here we have a girl who went missing for months. Imagine how her family and the people closest to her reacted. And then, for a while, it almost felt as if her return only caused more suffering, when all Nikki herself wanted to do was remedy the mess she'd inadvertently made. Ripping our hearts is the knowledge that Nikki has gone through an inconceivable horror and no one knows, so bearing the rumors and accusations and the hurt is almost too much. Even though the story's wrap-up is bitter and wrenching, there's a faint hope that glistens in the promise of the next book.

Pros for Hallowed:
  • A Book with Characters I Wish Were Flesh-n-Blood
For someone who's been thrust into the abnormal and near-incomprehensible in a surprisingly swift matter of months, Clara Gardner is a fighter; she doesn't go unappealingly batshit crazy when things stop making sense. She's real and she makes mistakes which piss us off at times, but we can't help but feel as if she's an embedded part of ourselves, which we can relate to with ease. Tucker is the guy we all want to notice us, the tough guy with a dazzling heart of gold and a romantic streak that only surfaces with the right girl. Wendy is the best friend we need and Angela is the sibling we love to hate. Toss in Clara's family, and we've got a winning cast in this series.
  • What Did She Say About Angels?
I'm deep in the camp that believes if you've read one angel book you've read them all. But Hand waves away that notion and proves us all wrong, removing what we thought we knew about angels and implanting a whole different set of rules. Ones that send us flares of red-herrings, boggle our minds, and generally set out to confuse, fascinate, and intrigue.
  • The Sads and Other Stuff
This installment's going-ons are tragic and bewildering and heartbreaking. There's SO MUCH EMOTION. It's as if Hand holds a gun and she plants bullet after bullet into our bodies and still somehow crazily expects us to stand up again. Despite the fact that our hearts are peppered with quarter-sized holes. Taking out our complementary Harry Potter cauldrons, throw in Clara and Tucker's Trouble in Paradise montage, the dying of a character that makes our hearts bleed, Clara's inner turmoil, fallen angels running amok for revenge and secret crushes, AND SO. MUCH. MORE. and we've successfully cooked up a batch of Hallowed. I even cried.

Not to mention the band of boys in both books who frustrated me, made me want to cry, smile, and every emotion in between. My feelings go something like,

And same thing applies to Jack Caputo (as Tuck) and Cole (as Christian).

Overall I enjoyed both Everneath and Hallowed, and although one clearly WOWed me more than the other, both met my expectations completely so that I wasn't disappointed in the least.

Tucker looks over my shoulder and seems to notice Christian for the first time.
"How you doing, Chris? Have a nice summer?" he asks.
"Yeah, fantastic," answers Christian, and his mind suddenly retreats from mine into a wave of forced indifference. "How about you?"
They stare at each other, one of those high-testosterone stares. "Amazing," Tucker says. There's a challenge in his voice. "Best summer of my life."
I wonder if it's too late to get out of this class.
"Well, that's the thing about summers, isn't it?" says Christian after a minute. "They have to end sometime." (3%) ~ Hallowed


Jenny said...

Hahahaha your drawings are hilarious! I would be right there with you pouncing on both Tucker and Jack, I love them so much! I like both Christian and Cole, but they can't tear my loyalty away from the other two. Of course I thought that about Cassian in the Draki series by Sophie Jordan, and I managed to be a complete slut when I read book two and fell in love with him instead of Will. Oops:)

Liz. R said...

LOL at your drawings. You hate Christian that much? I don't love him, but I don't dislike him. Then again, I haven't read Hallowed yet :P. I will fix that soon, it sounds awesome! Everneath looks brilliant too. I like that there's a feeling of hopelessness, it makes everything seem more serious. Great review, glad you enjoyed them both :).

Missie, The Unread Reader said...

Hahaha! You are a true artist, Asher!

Every review I've read for the Unearthly books same the same thing, that Hand's angels are so different from what you'd normally expect. Believe me, I'm in the same camp as you and don't normally go for Angel stories, but I'm gonna have to read Hand's take, just to see what all the fuss is about. Then maybe I can make my own Missie/Tucker drawing. Maybe I'll even put matching cowboy hats on us. :)

Sam said...

Ha! This made me laugh! I love your illustrations Asher. ;) Great reviews! I read both of these books a while back but enjoyed them both quite a bit. I think Everneath was my favorite of the two. :)

Sam @ Realm of Ficton

Asher_Knight said...

I try, I try. *lol* My sister (the artist responsible for any of the good drawings you see on this blog) happened to be looking over my shoulder when I was drawing them and I could swear I heard barely repressed chuckling trying to escape. I was hurt.

I liked Christian (when he wasn't ticking me off), but I disliked Cole with a very frightening passion. He just annoyed me. At no point did I sympathize with him. I liked Will a lot when I read book one of Sophie Jordan's series, but I need to know why half the majority switched teams after Vanish!

Asher_Knight said...

I don't hate him per say. I just blame him for everything that went wrong with Clara and Tucker in this sequel. That's all. Hence the brandishing of the knife :)

READ HALLOWED ASAP, LIZ. Though I don't recommend reading both books around the same time as per the aforementioned BUCKETS OF SAD that will drench you should you do so anyway. Fair warning.

Asher_Knight said...

I totally wish I could master the correct proportions for stick figures and beyond, but, alas, that is the extent of my drawing abilities. Now, if that's the computer version, imagine what I'm like on ACTUAL PAPER. You'd want to tear out your eyeballs and wash them under the faucet.

