Sunday, August 5, 2012

Once (Eve #2) by Anna Carey

Release date: July 3, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format: Egalley
Pages: 368
Source: Publisher provided through Edelweiss
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. 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. 
 It's always hard to write a review when you were just a little disappointed in a book. It's so different from loving or even hating a book, because you have strong feelings in whichever direction you feel. I was entertained by Once, but I just can't say I particularly liked or disliked it.

I enjoyed Eve because of the slightly different twist on the idea of women being raised simply for birthing purposes, the wild unknown Eve finds herself journeying through, and the winning supporting characters. While the same world is there, I missed the expeditions through the wilds and especially the boys from the dugout Caleb grew up in. I'm still looking forward to the conclusion, Rise, but felt that Once was simply an adequate bridge between the set up and the ending.

Once begins a couple of months after the end of Eve. Eve has been living in Califia in relative safety, but also unhappy because she doesn't know the fates of Caleb or Arden. Carey doesn't wait long to propel us into new and unfamiliar territory as Eve ends up in Sand City, finally taken by the King. There is a huge revelation, one that I was rather blindsided by and kind of loved, that rather limits what I can say without spoilers. It is the catalyst for much of the story, as Eve spends the novel trying to escape the King and help those resisting him. I found her slight growth as a character, from one who's searching for a way out for herself into one who is working for others as well, to be good, but she was still dumb as she could be at times.

While I missed the supporting characters from Eve, we are introduced to a few new ones, including the King--whom I actually found rather fascinating--Beatrice, a maid, and some members of the resistance, all of whom I found to be at least as interesting, though not as endearing, as the dugout boys. Caleb was still pretty irresistible, albeit a little reckless, but I loved his love for Eve and his faithfulness to others.

Altogether I'm a little meh about the book as a whole, but I'm still looking forward to Rise, so I can hopefully see a good ending for the characters I've come to care about through two books.

Risk a paper cut? If you enjoyed Eve, I think you'll be in for a good read, though if you didn't, I might steer clear.

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