Title: Rift [Nightshade Prequel #1]
Author: Andrea Cremer
Chronicling the rise of the Keepers, this is the stunning prequel to Andrea Cremer’s internationally bestselling Nightshade trilogy!
Sixteen-year-old Ember Morrow is promised to a group called Conatus after one of their healers saves her mother’s life. Once she arrives, Ember finds joy in wielding swords, learning magic, and fighting the encroaching darkness loose in the world. She also finds herself falling in love with her mentor, the dashing, brooding, and powerful Barrow Hess. When the knights realize Eira, one of their leaders, is dabbling in dark magic, Ember and Barrow must choose whether to follow Eira into the nether realm or to pledge their lives to destroying her and her kind.
With action, adventure, magic, and tantalizing sensuality, this book is as fast-paced and breathtaking as the Nightshade novels.
Although I’ve had every intention of reading Andrea Cremer’s Nightshade Trilogy, I have never actually gotten to it. However, thanks to a contest and a lucky draw, Razorbill sent me Rift, the first book to Cremer’s prequel… trilogy (I’m assuming here). As much as I wanted to love it, I couldn’t give it all my heart.
I love a good book with an MC who’s got a fighting spirit, and Ember filled that role perfectly. She’s a fierce character who’s not afraid to stand up for what she believes in… okay, so she wasn’t totally upfront, but at least she wasn’t a pushover. I enjoyed reading about her fighting, her training, her determination to make her own path apart from her family. Apart from Ember, the secondary characters really stood out to me. Barrow, from the beginning, caught my eye, simply because he handled things with ease, determination, and confidence. In the end, I even liked Alistair. Although his character wasn’t as I thought he’d be, I really liked how his character was developed progressively throughout the novel. Cremer made these characters pop out of the page, and I commend her for it.
However, she missed with Eira. While I found all the characters believable, I couldn’t find anything redeemable about Eira’s character. I’m not saying she was a ruthless psycho, if it was written well, I could see myself still liking the character. But Eira’s character began as one thing, and ended as another, without any real explanation or continuity. As with all my opinions, I must say that it could’ve just been me. But I felt like with Eira, such a change in character should have had more narration behind her thoughts and actions, something that would trigger it that would make the transformation seem right. However, where she nailed it with Alistair, Cremer missed it with Eira. In addition to this, due to the lack of excitement or background to her, I found that Eira’s part in the novel slowed it down, while still progressing the plot. I’m not sure that makes any sense, but that’s what stopped me from giving this novel the full five stars it could have achieved.
On the other hand, I loved the plot and the idea behind the demons and monsters. I liked that we got a glimpse into Ember’s training, into Alistair’s fantasies, and into the demonic psycho dimension Cremer created. I thoroughly enjoyed the description of the landscapes and the magical side of the story. Aside from the needed but slow Eira moments, the story progressed well, and, overall, Cremer won me over. I will definitely be reading Rise (and maybe even Nightshade if my TBR pile isn’t too high). I can’t wait to see where Cremer will take Ember next ~
World Building: 5/5
GoodReads Rating: 4.21/5