All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Enshadowed – Kelly Creagh

on April 14, 2013

EnshadowedEnshadowed (Nevermore #2)
Kelly Creagh
Atheneum Books
2012, 429p
Read from my local library

Isobel and Varen are separated – at the end of Nevermore, Isobel took control and did what she had to in order to leave the dreamworld behind and get back to what she knew. She only did that because she thought that she would bring Varen back with her. But that turned out to not be the case.

Varen remains trapped in the dreamworld, where the writings of Edgar Allen Poe come to life in gruesome fashion. Isobel remains in the world she has always known but she’s a different person. She’s guilt-ridden about leaving Varen behind but when people ask her about the disappearance of her “boyfriend” there’s nothing she can say. She finds herself dreaming things over and over again, seeing Varen in mirrors and engaging with the Nocs that she thought would have disappeared by now. She searches for the mysterious Reynolds, whom she knows to the be “Poe Toaster” – the person that turns up to Edgar Allen Poe’s grave every year. Isobel makes a decision.

She convinces her parents that what she needs to come out of her funk is a trip to Baltimore, Maryland, presumably to inspect a potential college. However what she really plans to do is stake out Edgar Allen Poe’s grave on the anniversary of his death and confront Reynolds once and for all. She needs to find out how to bring Varen home, even though she has to go back into that terrifying dreamland herself. And when she gets there, she finds a very different Varen to the one she left behind. Twisted by what has occurred, believing that Isobel has abandoned him, Varen is now….an adversary.

Enshadowed is the second book in the Nevermore trilogy and after the cliffhanger of Nevermore, the first book, I wanted to dive into it straight away but then I realised that I’d have to wait even longer for the third book, so I decided to wait a little bit longer before reading it. I think the third book is due out sometime this year – I hope so because after the end of this one, I need to know what happens next.

In one way, Enshadowed  is very much a typical second book in a trilogy. As is often the way, the two main players are separated for pretty much the entire book except for a few dreams/dreamlike interactions and right at the very end. This can be frustrating and it definitely was for me in this case because the chemistry between the goth Varen and the cheerleader Isobel in Nevermore was definitely a highlight of that book. The reluctant attraction, the way in which they got to know each other….it was very well done. In this book Isobel is suffering without Varen, partially through guilt because she left him there but partially because she wants to be with him. To her parents and her friends, she’s acting like any girl that went through a break up – or any girl that has had her boyfriend disappear. In the “real world”, Varen has vanished.

In some ways, it’s hard to talk about this book because not a lot happens for most of it. It isn’t until Isobel makes the decision to go to Poe’s grave and intercept Reynolds that things really start to pick up! Most of the rest of the time is Isobel moping around the house because she’s on break from school, although there are a few sessions before that where she attends cheerleading practice. She has little interaction with others except for her friend Gwen. Isobel is relatively self-absorbed in this novel (well actually she was self-absorbed in the first one, but that was more a dippy cheerleader type, this is more a woe-is-me sort). Her parents do attempt to get through to her but they’re also rather dismissive of Varen, quite irrationally prejudiced against him which makes their attempts to connect with her seem shallow and insincere. Considering most people think that Varen has gone missing, there’s a rather strange lack of concern about him, except perhaps from the English teacher that paired them up together. Most people seem to assume that he just “ran away”. It seems that Isobel’s parents make little attempt to really understand how she’s feeling about this, they seem almost glad that he’s gone and that things can go back to the way they were before Isobel met him and started acting out of character. Only Gwen knows (part of) the truth and the two together was a highlight in this book. Gwen doesn’t freak out when Isobel starts to confide in her (that comes a bit later) but she mans up rather admirably later on in order to support Isobel on her trip to Maryland. I did feel horribly sorry for Isobel’s dad regarding that trip, I was actually cringing internally reading it.

I think for me, this was a relatively pleasant read until the end. It was very slow, pacing wise, but it wasn’t irritating me and the interaction with the Nocs and a bit more inclusion of Poe was interesting even if I didn’t really have a clue half the time. But the ending really improved the book and packed the same kind of powerful punch as the first one. It was entirely unexpected in every single way and really makes the third book a very intriguing possibility! I honestly think that this novel could’ve been a bit shorter, a lot of it felt like it had lost its way a bit (and that was the beginning!) but the ending ended up almost making up for it.


Book #90 of 2013


One response to “Enshadowed – Kelly Creagh

  1. […] Scott Review: The Silver Chain, by Primula Bond Review: Seduction, by Kate Forster Review: Enshadowed, by Kelly […]

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