Enshadowed by Kelly Creagh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Warning: This is a sequel so go read the first book Nevermore.
Not only is this a romance with paranormal elements, this is a series that has an amazing heroine. The last time we saw Isobel in Nevermore , she was learning about the true identity of that interesting character, Reynolds. She is now plotting her way to get back to Varen, who was last seen stuck with Lilith in the dream world.
What I love about this book is that even though we don’t get that much of Varen in the flesh, he is all over this novel. I am pretty sure I had many more swoon worthy moments in the book than I did in Nevermore. I love that Kelly can convey the love between these two without having them both on the page together. I also love seeing the transformation of Isobel. She started shucking her popular cheerleader façade last book but this time, she grows into a strong woman who needs to take care of the people she loves. She also stands up for what she believes in and in the process turns her back on her dad. It was a heartbreaking scene but at the same time one that needed to happen for Izobel. She needed to know that she WAS strong enough to say no to her dad and what he wanted for her life and say yes to what she needed and grow into her own.
“More than anything, it felt as if she’d been delivering a final speech. Her last words to
herself. For herself. For the girl she’d once been but could never again resurrect, the girl
her father had been so afraid of losing and had lost anyway.” (pg 330, ARC).
We also got a peek into Varen’s life. We kinda already knew that Varen’s dad, well for a lack of a better word, was a douche bag. But he is a broken douche bag and clearly at a loss on how to really love his son or even let others around him know that he loves and misses his son. There is a scene where he breaks down in a car because Varen is msising. We also learn about Varen’s mom. She clearly loved him so much and that last little bit of memory is something Varen is clinging to.
One of my favorite scenes in this book is where Isobel comes across a secret room of Varen’s. She finds a picture of herself with a poem written on the back:
“I keep telling myself
Just a girl,
Another leaf blown across my path
Destined to pass on
And shrivel into yourself
Like all the others.
Yet despite my venom
You refuse to wither
You remain golden throughout,
And in your gaze I am left to wonder if it is me alone
Who feels the fall (pgs 235-236, ARC).
I mean Good Lord! As I said, I didn’t really notice that he wasn’t with Isobel in the present as there was so much about him and from him in the story. Also, what girl does not want to rescue him and let him know he is loved? Am I right ladies? Oh, just me? Okay then.
And then there is Gwen, who is my personal favorite. I think we all need a friend like her in our lives. She is the strength that Isobel needed to plow ahead into those crazy waters to find and rescue Varen. She pushed when Izobel needed it and she also helped to anchor Izzy when Izzy is feeling completely lost and not sure if she is present in this world or floating in a dream.
This is a great continuation of the story! I love that Kelly doesn’t give us fluff. She gives us a smart series that makes you really think and possibly research a little (I confess, I know NOTHING about Poe and lucid dreaming). At its heart though, it is a love story of a couple that is fighting for each other and for the hope that can be found in love.
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