Monday, August 27, 2012

Book Review: Nevermore by Kelly Creagh

Title: Nevermore
Series/Sequel? Nevermore #1
Author:Kelly Creagh
Genre(s):Horror, Paranormal, Hard Topics
Age Level:YA
Page Count:543 (Hardcover)
Perspective: Third Person (female)

Summary: 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.

Review: You need three things to read this book: stamina, a decent fear threshold, and a deep love of/interest in Poe.

This book is unlike anything I've every read. And I feel that it is so unique, it has not been given the recognition it deserves.

Nevermore was, in one word: clever. Ms. Creagh incorporated many of Poe's works into this novel in a way that was clever, interesting and enjoyable. Masque of the Red Death, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Raven - they were all in there, incorporated in a way that made me nod my head and give a little laugh. It was extremely well put together, and I loved reading Poe's works remade to fit the story.

This book is long. 543 pages long. And when I picked it up, I was concerned it was going to be boring and slow at parts. That fear went unfounded. It was put together perfectly, the scary parts and the slower parts spaced out so the scenes flowed seamlessly from one to the next.

This book is considered a Horror book, and that also concerned me. I don't consider myself having a very high fear threshold (which is strange for a fan of Poe, I realize), and I didn't want to be having nightmares for months. But it turned out to not be that scary. Yes, I will probably never look at shadows and big black birds the same way. And never again will I underestimate the powers of dreams. But unless you faint at the word 'death' or 'blood', I think you'll be okay.

I didn't think I was going to like Isobel very much. Reading the description, she sounded like a stereotypical cheerleader - blonde, stupid, and narrow-minded. But she turned out not to be like that. She was brave and intelligent, and didn't run away screaming when things got tough. She had integrity and morality, and she dropped her 'friends' when they proved to have a loose moral code. And I really respect her.

With this book, I was hoping for a great ending. The type of ending that takes your breath away and leaves you thinking about it for days. Unfortunately, it didn't exactly work out that way. It ended in a way that was probably really cool and amazing... except I didn't get it. So I can't rave about the presumable awesome-ness, because I don't understand the presumable awesome-ness. So, I was disappointed... until I realized that this isn't a stand-alone - it's the first of a trilogy. Now all I've got to do is pester my librarian into buying the sequel...



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