Goodreads Summary: Varen Nethers is trapped in a perilous dream world -- 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 hours 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 even greater 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.
When I read Nevermore (the first book in this series) back in 2010, I was totally blown away by it. It was easily my favorite book of the year and, in my humble opinion, one of the most underrated books of the year as well. It has been torturous for me to wait two long years to read the sequel. To say I was excited when I received a review copy of Enshadowed is an understatement. Was Enshadowed worth the wait? More yes and a little bit no. Let me explain.
Nevermore rocked in character development and world building. The first portion of the book deals with the relationship between unpopular goth boy Varen Nethers and extremely popular cheerleader Isobel Lanley. These two are such an unlikely couple and Kelly Creagh writes the characters and the relationship brilliantly. While there are some creepy things happening in the first two-thirds of Nevermore, it’s not until the end of the book that things take a dark, crazy and creeptastic turn for the best and the cliffhanger ending of the book just left me reeling.
Enshadowed follows a similar formula in that the first portion of the book has some great paranormal bits to it but it’s not until the end that things really get exciting. The difference between the two books is that while Varen is integral to Nevermore, he is majorly absent in Enshadowed. I’m not going to lie, this was a downer for me. Varen is so awesome, he is the only swoon-worthy goth boy I have ever met in fiction and after waiting for two years, to ‘hang out’ with him again, I was disappointed and I missed him.
So after complaining about Varen’s absence, why am I still giving Enshadowed a ‘Really Good’ rating? Because the writing is awesome, the dream world that Creagh creates is creepy, eerie and perfect and the cliffhanger ending again has me begging for more.
While Enshadowed may not be a great as Nevermore, it is still a good book and this series is one of the most original out there. I highly recommend this series to anyone who loves Edgar Allan Poe, horror, gothic stories or anything wonderfully different from all the other paranormal YA books out there. I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book in this series!
Content: Kissing and violence.
My Rating: Really Good!