Sunday, January 30, 2011

Nevermore by Kelly Creagh

And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore!
--from "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe

Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game.

Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look.

Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.

As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind.

Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares.

His life depends on it. (from GoodReads)

Oh, Nevemore. What are we going to do with you? You started off so strong but then something happened and I didn't enjoy you as much as I thought - and hoped - I would. Kelly Creagh has an excellent premise but her plotting and writing could be a little tighter, which was my main problem with the book.

I haven't read too much Edgar Allan Poe, but I love horror and thrillers so his work is right up my alley. And I love when contemporary books pay homage to other classic works - it's kind of like a a neat literature lesson right in your favorite novel. So Nevermore seemed like it would be the perfect blend of fantasy, literature, romance, and horror. The novel also serves to answer the question of Poe's death, which is somewhat mysterious as he was found lying unconscious in a gutter.
Like I said before, Nevermore starts off strong. The reader is introduced to Isobel, who besides being blonde, popular, and a cheerleader, is also a pretty nice and brave person. Once Isobel starts to get to know Varen, she drops her friends right away when they start bullying him. I thought that was a very nice gesture and Isobel is clearly a person who knows right from wrong. Slowly throughout the story weird things start happening, which Isobel writes off as her imagination. But soon she discovers that Varen has a part in all this, and things start getting really creepy.

I liked Nevermore for most the book. Honestly, though, it was a slow-moving novel with a lot more exposition than needed. But once I got to the 400 page mark, I couldn't believe that I still had almost 150 more pages to go. Yes, that is when the book got exciting, but it was entirely too long. By that point, I was so bored that I didn't care about all the excitement at the end. Nevemore could have probably been shorted by a good 100 pages or more. Hopefully in the sequel Creagh will have tightened her writing and edited a bit more so it isn't as long.

That being said, I loved the originality of Poe and Isobel as a character. Though I didn't really see the romance between her and Varen, hopefully that will be furthered developed in the next novel. If you don't mind really long books, I would recommend this to fans of Poe's work and paranormal novels in general.

Rating: 7 out of 10.
FTC: Ebook on Pulse It.

2010/Atheneum/543 pages.

1 comment:

Kristin said...

Great review! I've been eyeing this one up, but now I think I'll wait for paperback:) New follower-drop by and say hi if you get a chance!