Book Review: Once by Anna Carey

Eve Novel #2
Author: Anna Carey
Reading Level: YA
Genre: Dystopian
Released: July 3rd 2012
Review Source: Harper Teen
Available: Amazon

Summary: (from goodreads) 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.

In this breathless sequel to "Eve," Anna Carey returns to her tale of romance, adventure, and sacrifice in a world that is both wonderfully strange and chillingly familiar.

Once begins 3 months into Eve’s life in Califia. There is a brief retelling of the events from the prequel, Eve. If you haven’t read it, you probably wouldn’t need to in order to follow, but I would greatly recommend not missing a moment of this story. The flow between these first two books in the series is wonderful.

In the beginning of Once, a character returns that I wasn’t quite expecting to find in the story again. It was a character I loved and thought contributed to making Eve a much tougher girl, so I was pleased to see that person back. They leave Califia together and end up captured and separated again, which broke my heart. Just as quickly, Eve is taken to the City of Sand in New America and straight to the King. The secrets that unravel from that moment on left me spellbound. There were so many unexpected turns in the storyline. Not to mention the setting was brilliant. The City of Sand is actually what used to be Las Vegas, Nevada. The use of the buildings and locations within the city were amazing. I could clearly picture that New America beginning in the city of Vegas and taking shape.

Reviewing this book was difficult for me because I just didn’t want to give anything away! So many things about the story unraveled and took shape in Once that it left me gripping its pages as I read. The end was exactly what I was hoping it wouldn’t be - a torture-some cliffhanger. I cannot wait for Anna Carey’s last book in the series. Rise is scheduled for publication in 2013 and it will be on the top of my TBR list!

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