Tuesday, July 7, 2015


by Kelly Creagh

Story summary: Isobel, cheerleader, searches for her goth-love Varen, who's lost in a Poe-like dreamland. Meanwhile she struggles with depression, her deteriorating relationship with her family, and a decreasing sense of reality.
Sequel to Nevermore.

Why You Might Like This Book:
  • It is a beautiful and atmospheric tribute to Edgar Allen Poe.
  • The romance is unusual--not a typical YA instant-love-for-sexy-bad-boy, but a focus on one girl's determination and heroic bravery to save someone she loves.

And Why You Might Not:
  • Nothing happens exactly. The story summary above is really the whole plot: Isobel searches for Varen. That's it. There still manages to be lots of intensity and action, but if you're looking for developments in the story or relationship, this isn't it.
  • The relationship between Varen and Isobel was my favourite thing about the first book. But Varen is almost non-existent in this book, and their meetings are very sparse.

Thoughts: I started this one almost three years ago, gave up near the beginning when I realized that Varen was hardly in it and a lot of it concerned the confusing dreamworld, and I assumed I would have to make do with re-reading Nevermore. But I must say, I'm very glad I came back to it.* Yes, it is a bit plotless--which almost made it feel like just a long build up to the third book--and the romance that I enjoyed so much** from the first book is hardly present. But I must have been in the right mood this time around or something, because I found it completely engrossing. Isobel's fears and struggles felt real and terrible, and I empathized with her a lot. Her love for Varen shone through the whole book, and made me love her and their relationship all the more.
Also, if you like Poe and unusual romances and atmospheric dream-worlds and haven't read the first book, Nevermore, you should.

And for a funny aside: I just realized the interesting parallels to "The Snow Queen" fairy tale. Boy gets captured by evil magic queen and taken to a mysterious land, girl goes on long journey to find him, and when she finally does, she discovers his nature changed--by the queen, but also partly through his own fault. Then she has to rescue him. (I don't think as many of the old fairy tales involve damsels in distress as much as people tend to think.)

* And not only because the third book, Oblivion, is coming out in July--yaaaay!
** I don't care for the romance in so many books that when I do like a romance, I tend to like it quite a lot indeed.

Grade: 3 1/2 stars

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