Once: A Review by Siobhan

Warning: may contain spoilers if you haven’t read Eve by Anna Carey.

I have been having very good luck with sequels lately! Sometimes I find that when reading a sequel there tends to be high expectations and in the end I feel a little disappointed. But thankfully, Once by Anna Carey delivered, and there was no disappointment.

In Once we continue to follow Eve on her journey to save Caleb from The City of Sand. I will not divulge any more than that because Anna gives us a very large plot twist VERY early in the book, so anything I say will ruin the surprise, and I am all about surprises. To be honest, I can usually see a surprise coming, especially in YA. But this time it was quite different. What Anna told us seemed to come out of left field for me. I don’t know about you, but I totally did not see it coming. I think I actually stopped reading for a few minutes just to let the information sink in. I was shocked, but in a good way of course.

Not only did Anna shock us early, but she also wrote a sequel that is full of action and desire, something that some sequels seem to lack. We were introduced to new and exciting characters, along with some interesting developments concerning some of our favorites. One of the main reasons why I think sequels seem to lack the motivation from readers is the lack of character development. In some series the characters do not learn from their mistakes, and we watch them over and over again, doing the same thing, leading to the same result. Yet Anna Carey develops her characters very well in Once. She creates tension, love and devotion, but she also lets her characters grow, change and evolve into young people, which can be rare to see.

I will admit that I was surprised when I came to read a certain scene in the book. I will not spoil it for anyone who has not read the book yet (considering it does not hit shelves until early July), but what I will say is that it is a scene that most YA authors shy away from, especially at this point in a series. I find that a lot of authors don’t have the guts to fully describe this scene the way it deserves, and I give Anna two thumbs up for doing an amazing job. She had the guts to describe what every reader wanted to read, and I commend her on that. It was amazing to see something different in a YA novel, and it made the connections between the characters stronger and more realistic.

I read this book in one sitting, which I regret now because I wish I had let myself savor the story and take in everything at a slower pace. It probably would have made enjoyment of the book that much more concrete. The end, I thought, was well done. It left me wanting more without a huge shocking moment that left me hanging. Sometimes I am all for cliffhangers, some books need them, but not every book needs to end on one. The shock and awe effect can only last so long in a series and I feel Anna addressed this well, and gave an ending that was simplistic, believable and shocking enough to make me want to read the last book of the series.

Speaking of the last book in the Eve saga, Anna recently released the cover and title of the last installment of the series. She has called it Rise, something that makes you think about what the title means. I always find myself thinking about her titles, and I am always stumped as to what they mean.  Without further ado, here is the gorgeous cover of Rise:

What do you think? Are you excited? Have you read any book in the Eve saga?

Let me know!

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