My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Isobel Lanley – cheerleader, perfect, perfect boyfriend.
Varen Nethers – Silent, stoic, plenty of crazy gossip.
Completely different. Neither have ever spoken to each other until they are assigned an assignment together. At first Isobel is horrified to find herself in such a predicament, until she finds his journal and then he becomes the only thing she can think about. Poe, ghouls, mysterious mask men begin to plague her as she traipses deeper into the world of Varen Nethers, until she goes too far. There’s no turning back now.
The writing threw me at first. It was a little awkward and very much the first steps of a debut writer. But oh it grew. How it grew on me. The more I read, the more I was sucked into the beguiling, and dark story of Isobel and Varen. The writing no longer mattered.
Could Kelly Creagh have written a better book about Poe? No way. This was amazing. As I read more, the more I felt a hint of Poe in her work. It was seductive.
Creagh doesn’t make Isobel seem like a silly little cheerleader, who’s feet are stuck in shoes too big. Isobel is strong. She withstands the brunt of her choices, and she breaks up with Brad without any hesitation! Which was a surprised but oh how it made me reading this so much better. Then slowly as the story develops her relationship with Varen develops too. I liked the slow pace that’s set, the naturalness of their relationship. Dramatic, like soap operas but not puke-over-the-top dramatic.
The plot is exciting too. Not only is Isobel suffering from lack of friends syndrome, she is haunted by hooded figures and bloody ghouls. So much, that she acts freakishly throughout the book. I’m surprised no one had called the mental hospital. But it gives the reader a creepy feeling that something not quite right is going on. And yay-I don’t think of her as an annoying cheerleader anymore!
It’s funny that the book’s main character is Isobel, but the focus, for the majority is Varen. He’s quiet but sharp tongued when he speaks, but it doesn’t matter when he doesn’t because his character just looms in your mind when you read it. His character is stoic and moody because he’s haunted by his own imagination. It’s really a fascinatingly creepy concept. And it kept me hooked!
I think my favourite part of the entire book is towards the end when she reads his journal, his writings, and the part where Creagh describes Varen’s frantic scribbling’s- ‘Isobel. Isobel. Isobel.’ From the line before to that, Creagh’s magic becomes clear. She really brings to life Varen’s torment just like the reflection, from what little I can remember from the few works of Poe that I’ve read, the Narrator’s torment in The Raven of his long dead wife Lenore.
Kelly Creagh’s Nevermore, so wonderfully haunting; so dark and enticing, it calls to you to flip its pages again. You can practically feel Poe running around in this novel, thanks to Creagh’s ability to mix her style with his. Especially in Varen’s writing.
This was perhaps my most fearsome read – based on good reviews I chose it – but believe me it is really good. It’s nothing like Twilight or The City of Bones or any other urban fantasy/or supernatural-paranormal book that has been given outstanding reviews but have really fallen short of the mark in terms of plot, romance and writing.
I would definitely add this to my bookshelf.