Readers: February 27th: Apologies for the scattered posting that's about to come during the next week or so. University has just started and I have a lot of work to do to get on top of things (and ahead!). Thanks for your patience, as always.

Publishers: I promise I'm not abandoning the lovely review copies you've sent!
I'm getting through them and the reviews will come eventually!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Review: Once by Anna Carey

Title: Once
Author: Anna Carey
Series: Eve #2
Publisher: Harper Collins #2
Published: July19th 2012
Source: Publisher for review

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. Trapped inside the City walls, Eve uncovers a shocking secret about her past--and is forced to confront the harsh reality of her future. When she discovers Caleb is alive, Eve attempts to flee her prison so they can be together--but the consequences could be deadly. She must make a desperate choice to save the ones she loves…or risk losing Caleb forever.

Eve hasn't seen Caleb for the three months she's lived in Califia, and although the other women tell her she needs to forget about her past life, he's all she can think about. But when she follows a lead to find him, she walks into a trap and is hauled into the City of Sand where she's introduced to a world she could never have imagined and told a secret that will completely change her life. While struggling to live with this new discovery and the consequences it brings, she's able to find solace in the man she was looking for all along, even though he's now a wanted man in hiding. I loved Once and found it even more addictive than Eve. Things are more dangerous and crucial than ever before, and this sequel will have you salivating for Rise!

The setting we're placed into has high potential for action and will keep you in suspense for the duration of the novel. Unfortunately, I can't exactly explain this (and several other things) since it involves a big spoiler. I will say though that I loved this twist. It was a great reason for why the King was so desperate to have Eve and the rest of the things that came with this twist were so juicy and complicated. Twist aside, I enjoyed the variety of people living within Sand City. While some were grateful for the King's work, some were obedient but quietly unhappy, while others were outrightly so because he was going to conquer other colonies instead of restoring the Outlands as he promised. A common factor between them? They've been brainwashed by the King's lies, which ends up putting Eve and Caleb in a difficult situation...

In this sequel, Eve and Caleb were unbelievably sweet. I loved the tone of their relationship and Caleb never failed to make me smile! Both characters proved to be strong and determined, however they were incredibly reckless on several occasions when sneaking away to meet each other. I could hardly believe that they'd take such risks and you just knew that getting caught would be inevitable. It was just a matter of when! This was a big element of the story, as plans were always in motion to further the work of the Trail. Would they be caught before they could carry out an important step? I felt very tense reading this novel, just knowing that the other shoe could and would drop at any time, most likely, the worst time!

Often, authors use their second books as a bridge, where nothing of importance really happens and the story just prepares for events to come in the third book. Once certainly doesn't suffer from boring-second-book-itis. Instead, the amount of action and intensity of the plot increased! The story becomes more developed as characters are put in more interesting situations, and the final third of the story will have you leaping up to your feet and shaking your fists. I was stuck between a mixture of disbelief and anger. Nothing in this world is fair! But I will admit, it sure did make for an entertaining story...

This is a difficult review to write, since many things that should be said can't because it involves the spoiler. But trust me when I say that this plot is wonderful and will hold your attention from beginning to end. I was nervous going into it, not knowing what to expect, but all of that worry was completely unwarranted. I have high hopes for Rise, seeing as Once ends at a truly exciting point. There are so many possibilities for what could happen next!

Who's read this sequel and what did you think? Was it better than Once?

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