Once by Anna Carey

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The basics

Title: Once

Author:

Series: Eve #2

- Eve (October 2011)
- Once (July 2012)
- Rise (April 2013)

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Goodreads Summary:

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.

In short

Three months after Caleb left Eve at Califia, she gets word that he has been spotted in a nearby city.  She sneaks out to find him, but is captured by the King’s troops.  She learns that she is actually a princess, the King’s daughter.  Caleb finds her.  They meet in secret numerous times and plan to run away together.  They get caught.  Eve must find a way to save Caleb from being executed, even if that means marrying a man she doesn’t love.

What went down

  • Eve has been in Califia for three months.  Arden is alive and made it as well.  They receive word that someone saw Caleb in a nearby city.  They sneak out together and end up getting caught by the troops.  Arden is taken back to the baby birthing factory near their old school.  Eve is taken to the King in the City of Sand.
  • The King tells her she is his daughter.  He tells her about his history with her mother.  She learns that his family also died because of the plague.  Eve vents to a kind maid named Beatrice.
  • Eve participates in a parade by the King’s side.  She spots Caleb.  He gives her a message when he shakes her hand.  At the parade reception she meets Charles, the head of development and the King’s niece Clara.  Clara has the hots for Charles.
  • The message Caleb gave her was a map with instructions.  She manages to sneak out of the palace and meet up with him at a speakeasy, but Clara sees her!  They dance and make out.  Caleb tells her there are dissidents working undercover in the City of Sand.
  • Eve sneaks off to meet Caleb again.  They take a gondola ride and he tells her that he is in love with her.  He then takes her to an old airport hangar.  This has become the Outlanders headquarters where they are planning to dig tunnels into the city.  She meets Harper, Curtis and Joe.  They have an attitude problem and do not trust her.
  • To prove herself to the Outlanders, Eve snatches blueprints that show the Las Vegas Drainage System, including the flood tunnels!  They are impressed.  Caleb shows Eve the plane that he is living in and tells her that once the first tunnel is complete, Moss told him he is free to leave.  He wants to run away with her.  They get it on hardcore.
  • The next morning, Harper barges in because they have overslept.  Caleb insists on walking Eve back to the palace.  Big mistake.  The building is shut down, as are many of the streets.  Both of them get caught.
  • Eve gets in a huge argument with the King over the way he is running New America, as well as what happened to Caleb.  He agrees to let Caleb go if Eve marries Charles.   She agrees.
  • Eve visits Caleb in prison to say goodbye.  He is upset and angry.  He tells her to look for a message in the newspaper.  That night she sees Curtis undercover at a party.  The only words he speaks to her is ‘TEA, PRINCESS?”.
  • The next day she sees the words ‘PRINCESS TEA’ in the newspaper.  She figures out the code and realizes that the King lied.  Caleb is still in prison.  Clara takes the paper, but after Eve explains she doesn’t love Charles, she agrees to keep her secret.
  • Eve vents to Beatrice.  Beatrice tells her that when she took the job, the King forced her to give her daughter up to the schools.  Eve wants to help her find her.  She starts arranging visits to the orphanages and schools.  During these visits she sees Ruby, Pip & Arden.  She slips Arden a key.  They do not find Beatrice’s daughter.
  • The morning of the wedding, Beatrice helps Eve escape!  During this time, a dissident helps get Caleb out of prison.  Eve arrives at the hangar, but no one is there.  Something is wrong.  Soldiers show up just before Harper and Caleb walk in.  They shoot them both!!!  Eve is taken back to the palace.  Beatrice sold her out because the King threatened to kill her daughter!
  • Reginald, the newspaper journalist & photographer tells her that he is Moss.  He tells her to forget about what happened, marry Charles and KILL HER FATHER.

How did it end?

The King threatens to kill Beatrice’s daughter, so she tells him Eve’s plan.  Eve walks into a trap.  Caleb and Harper are shot and assumed dead!  Back at the palace, Reginald tells Eve that he is Moss.  He tells her to marry Charles and kill her father.  REVENGE BABY, REEEVENGE!

Any weird terminology?

New America –  The term used for the new world that the government is trying to rebuild after a deadly virus wiped out most of the population.

City of Sand – The capital of New America, where the King lives.

Founding Mothers – The women in charge at Califia.

Califia – A settlement for women only, most of them being girls that escaped from the schools.

Outlanders – People living in colonies outside of the City of Sand.

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