Others in the Series: None (first book)
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.
The romance was the thing that really caught my attention with this book. When I originally heard about it, the creepy Poe angle had not been a selling point for me. In fact, it made me want to skip the book entirely. When I received a copy from the publisher, though, my curiosity was piqued. I wanted to see how the romance and the darkness of Poe’s work were to be combined, and whether or not it was done successfully. And while it definitely held my attention, the romance was a bit underplayed. This may sound like a draw back to some, but I genuinely appreciated it. The mystery of Varen and what was happening to Isobel was a perfect counter to the subtle romance. It tested her sanity while forcing her to grapple with her feelings for Varen, both of which were incredibly interesting storylines.
So, in short, I liked the subtle romance and the eerie mystery. What I didn’t like, though, was how unrealistic the romance became later in the book. Nothing in the writing changed, it was still crafted excellently, but the depth of their feelings seemed to be overstated. I didn't doubt they cared for each other, I simply doubted how much they cared for each other at that point. Still, I was able to look past this overstatement and still enjoy the novel.
The world that Creagh creates from the stories of Poe was fascinating. My reading of Nevermore coincided with the Poe lesson in my English class, and I was very pleased with Creagh's take on his stories. From the threads of various works of Poe, she created an entirely new story and world that was thrilling to read about.
This, of course, brings up another issue I had with Nevermore. I felt the story hit a climax two hundred pages too early. As with the romance, those two hundred pages were still wonderful, but I felt as though I was reading two different books. The first half was a cliffhanger that focused on Isobel and Varen, and the second half was Isobel’s journey through -- as I deemed it -- Poe’s world, in which the threads of the previous part were to be tied up. Herein lays another issue. Prior to reading Nevermore, I had no knowledge that it was meant to be a part of a series. After so much development, I was interested in seeing how Creagh would tie it all up. Instead, after a chunk of reading that seemed to lend itself towards resolution, the book just ended. There was little answered or resolved, and since I hadn’t been expecting this, it really disappointed me.
Even with these issues, though, I still largely enjoyed Nevermore. When it came down to it, I found I could easily overlook the flaws. (Except for the ending, of course. In order to accept that flaw, I will need the next book. Preferably soon.) Whether you’re looking for romance, mystery, or a new reinterpretation of Poe’s works, you’re sure to enjoy this darkly delicious novel.