Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Book Review: Once by Anna Carey

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.

Despite my misgivings about this series (of which there are many) I was surprisingly happy to be back in Anna Carey’s world.  Eve was not amazing, it was not a book that I raved about but it felt comfortable to be back and I got through Once pretty quickly.  

On the whole I was pretty surprised with what Once had to offer. I personally think that it was much better than the first book in the series the plot was a lot more complex and took a surprising turn right at the beginning of the book which lead Eve to places I never thought she would go.  I can’t say much because that would mean giving a whole lot away so I will just say that things changed dramatically and Once went in a completely different direction to Eve.

As always Anna Carey’s writing is good.  He world building is brilliant and it is not hard to visualise her dystopian and struggling world.  I think this Once shows a more brutal and desperate America than Eve did which was great as I finally felt some emotional response to what the women in this series are going through, something that I struggled with in Eve.  

Unfortunately the one thing that hasn’t changed from the first one book to this one is the characters.  Eve is still floating along pretty oblivious to everything.  She is so gullible that you can’t really feel sorry for her when things go wrong.  She seems to lack common sense and believes anything she is told even from people who have proven they cannot be trusted.  

Caleb, who I quite liked in the first book seemed to only be around when Eve needed to push her physical and sexual boundaries with someone.  He did provide a push to the story line towards the end but he was not physically around for it.  I thought this was a shame because he was one of the stronger characters from the first book.  

Another character who is sorely missed is Arden who is around for moments only.  She was my favourite character from the first book and her dry humour and sarcastic attitude was missed.  I hope that her character comes back in the third book as things were left in a bad place for her in this one. 

We are introduced to some new characters, the king of New America and Charles being the most prominent.  Like all the other characters in this series they were ok but left me feeling a little cold. 

One thing that Anna Carey is amazing at is endings.  Eve ended on a massive cliff hanger that made it impossible for me not to pick up Once.  This books ending is even bigger with a massive twist that I didn’t see coming thrown in as well.  There is no way that I won’t be reading the next instalment of this series not because I love them because I don’t, they are ok, but because I just have to know how things end. 

3 stars

Published July 3rd 2012 by HarperCollins.  A free copy was provided for review. Image courtesy of Goodreads

Review by Kate Phillips

1 comment:

  1. Great review! Haven't seen this one before but the synopsis and your review make it sound like a nice story <3

    Vivian @ Vivaciously, Vivian


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