Thursday, September 20, 2012

Enshadowed by Kelly Creagh

Title: Enshadowed
Author: Kelly Creagh
Publisher: Atheneum
Release Date: August 28, 2012
Pages: 429 pages (hardcover)
How I Got the Book: Bought it.
Purchase/Pre-order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Promotional Materials and More: author website

EnshadowedTrue 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 .

Review:

A year and two months of waiting. That's nothing compared to the full two years other fans have been waiting, but it was painful. Then my mail room held Enshadowed hostage for an entire week and my grin was as wide as the state of Florida is long once I got it. It's a bit weaker than the first book of the series, but Enshadowed was just as difficult to put down and managed to improve itself in a few areas. But that cliffhanger makes me want to toss a chair out the window.

Isobel is forced to carry much of the book on her shoulders, and at times, she isn't strong enough to carry all that weight. Still, Enshadowed fleshes out her relationships with other characters, especially her family. The family is often forgotten and I'm glad she at least considers how her actions have hurt/will hurt them. Personally, I really like Isobel.

The rumors are true: Varen is barely in this book. He is sorely missed, as are the scenes between him and Isobel that made Nevermore so much fun to read, but the presence of Pinfeathers (a character I already liked and now love after reading this book) made his absence more bearable. Still, there's so much about this novel that still clicks with me. Creagh's prose is perfect for the story she's telling and the strange happenings in Isobel's life (like, say, a lullaby following her everywhere and seeing Varen in reflective surfaces on occasion) increase to give the book better pacing overall.

A point many of my friends made about Nevermore was that Isobel could be really, really thick sometimes, though I never noticed. I was too enveloped in the story to care. This time around, I see exactly what those friends of mine mean. One of the messages Pinfeathers gives her is fairly clear, but his pronoun use goes right over her head and it's a bit frustrating. Her original lack of planning/research for how she'd get into the cemetery on Poe's birthday grated on me too.

I really, really hope book three in Creagh's series doesn't get delayed a year the way Enshadowed did. I don't think I could take it. Just--just--I can't even--! Augh! Cliffhangers like that are evil.

4 stars!


What am I reading next?: Splintered by A.G. Howard