Jumble Your Genres Reading Challenge: Historical Fiction – Evernight by Kristen Callihan

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The Jumble Your Genres Reading Challenge was Historical Fiction for November and we decided to use this month to catch up on one of our favorite series, Darkest London, with Evernight by Kristen Callihan.

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26 EvernightEvernight by Kristen Callihan
Book #5 in Darkest London
Genres: Historical Paranormal Steam Punk
Publication Date: August 26th 2014
ARC Provided by Netgalley and Forever

Synopsis from Goodreads: Once the night comes . . .

Will Thorne is living a nightmare, his sanity slowly being drained away by a force he can’t control. His talents have made him the perfect assassin for hire. But as he loses his grip on reality, there is no calming him—until he finds his next target: the mysterious Holly Evernight.

Love must cast aside the shadows . . .

Holly cannot fathom who would put a contract on her life, yet the moment she touches Will, the connection between them is elemental, undeniable—and she’s the only one who can tame his bouts of madness. But other assassins are coming for Holly. Will must transform from killer to protector and find the man who wants Holly dead . . . or his only chance for redemption will be lost.

AH and Christal’s Review

We love the Darkest London series and Evernight did not disappoint!  Read on to see what we thought about this installment in the series…

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AH: I must admit that I had a false start on this book. I started reading it a while back, got distracted, and left it for some time. (*shakes fist at Netflix*) Anyhow, I was so glad that you chose Evernight as our historical book for the Jumble Your Reading Genres Challenge. The Darkest London series is one of my favorite series and Evernight was a wonderful read.  If you haven’t started this series yet, what are you waiting for?

Christal: I love the Darkest London series too!  When we agreed to read Evernight, I totally forgot that I had Shadowdance to read as well… yes, I’m behind on my TBR as always.  Reading the two books back-to-back was a great immersion back to the series, but I think it clouded my judgement of this book a little as well.  I enjoyed Evernight (4 solid stars), but I didn’t think the story was as strong as Jack and Mary’s in Shadowdance.

AH: As I was reading this book, I felt like I was transported back in time. You really get a sense of London in the late 19th century. It’s dark, dirty, smoky – and this London has really interesting supernatural creatures, some more malevolent than others. Oh, and for steampunk lovers, there’s steampunk contraptions as well.

Christal: I agree, the setting and worldbuilding is very well-done.  Though I would never want to live in another century (women’s rights and all that), the Darkest London series definitely romanticizes the time period and makes it seem very appealing.  Kristen Callihan doesn’t shy away from the darker aspects of the time either, but I do think some of the struggles are mitigated because most of these books focus on characters within the ton.

AH: What did you think about Holly and Will? I really loved the conflict between the two. Will is so angry at Holly – he wants to kill her but at the same time he is very much attracted to her.

Christal: I loved Holly and Will.  Though both were introduced in Shadowdance, we didn’t really get to know them or get a handle on their characters in that story.  Evernight goes into depth about their backgrounds and complicated relationship.  I really enjoyed learning more about the elementals and when when Holly had to use her powers in that supernatural fight club… hoo boy, that was awesome!  I’m interested to learn more about the Evernights.  I know we had the novella Entwined and we were briefly introduced to Sin in Winterblaze, but I just feel like there is so much more to them than we know at this point.

AH: I think that is one of the strengths of this series. As you read the series more and more characters are introduced, giving the reader a taste of things to come. I like the way that the author feeds the reader a little tidbit of each character. Unlike other series, you are never really sure just what kind of supernatural creature you’ll read about next.

Christal: Will was a very complicated man with many… interesting… associations.  Of course we knew about his membership in the Nex, but I have to say I was surprised by his connections to the Alamut.  It didn’t seem to fit his character, but then there is still a lot about Will’s background that remains unknown.  I liked seeing him struggle to balance his sanguis side and the GIM-like side that was forced upon him.  Throughout the book, we see him slowly balancing his powers unconsciously, so it was nice to finally see him realize how far he has come by the end of the book.

AH: I have to agree that Will was a complicated character. When you first meet him, he is cold and angry:

When they ripped out his heart, and he finally succumbed to blissful oblivion, he held onto one thing: his hate for his tormentor and the one with the angel’s face and the devil’s mind Evernight.

