Once by Anna Carey

As much as I try to escape them, book trilogies keep pulling me back in. I’ll love the first book, the second will be a major disappointment, and the third will somehow manage to make me love it more than I thought I could. I loved Eve and wanted to keep reading Eve’s story, even though most book sequels disappoint me and only act as a bridge between the first and last books. Carey didn’t fall into this trap. She wrote a book that had its own identity, while still needing the other books to tell a complete story.

In Once, there’s a pretty big opening shock. I certainly didn’t see it coming. But I liked it. It made things different than how I thought they’d go. The other plot twists have me thinking about people differently and looking at who I trust and who I don’t. I love when an author can mess me around that much and still make me love a book.

Of course, this isn’t a standalone novel. You need to read Eve in order to know about Once. However, Once does stand by itself in the sense that it has its own stories, its own plot that are different from those in Eve. It serves as a set-up for Rise, but it’s more than just the set-up. Thank you, thank you, thank you to Anna Carey for writing a sequel that wasn’t novel-length filler.

Eve and Caleb are still ever present and had my heart pulling for them so hard. They jump into some decisions, just like teens would, regardless of their circumstances. But they also are great planners and can think of nothing more than how to get to the future where they are together. One plot twist had my heart breaking, even though I saw it coming. I just want the future for these two that they dream of.

Once was a wonderful sequel that jumped right over the trap of the sequel slump. There’s love, action and plotting. It had me completely engrossed from start to end. It’s going to be a long, long wait for the finale and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

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