First Lines: “Edgar?” Speaking softly, Dr. Moran leaned over his patient. His eyes traced the wan and pallid countenance of the famous poet, Edgar Poe.
This was a book I had moved to my unofficial top 20 to-read on Goodreads simply because it had been three years since I read Nevermore. I wanted to catch back up. Besides, a creepy read from time to time can be fun.
*Potential Series Spoilers Ahead*
Varen is trapped in a dream world where Edgar Allan Poe’s nightmarish stories come to life. Isobel is the only one who knows enough to be able to save him. But plagued by strange visions and unending nightmares, it’s not going to be easy. Isobel knows her only hope lies with the Poe Toaster, a mysterious figure who leaves roses and brandy on Poe’s grave for Poe’s birthday. Only the Poe Toaster can create the veil between the realms, and Isobel is determined to cross it with him. But on the other side, danger looms. An ancient evil challenges Isobel for Varen’s affections. And Varen isn’t the same boy she left behind. Could it be he’s just as dangerous as the dreamland?
Now, I love Poe and the mystery that surrounds him. It’s terribly fitting. And I stayed up half the night to finish the first book.
But this one…this one just didn’t do it for me. I felt like the story was angsty for the sake of angst. Everything felt like it was drama cranked up to 10, even though it was maybe just another cheerleader instead of a life-or-death situation. Every few chapters, I almost felt like I needed to detox and get the negative feelings out of my system before I could go back.
And I was really disappointed that Varen didn’t make much of an appearance in the story at all. I could probably count on two hands the number of scenes he was in. I know he’s stuck in another realm, but I sometimes like him more than I like Isobel. Being stuck with her the whole time wasn’t what I was expecting.
That also impacted the basis of the story for me. It’s supposed to be something of a romantic suspense/paranormal thriller, but I was not feeling the love. This book picks up about 2 months after the last book, and Isobel’s obsession with finding Varen felt creepy rather than loving. I wish I could explain this more. It felt like Isobel was obsessed with Varen rather than being in love with him. I admit, part of the reason could be because it’s been 3 years since I read the first book, but I did do some skimming to get back into the story. But that connection between Isobel and Varen was just not there for me.
There were some good aspects about this book, of course. It plays with the idea of reality a lot. Sometimes, Isobel and Varen don’t know what’s real and what’s a trick/nightmare. So I enjoyed when it messed with us that way. It added some real suspense and thrill to the story.
Also, I really liked the character Gwen. She was more or less the comic relief for the story. And I needed it. But she was really just making me laugh when I needed it.
Overall, I truly wish it had been better. There was just too much angst and too little happening.