The Ballad of Never After

The Ballad of Never After by Stephanie Garber
Stephanie Garber
Star Rating
Reviewer's Rating
Jan 26, 2023

The Ballad of Never After picks up right where the first book, Once Upon a Broken Heart, left off.
Apollo is still under a curse and Evangeline is determined to cure him on her own. However,
after he unexpectedly wakes up, she realizes he is now under two other curses: a curse where
he will continuously hunt her against his will, as well as a curse where he and Evangeline are
connected and anything that happens to him will happen to her. Now, against her better
judgment, Evangeline not only once again teams up with Jacks to break the curses on her and
Apollo, but also uses her newfound power to help him and Chaos search for the stones to open
the mysterious Valory Arch; the one she is allegedly prophesied to open. On the course of their
search, Evangeline unveils lost secrets, both about the Magnificent North and those she calls
friends. Now she must decide if she truly wants to open the arch. If she doesn’t she might never
break her curse, but if she does, the consequences might be more than she, and the world,
could bear.

This book honestly blew the first one out of the water. From the tone shift to the backstory
reveals to the constant plot twists that never failed to leave my jaw on the floor, this book was
amazing. While Evangeline kind of started to become independent in Once Upon a Broken
Heart, she truly became her own person in this installment. She did things she was told not to,
investigated on her own, and stood up for herself. I couldn’t help but feel so proud of her growth
as a character. Jacks also grows as he ever so slowly becomes more and more attached to
Evangeline, becoming (just a bit) kinder to others when she’s around. The tension between
them due to his own curse is honestly so satisfying to read. It doesn’t feel forced or boring, but
immersive and stressful (in a good way). But what I love most about his growth was learning
absolute crumbs about his and the other Fates’ past. The way Stephanie Garber connects the
tragedies of the Magnificent North’s past and certain characters’ was just *chefs kiss* perfection.
Connecting the dots was such a satisfying experience, like solving a mystery. The ending had
me sobbing uncontrollably and throwing the book across the room (in a ‘I need the third book
now.’ way). If I HAD to make a criticism of this book I think I would’ve liked the side characters to
show up more and let us get to know them even more, but I think Stephanie’s saving that for the
third book from the looks of it. The only other thing is that Evangeline got herself in a comedic
amount of situations that she either saved herself from or Jacks saved her from. I feel like it
perpetuated the idea of her being a bit of a damsel in distress, but hey, she made those
decisions independently so it’s a win in my book. She’s also had so many near death
experiences that weren’t her fault I feel like she deserves a pass. Other than that, I have nothing
but praise for this book and the third couldn’t come sooner.


Written by
Maggie S.

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