Trust me, I typically hate angel books. Normally that's my YA deal breaker, but Hand totally impressed me. It's the vividness of the characters' emotions and growth, the lore, everything. She just nailed this installment, particularly.

AH, I wish I'd thought of that! But, do you know how hard it was to try and draw that thing on his head? Took me forevs.

Asher_Knight said...

So glad that you liked my genius creations xD They took tons of work. *shifty eyes*

Really? You liked Everneath more? Maybe it's because Hand made me cry and that's why I loved Hallowed over Everneath :P Seriously, I did cry. Once. Hard.

Giselle said...

Omg I loved all of these! And it's true that Hand makes her angel lore really unique. And I love your little stick men! haha. You're team Christian right? You LOOOOOVE him!! haha

Asher_Knight said...

These books totally WOWed  me, Hallowed more so, and besides the awesome Clara/Tuck duo, the angel lore really does me in. Thanks XD

Christian? Yeah, sure, TOTALLY love him. *sharpens knife*

Reading_by_Kindle_Fire said...

hi!! new follower from Hollow Tours!!

Ning @ Reading by Kindle Fire

Asher_Knight said...

Hey there! Isn't it such a great touring place?? I would've never been able to read these two books so early without Hollow Tours :)

Eileen said...

I'm a new follower from Hollow Readers! My link is eileenlisblog.blogspot.com if you want to check out my site. I loved these two books to pieces. They were really awesome, and LOL on the comic! 

Asher_Knight said...

Hey! Weren't they? So much fun to read. And thanks, I really put all of my artistic ability into those drawings *lol*

Asher_Knight said...

Hey! Weren't they? So much fun to read. And thanks, I really put all of my artistic ability into those drawings *lol*

Reading_by_Kindle_Fire said...

haha I know, although I haven't read them yet. I have way too many books on my TBR at the moment. I didn't sign up for January tours cuz I just joined, but hopefully the Feb Tour books are great! 

Celine @ Forget-me-not said...

Aaaaaaa this post totally made me SWOON, Asher!!! I haven't read both books yet but this post is just AWESOME. I love the excerpt from Hallowed and the awesome comic. Muahaha, totally made laugh. I wonder which team I will side on when I finish reading Hallowed. Fantastic Review, Asher!! ♥ So glad you loved both books! :)

Old follower! :)

Celine @ Forget-me-not

Asher_Knight said...

Yeah, if these tours are any indication, Feb. is going to be just as awesome! :D

And I know what you mean about a crazy TBR pile. Mine is pretty high too, which sucks because there's so many I want to read!

Asher_Knight said...

Hey, Celine!

Haha, that was the reaction I was hoping for! :D Oh, you've GOT to read these books. They are made of awesome things and WIN. Glad my *lovely* stick figures dragged a few laughs out of you--I'm just so amazingly artistic, right? ;)

Brodie said...

WHAAAAAA?!?! Someone dies in Hallowed? Who? WHO?! WHO?! *mutters under breath and tries not to read spoilers* I don't know how you keep doing it review after review after double review, but you have such an incredible way with words, Asher! I am literally dying a little on the inside over the fact that I do not have Hallowed yet. WHY DO I NOT HAVE HALLOWED YET?! And oh my gosh, I  could not agree with you more abpout Everneath. And the ending... oh *sniff*

Hahaha and love your crazy awesome (incredible accurate) drawings <33 I feel the exact same way about Christian... and okay, FINE, maybe he's not so bad. But if he's potential competition for my Tucker, then stabstabstab *innocently wipes blade and rides away on Tucker's horsie*

Asher_Knight said...

I CAN'T. TELL. YOU. I want to, but it would spoil the emotion in it. Hallowed is... Brodie, I'm warning you, I believe you will cry. And Everneath *sniffle* I was so mad/sad but then I was like, Oh yeah, there's a sequel xD

<3 I'm glad you liked them, because that's as far as my drawing abilities will allow. And, it's funny, because I actually LIKE Christian, but I just blame him for everything so I hate him too. HOW COME YOU GET TUCKER'S HORSE?


Jennifer Messerschmidt said...

OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE THE DRAWING!!!!!!!!!!! Can I have your permission to post it allll over goodreads and my blog with your name! lol Those are seriously my feelings exactly! I hate Christian! MURDER! I LOVE TUCKER!!! KISS!!!!!!!!! Now I super love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Asher_Knight said...

*ROFL* So surprised people liked it considering... well, considering ;P Sure, you can post it if you want. <3

melliane said...

I love your pictures, so fun!!! (I don't think I could do that lol). I was very curious about these two books, I keep hearing amazing stuff about tham but finally I didn't get into them yet. I'm happy you enjoyed them both.

Asher_Knight said...

I was really relieved myself when I ended up liking BOTH books. Even though you have so many books that you're so excited about, you can't expect every one to wow you so I was surprised and happy to discover that both books were amazing. I hope you get to them some time soon! :)

Sarah (saz101) said...

Oh goodness, Asher! You cracked me up with the comic!
That sound you hear? It's me choking from the spluttering.

I seriously don't think you could have summed up Everneath better! I'm reading it at the moment and LOVING IT. Awesomesauce!

Asher_Knight said...

*bows* Thank you, thank you. Expert artist right here. Buahahaha XP

So glad! I see that some people don't appreciate it in the same way so it's refreshing to find someone who's liking it like I did ;)

Jennifer Messerschmidt said...

Awesome! Yay I'm totally putting that baby in my sidebar! I'll link back to you! LOVE IT!

Asher_Knight said...

*sheepish grin* You're so sweet. Love you for doing that :)