Author: Kelly Creagh
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: July 2015
Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Fantasy, Horror
Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book Three
Synopsis can be found here.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS. DO NOT CONTINUE READING IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE FIRST TWO BOOKS IN THE SERIES.
I remember reading the first book in the series, Nevermore. The cover drew me, the synopsis about Edgar Alan Poe sealed it for me. This was right up my alley. And it was, mostly.
This third book is the conclusion of the trilogy about cheerleader Isobel falling for dark and troubled goth boy Varen, and his ability to summon and create monsters in a dreamworld. A dreamworld that Poe himself might have had ties to, just before he died in Baltimore, unconscious and in another man’s clothes.
We leave off with Varen, still trapped in the dreamworld. Isobel, having failed in her attempt the first time to rescue him, regroups and tries to figure out a new way of getting him to believe 1. She is alive. 2. She came back for him. 3. Don’t throw her off a cliff again so they can escape Lilith’s evil clutches.
There’s a lot to like about this third installment. It’s faster paced than the second book, which is a relief. And there was some nice tying up in this book in regards to the actual Poe legend and Creagh’s fictional story weaving through the facts. I like how she brought a lot of the players back again, the danger heightened and the dreamworld became something more dangerous and torturous than any of the main characters could have anticipated. The writing is sometimes vague adding to the dreamlike quality of the alternate world, which I found to be enjoyable yet distracting at some times. And I loved Scrimshaw and Pinfeathers in this series, and what they actually were. That kinda killed me.
My main gripe with the book is that overall, the series is too long. Book two was filler for me and while some really interesting things happen in Oblivion, I feel like it could have still been condensed and tightened up enough that this could have been a duo-logy. Not to say I didn’t enjoy some of the more clever horror and suspenseful scenes, it just took sometimes a little too long to get there. My other problems are the gaping holes in the story. Isobel is constantly trying to figure out the rules of the game and who is her enemy. While there is some showing of these actions that she can decipher, the entire book she is questioning herself so many times, it’s hard to keep track what her goal is this time. She also does a lot of deceitful and intense things to her family, but by the end there’s not a lot of consequences. I guess I feel like a lot of the wrap up in the third book left a lot of unanswered questions and the questions they did answer weren’t as satisfying or realistic.
I’m especially sad about this random thing that happens at the end: SPOILER alert- Varen dyes his hair back to his natural color. That somehow doesn’t sit with me. I understand what the author was trying to convey, but to me it is forced and artificial.
Overall, Oblivion is slightly disappointing to me.What started off as a strong and intriguing series about Poe and love and dreams and monsters never got to where I was hoping it would go. It’s still a decent series that I would recommend to fans of Poe. Creagh’s research is obvious and sprinkled through the series with intrigue, allowing the reader to get lost in her world and then go online and look up the real facts later.
Rating 5 Okay