Friday, October 19, 2012
Author: Kelly Creagh
Series: Nevermore #2
Genre: YA, paranormal
Publisher: Atheneum, 2012
Read for: R.I.P. VII
(Spoilers for Nevermore are fair game. No spoilers for Enshadowed)
Nevermore left us with Varen stranded in his dream world, with Isobel having severed his link. However, despite this supposed separation, the inhabitants of the dream world keep showing up in Isobel's day-to-day life and especially in her dreams. Desperate to rescue Varen, she determines that the only way to reach him is to intersect the mysterious "Poe Toaster" and find out how he travels between the two worlds. However, Isobel must face several obstacles, from her parents' anxiety about Isobel's recent odd behavior, to the demon Lilith, who literally has her claws into Varen. And as Isobel gets more entwined with the world, she is forced to wonder: does Varen even want to be rescued?
So before we get into Enshadowed, let me just tell you that Nevermore rocked my world. Even though intellectually I knew the romance was ridiculous, even though at times I thought Isobel was really annoying, even though I was left hanging in the meanest possible way, I was absolutely, head-to-toe, swept away by Nevermore. Ever since finishing it, I have been eagerly anticipating Enshadowed, hoping for some whisper of closure. I knew it was the second book in a trilogy and that not everything would be resolved... but I must admit, I thought something would be. Instead, Enshadowed simply spirals the reader deeper into the confusion and cliff-hangers. It is basically one long extension of the doozy of a cliff-hanger we were left with in Nevermore.
So, plot-wise, I was frustrated with Enshadowed. It took two years to come out after the publication of Nevermore, and I am a bit depressed at the prospect of waiting another two years to find out how things play out. Also, bear in mind that I am not so much frustrated with Enshadowed ending on a cliff-hanger -- I am frustrated that the entire book resolved nothing, leaving me immensely unsatisfied. It seemed as if the characters were simply dancing around accomplishing anything.
With that said, Enshadowed was not a complete bust for me. I think the biggest reason I still enjoyed it is that Kelly Creagh really is phenomenal at evoking atmosphere. Her writing is beautiful and detailed, and the woman can create a mood. Even though I felt like I wasn't learning anything and was impatient for more information, I still loved the imagery of the dreamworld creeping into Isobel's life. I don't know how to accurately describe it -- it's the same reason I was so transfixed by Nevermore. I just felt enveloped in this mood. It isn't as strong or as magical as it was in Nevermore, but it was definitely there, and I loved getting lost in it.
I also really love the characters. Even though there were a few that did not get enough page time (*ahem*VAREN), I still absolutely delight in Gwen's weirdness. I also really love Isobel's little brother, who does his best to act like a brat but who genuinely loves his sister and is amazing. Isobel is even growing on me -- she has her moments, but I love her determination to help Varen, even though at times I just want to shake her for ignoring the obvious signs. One character that was MIA that I had expected to see more of in Enshadowed is the character Lacey. I suppose I might have been missing something, but she seemed to be mysteriously significant in Nevermore, and she just dropped off the face of the earth in Enshadowed.
Also, of course, the tie-ins to Poe and his writings and the legend surrounding him were fantastic.
For me, Enshadowed did not live up to the fantastic experience that was Nevermore for me. However, I haven't given up on the trilogy yet. As I said, I love Kelly Creagh's writing, and she really has to resolve something in the next book, right? I just hope that it is resolved in the way that I hope it will be.
Warnings: Very very mild swear words, some minor violence, scary imagery