Later you get a taste for his protective side:

Men do not swoon or faint. They might collapse, however. After protecting their woman against any and all threats. Although in my case, it was really more of having a rest, if we want to be precise.

Christal: I liked Holly and Will together.  They had great chemistry and some of the best banter in the series.  Though it took a while for their relationship to develop, it was worth the wait.  Holly was very intellectual and often drawn into herself; Will helped her to live a little more and helped her learn to trust others again.  Will was a playboy of the first order, never truly caring about anyone other than himself and Jack.  It’s a little cliched, but Holly showed him what it truly means to love someone else and helped him to regain control of himself in more ways than just reinging in the metal.

AH: Holly and Will’s banter was the best part. I couldn’t help but chuckle at some of their conversations. And did you catch his obsession with Holly’s “arse?” Hilarious. I also loved their internal dialogue. There’s definitely an attraction right from the start with a deliciously slow burn. I guess good things come to those who wait, right?

Christal: I really only had one problem with this story.  Once everything played out and we learned how Holly and Will were connected to the Alamut, Mab, and Adam, I felt like their story lost some importance.  They were driven together by someone else’s motivations and, though I loved watching them grow together, everything they went through was to satisfy another’s plot and purpose.  Nothing was truly caused or because of them personally; it was all for another’s gain.  The parts with Mab and Adam were jarring to me.  They didn’t flow well with the rest of the Darkest London story.  I know Kristen Callihan is trying to widen her world with the inclusion of the fae, and it made sense where the elementals are concerned, but it just seemed off kilter somehow.  Adam’s chapters also felt misplaced; he’s never been a character I’ve given much thought to and after Evernight, it’s going to take a lot to make me like him.  I’m not really looking forward to his story.

AH: Adam has always been an enigma to me. I understood his role as the person who created the GIMs (Ghosts in the Machine), but never really understood his role in the whole Darkest London series. In a way, I am kind of excited that the next book will focus on Adam, however I am not too crazy on how he treats his “love interest” Eliza May. A little too stalkerish for  my tastes but I am sure that Ms. Callihan will surprise us somehow.

Christal: I felt the absence of Poppy, Daisy, and Miranda in this story.  This is really the first one were they or the SOS don’t have a very strong presence.  I liked the inclusion of Mary and Jack, but I have to say hearing about their promotions within the SOS made me miss that plot device even more.  As the world continues to grow and more characters are introduced, I hope we don’t lose the core group and their mission that we’ve come to love.  I feel like it could almost warranted a spin off… Darkest London could continue to grow and introduce new couples while another series could focus specifically on Poppy and Win, her sisters and their husbands, Jack and Mary, and the exploits of the SOS.  The two could intertwine now and then, but also be free to have their separate story lines.  The best of both worlds, really!

AH: It really didn’t bother me that the Poppy, Daisy, and Miranda were not really in the story. After all, this was Holly and Will’s story. Though, come to think of it, I am curious as to what the sisters are up to. And besides, Archer….. And did you see that the next book comes out in February? I. Can’t. Wait.  This is one series that I just can’t get enough of.

Christal: Evernight was an enjoyable addition to the series and I loved the characters of Holly and Will.  Though I’m not thrilled that the next book will more than likely focus on Adam and Eliza May, I continue to trust in Kristen Callihan and her ability to spin a wonderful story.

Our Rating: ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠ 

Best of STP

Thank you to Forever and NetGalley for providing a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Be sure to join us later this month for our new adult read!

Series Reading Order:

  1. Firelight
  2. Moonglow
  3. Winterblaze
  4. Shadowdance
  5. Evernight
  6. Soulbound (Feb 24, 2015)

Novellas:

  1. Ember (0.5) Best read AFTER Firelight
  2. Entwined (3.5)

Please note that this series is best enjoyed when read in order, however each book can be read as a stand alone book.

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Jumble Your Genres Reading Challenge Schedule:

January – Young Adult checkmark
February – Contemporary checkmark
March – Urban Fantasy checkmark
April – Middle Grade checkmark
May – Dystopian checkmark
June – High Fantasy checkmark
July – Adult checkmark
August – Paranormal checkmark
September – Romance checkmark
October – Sci-Fi checkmark
November – Historical Fiction checkmark
December – New Adult

 

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