Monday, March 4, 2013

Book Review: Once by Anna Carey

Monday, March 4, 2013
Once (Eve, #2)
*Warning: Possible spoilers for Eve (Eve #1). But never fear! You can check out my review of Eve in April on Epic Reads.*

Genre: Dystopian
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: Eve #2
Source: Epic Reads Newbie Program
"When you're being hunted, who can you trust?
For the first time since she escaped from her school many months ago, Eve can sleep soundly. She's living in Califia, a haven for women, protected from the terrifying fate that awaits orphaned girls in The New America.
But her safety came at a price: She was forced to abandon Caleb, the boy she loves, wounded and alone at the city gates. When Eve gets word that Caleb is in trouble, she sets out into the wild again to rescue him, only to be captured and brought to the City of Sand, the capital of The New America."

I thought Eve was great. Well, Once is fantastic.

Eve has matured so much from the start of the series. There's still a vulnerability to her, but she's stronger, and definitely haunted by her recent past. Even over the course of Once alone, she transforms, so that she is so distant from the innocent, ignorant girl she was in the School. That isn't to say she loses all of her old habits. Early on in Once, Eve falls for a trick that is so obvious it had me cringing. Eve is very intelligent, but she sometimes lacks common sense. Still, she redeems herself countless other times.

Her romance with Caleb is even better in this book than in the first, which is saying something. The stakes have risen, but they are more determined and dedicated to each other than ever. The same connection that existed in Eve is still there between them- it's just stronger. Their relationship is full of desperation and danger and it doesn't seem as if Carey will ever let this couple be happy, despite the fervent wishes of her readers.

As I said, the stakes have risen, which means there is plenty of suspense in this book. There were so many moments when I was gripping my copy with white knuckles, terrified that the worst would happen. The major question I had when I finished Eve- why doesn't the king just pick a new wife?- is answered in Once, as well, and the answer causes plenty of conflict. Further adding to this tension is the new location... the City of Sand. The setting is beautiful, but oozing with corruption. And the antagonist (I'm trying not to give anything away, so sorry for the ambiguity) is absolutely despicable, yet surprisingly sympathetic, at least for a few pages. And one last note: Once ends on a KILLER cliffhanger. You thought the one in Eve was bad? Think again.

In short, while some sequels don't stand up to their predecessors, this one surpasses it. Once is a must-read.
*5 stars*
Are you a fan of cliffhangers?


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