24 March, 2011

Nevermore - Review


Nevermore by Kelly Creagh

Publication date: 31 August 2010 from Simon & Schuster / Atheneum

ISBN 10/13: 1442402008 / 9781442402003

Category: Young Adult Fantasy

Format: Hardcover

Keywords: Contemporary, fantasy, dreams, parallel worlds


From goodreads.com:

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.

How I found out about this book: This eye-candy cover showed up last fall, and though I was drawn to it, let's just say the TBR pile was overflowing already. When RNSL contributor @kimberlybuggie said she loved it, I said, TBR be damned--I'm reading this book! I'm not done yet, so Kimberly's handling this review :) ~frootjoos

Kimberly's review: I'll be upfront--I have a soft spot for books about Edgar Allan Poe. I even named my bunny after him. (Both seem to be dark and broody.)

photo credit: fishgirl182

Is it because I'm a big fan of his work? (Annabel Lee is one of my favorite poems) or a big fan of him? (his mysterious death? his turbulent life?) Maybe a bit of both.

So going in, I already had high expectations. Numerous novels have written about Poe. Even more have used his writing as a jumping off point. Poe is the grandfather of mystery stories, his C. August Dupin was one of the inspirations to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. That's a lot to live up to.

But Nevermore doesn't disappoint. Poe isn't so much a ghost or a character, but more of a tone. A shadow that hovers over the characters and the mysterious Varen, a troubled Goth teenager whose secrets are about to be revealed by, wait for it.... a perky blonde cheerleader?

Opposites attract and the book is long, but doesn't drag. Creagh has done a great job setting up the characters as individuals, and slowly watching their relationship develop.

As Isobel, our team-spirited heroine, starts to have second thoughts about her popular friends, and if they're friends at all, Varen's character solidifies, becoming richer. It sure helps they're doing a paper on Mr. Poe, doesn't it? 'Cause Poe's work is a character in this book. Big and scary and with claws. It's creepy and chilling, Creagh doing a wonderful job channeling Poe's dark, dreaming quality--ravens tap on windows, the longing of unrequited love and death always wins.

You don't have to be familiar with Poe's works to enjoy the book, but it does help, giving it an additional layer.

And if you're reading it at night, for goodness sake! Keep the lights on! You'll thank me later!

You may also enjoy:

ManwhowaspoeThe Man Who Was Poe
by Avi (YA)
Paleblueeye The Pale Blue Eye
by Louis Bayard
PoeshadowThe Poe Shadow
by Matthew Pearl

EnshadowedNevermore is Kelly Creagh's debut novel. Visit her online at http://www.kellycreagh.com, on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter @kelly_creagh

Shortlink to this review: http://bit.ly/rnslNever

Find this book on goodreads.com or buy it now!

Look out for the sequel, Enshadowed, due out January 24th, 2012!

Comments? What do you think? Is this something you would read? If you've already read it, put in your two cents... (no spoilers, please!)

Both of our copies were borrowed from our local libraries. Yay, libraries!


  1. I've seen this around so many times and I really want to read it.
    This just makes me want to read it more.
    Nina xxx

  2. Awesome Nina! Let us know what you think! I can't wait for the sequel!

  3. Awh, your bunny is adorable!
    Anyway, Nevermore has been in my TBR for quite some time...glad to hear you really loved it! I've always been a fan of Poe, too (I have a 100-yr-old collection of his short stories and poetry that I re-read every year), so it's nice to know that his dark tone is kept alive and well in Nevermore. :)