by Kelly Creagh
So, I really loved the first book in the series - it's sitting on my favourites shelves right now. Obviously, because of that, I had high hopes for this one. And it was sort of a let down...and sort of not, too.Summary: While Varen remains a prisoner in a perilous dream world where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life, Isobel travels to Baltimore to confront the dark figure known throughout the world as the Poe Toaster. This man, the same man who once appeared to Isobel in her dreams and abandoned her in Varen’s nightmare world, holds the key to saving Varen.
But when Isobel discovers a way to return to this dream world, she finds herself swept up in a realm that not only holds remnants of Edgar Allan Poe’s presence, but has also now taken on the characteristics of Varen’s innermost self. It is a dark world of fear, terror, and anger.
When Isobel once more encounters Varen, she finds him changed. And now Isobel must face a new adversary—one who also happens to be her greatest love.
This book was just so, so, so slow. It felt like barely anything happened. It only started to get good in the last 50-60 or so pages (and the book is over 300 pages long). Up until that last little part of the book, it dragged and seemed to just be a whole lot of filler stuff.
Now, the filler stuff was well written and every now and then there were little details that seemed important and every couple of chapters there was something that captured my interest. But then it would abruptly stop and go back to being kind of dull - most of the book had me feeling that way you feel when you're waiting to go somewhere, and you're all ready to leave but you can't just yet and time seems to drag on so slowly, and that's such a frustrating feeling.
Varen was probably one of my favourite characters--if not my actual favourite--from the first book. So maybe the lack of his presence through the majority of this book had an impact on how much--or how little--I enjoyed the book, but even ignoring that...it still felt lacking something in the plot, like a lot could've been cut out without it being missed.
Sorry, I'm very clumsily trying to explain why the book didn't really work for me and I'm not doing very well. Basically, it felt like a filler book, like it's just there to be a bridge between the first and third books while not really doing much on its own. It's only the last few chapters that saved it for me as far as the plot goes; the writing, the characters, the setting, the atmosphere...all of that was still really good.
In that last part of the book, it was back to being almost as good as the first book was. It had me hooked and it made me acutally feel things (other than frustration, annoyance and boredom), while the rest of the book was just kind of underwhelming and took me a couple of weeks to drag myself through. But that last part, that good part, it made it all worth it and I can't wait for the next book.
I still love this series, even if this book was a bit of a disappointment. The first book was a 5 star book to me, this one was more of a 2.5 star book because of the plot, with a 4 star ending.
I wish this review was better, but that's the best I can do. I really recommend this series though, it's awesome and genuinely one of the most original YA paranormal books I've read.