Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Not So Much Seek to be Consoled as to Console

Expected Publication: August 28th, 2012
Enshadowed (Nevermore # 2)
By: Kelly Creagh
Atheneum Books
ISBN-13: 9781442402041

True love takes a twisted turn in the second book of this modern gothic romance trilogy channeling the dark brilliance of Edgar Allan Poe.

While Varen remains a prisoner in a perilous dream world where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life, Isobel travels to Baltimore to confront the dark figure known throughout the world as the Poe Toaster. This man, the same man who once appeared to Isobel in her dreams and abandoned her in Varen’s nightmare world, holds the key to saving Varen.

But when Isobel discovers a way to return to this dream world, she finds herself swept up in a realm that not only holds remnants of Edgar Allan Poe’s presence, but has also now taken on the characteristics of Varen’s innermost self. It is a dark world of fear, terror, and anger.

When Isobel once more encounters Varen, she finds him changed. And now Isobel must face a new adversary—one who also happens to be her greatest love.


   Isobel's parents are still treating her like she could snap at any minute, even though Varen has been lost to the nightmarish dream world, where his imaginings of Edgar Allan Poe's stories become a reality.  All her Dad, Mom, little Brother and her friend Gwen want if for Isobel to be her old, happy self again.  But Isobel isn't just imagining the torture Varen's going through - she's seen it firsthand after being a bystander while she's asleep.  After finding out that Reynolds might be the infamous Poe toaster, Isobel plans to confront him to get the answers about how to save Varen.  But with Lillith and Pinfeathers toying with her already fractured, will she be able to separate the reality from the dream?  Also, will Varen still want to be rescued when Isobel finally manages to reach him?  The first book in the series was all about the character build-up, the world establishing and the big dramatic separation between Isobel and Varen.  They were the focus and a lot of the time their parents and her brother came out of the process looking one-dimensional and unsympathetic, especially Isobel and Varen's Dads respectively.  In this book with the separation, we get to see the family life of Isobel in greater depth and it's obvious that her parents care about her so much and would do anything for her.  Even her obnoxious little brother Danny is worried now that she's so quiet, not really eating and spacing out of existence.  Gwen is still her friend, but realizing what has Varen under it's control tests that bond when Gwen freaks and almost bails on Isobel.  I liked seeing how little the petty high school drama matters to Isobel now that she knows about the other dimension and is fighting to recolaim Varen.  The Nocs were as creepy as ever, but the many layers of Pinfeathers that we uncover as readers were a welcome change from unsympathetic bad guys who might as well have "factory made evil, straight off the assembly line" that populate a lot of popular culture.  Also, Reynolds' role in everything was finally revealed and it wasn't what I was expecting AT ALL.  And the ending had me practically screaming in fury at the intense cliffhanger and dying for the third book in the trilogy.  I felt like it moved much slower than Nevermore, with the pacing being off sometimes because of it.  I did get tired out not eating, nightmare-riddled, whiny Isobel after almost 300 hundred pages.  The glimpse into Varen's relationships with his boss and his Dad were honest, harsh and just a little bit darkly beautiful.  Overall, this book managed to escape the sophmore slump for the most part with minor ducks into the aforesaid's territory that are pretty easily ignored.  Highly recommended for fans of Nevermore who want to know what happens next! :)

VERDICT:  4.5/5  Stars

*I received this book as part of Around the World ARC Tours, run by the lovely Princess Bookie. No favors or money were exchanged for this review. It will be available for purchase on August 28th, 2012.*

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