Enshadowed by Kelly Creagh

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Enshadowed by Kelly Creagh

Publisher: Atheneum
Publication Date: August 28, 2012
Pages: 429
Source: purchased
Buy It: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Varen Nethers is trapped in a perilous dreamworld—a treacherous and desolate realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life. Isobel Lanley, plagued by strange visions and haunted by the nightmares of Varen's creation, is the only one who can save him.
Isobel knows that her only hope lies within a Baltimore cemetery. There, in the early morning of Edgar Allan Poe's birthday, a mysterious stranger known as the "Poe Toaster" will make his annual homage at the legendary poet's grave.
Only the Poe Toaster holds the key to the way between worlds. But great dangers lie ahead for Isobel. An ancient evil, draped in veils of white, is watching, challenging her for Varen's affections. When Isobel finally finds Varen, he is no longer the quiet and brooding boy who once captivated her, but a dark force, powerful and malevolent.
Could Isobel's greatest love also be her greatest adversary? --Goodreads
In Nevermore, Isobel saves the world by closing the gate which separates a dreamscape that holds all your worst nightmares and the real world.  However, she accidentally traps boyfriend, Varen Nethers, on the other side—stuck in the dreamscape.  With Enshadowed, Isobel vows to do whatever she can to get Varen back, safe and sound to the real world.  Only there are several factors that could go wrong in that process.  Isobel could die, for one.  But that is a risk she is willing to take.

I don’t recommend reading this book in the dark—you may hurt your eyes; however, if you have a dim-lit room—go for it.  It is one of those books that you should totally set the mood for because even though I was reading in pure daylight, the book brought me to dark places.  Dark places as in, it reminded me of those scary short stories people read for Halloween.  In Enshadowed, Isobel was in her house, celebrating Christmas, but the plot was chilling enough that all I could think about was Halloween.

Kelly Creagh specializes in the art of cliffhangers.  The chapters are not too long for readers to lose focus and the cliffhangers make them continue without hesitation.  Looking back at the book as a whole, the plot is simple—with one goal.  However, while reading, it doesn’t seem that way.  Readers are enchanted by Isobel’s devotion and the lengths she goes to fulfill her goal: to save Varen.

This story, as part of a series, goes deeper than I first realized.  Creagh has cleverly woven a plot that goes at least six feet underEnshadowed is incredible.  I know when I wrote the Nevermore review, I mentioned the similarities of Inception.  Creagh creates a dreamscape, a location apart from the real world.  In Enshadowed, the author takes her location one step further.  She begins adding pieces of reality, mixing the two worlds seamlessly.  And I am not just talking about Nevermore’s reality and the dreamscape.  I am talking about our reality and Isobel’s reality and the dreamscape.  Creagh added elements which had readers question what was real.  (The Poe Toaster is real!  The picture, used in Enshadowed as what pushed Isobel to her goal, can also be found in LIFE magazine.) That particular question—asking what is reality—makes Isobel’s character extremely relatable because readers are questioning the same things she is. 

Despite loving the plot, the lack of male characters—or just the lack of Varen—bothered me.  I love strong female characters and Enshadowed certainly had them.  Both, Isobel and Gwen, were extremely independent and just plain awesome.  However, where Nevermore was the blossoming relationship of Isobel and Varen, Enshadowed was Isobel all alone, trying to get Varen back.  I would have loved if Creagh had shown some scenes of Varen in the dreamscape.  Still minor characters really shine in Creagh’s work.  Can we please get a spin-off of Bruce—I would even take a short story about him?  He only said a few words but those words depicted Bruce’s desire to have Varen home.  It was heart -warming and -wrenching at the same time. 

Enshadowed by Kelly Creagh is a fantastic sequel.  Creagh’s world continues to be as creepy as ever and I am sure in the third book, Oblivion, she will even step it up one more notch.

Nevermore (8/31/10): 5 stars --- my review
Enshadowed (8/28/12): 4 stars
Oblivion (7/28/15): TBA

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  1. This looks really good, great review! I'm going to put these books on my wish list for sure.

  2. I've not read any of this series, but have seen them around. Your review definitely grabbed my interest! I'll have to add them to my TBR.