Book Review: Ever the Brave by Erin Summerill (3/5)

You know that moment when you find a typo in a traditionally published book? I do. It gives me that little bit of satisfaction. Normally, these typos are small, like an extra letter, or maybe the wrong tense, but I found one that made me blink twice:  IMG_1781[2977]

Yes, that’s the number one where there should be an uppercase i. In a traditionally published, professionally edited, agent-represented book. It’s typos like these that make me feel better about the ones I miss in my self-published books.

I picked up Ever the Brave because I enjoyed it’s predecessor, Ever the Hunted. This book, while enjoyable, felt like a rushed sequel; it was jammed with cliches, like the one where one character falls into a frozen stream and then they have to use body heat to keep each other warm. Oh, and then the love interest of one of them finds them and DRAMA!

The plot of this book was not as strong as the first; it felt driven more by relationship drama than anything else. Which, sure, it’s fantasy/romance, but still, the plot just fumbled around. So much of this book was left under-developed; this book could have had a killer political plot, but no, it’s 80% love triangle.

And the whole “love triangle” thing… agitated sigh. It’s like Lirra and Aodren were thrown in purely to make drama for the main couple – Lirra and Cohen had to pretend that they were married, and then Aodren falls into freezing water and he and Britta have to share body heat – see what I mean? Cliche City.

And the villains. I am not a fan of black/white villains, and Lord Jamis was just that. His goal in life: power. That’s it. And Phelia started out with such an interested premise. Who was she? What’s her goal? How did she end up with Jamis? Book 1 left a mystery around her, and then (spoilers follow in white text. Highlight to read): Summerill pulled the “I am your mother” twist, and I was into it. It added another layer of drama to the story, but then it went right into Britta’s I’m not like her ideas, which are so overused, and then Phelia pulled the “join me and end the violence” on Britta. Seriously? And then Phelia’s character never goes anywhere; she’s never explained other than because she used a lifeform improperly, she turned evil. Just like that. Then she died and no answers are given beyond that. And them Omar (one character I did like) died for the sake that someone had to die to make the ending more dramatic.

The overall plot in this book fell flat. Weak. The plot twists weren’t plot twists, and the love triangle cliches just kept coming, but none were well-played. Some things were drawn out that I didn’t think needed to be drawn out, while other things were brushed over and quickly resolved that could have been a bit more twisted and turned.

And, like the first book, there was a lot of telling.

So, I gave Ever the Brave a 3 out of 5 because while the first book was good, this one fell flat. The overload of telling, cliches, and weak plot lost it those points. What saved this book for me was the main character, Britta. She reminds me of me.

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