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Summary on back of book: Varen Nethers is trapped in a perilous dream world -- a treacherous and desolate realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life. Isobel Lanley, plagued by strange visions and haunted by the nightmares of Varen`s creation, is the only one who can save him.
Isobel knows that her only hope lies within a Baltimore cemetery. There, in the early morning hours of Edgar Allan Poe`s birthday, a mysterious stranger known as the "Poe Toaster" will make his annual homage at the legendary poet`s grave.
Only the Poe Toaster holds the key to the way between worlds. But even greater dangers lie ahead for Isobel. An ancient evil, draped in veils of white, is watching, challenging her for Varen`s affections. When Isobel finally finds Varen, he is no longer the quiet and brooding boy who once captivated her, but a dark force, powerful and malevolent.
"A word to the wise cover your mirrors.
Thats how they find you."
My review: Its been almost two years so the details were a bit unclear when I started, but Isobels words brought it all back: how theres an eerie nightmarish quality, an otherworld-ness to the other side... because thats what the case wasis?
The Grim Façade. The dream world masquerade. The falling ash and the woodlands. The sky ripped into shreds by bleeding strips of violet. And his eyes. Always those eyes. Again and again she saw the blackness overtake them. She watched it spiral out, consuming her reflection, leaving behind a stranger."
Creepily fantastic, fantastically creepy... if a bit slow in pace, Enshadowed brings Isobel front and center, except unlike Isobel of old what we have here is a different girl, one who stands apart from the rest. This is so much more that the boy-girl on opposite side of the tracks, here its her slowly uncovering parallels between what could be Varens reality and what might have been have been Poes past.
But more fascinating? The bleeding through of said nightmare world into her everyday so that shed struggle to distinguish between the two. Its that which made everything in this even more wonderfully creepy except beyond that little else did take place. I mean, nothing happened save Isobel suffering, of course. So, this isnt typical paranormal fare of boy + girl + love conquers all; though it may be working its way toward that, in the mean time, here its two worlds, both of unacceptable realities: one without him, the other without her.
While, nothing much happens what does make the two-year wait bearable: With her the way she is, set apart, she establishes what might have happened and what she could do about it, as well as whos on her side. As to the last, its this end that where the unexpected came up. Who would have thought certain people capable of so and so? Im struggling not to spoil things here, but who would have thought?! I mean, really?
Plus, I could complain about Varens little felt presence, or about that massively frustrating cliffy but it wont because both are positives for me, one more so than the other. To the first, even if theres next to nothing on Varren, his is an absence thats felt; one that moves her to live (or not live) the way she was living. An absent presence if that makes any sense because it added to a mood thats already different in its nightmarish quality. To the second, well lets just say that I have high hopes for the third one.
Note: Image taken from Goodreads