Thursday, December 27, 2012

Review: Rise

RISE
Nightshade Prequel #2
Andrea Cremer
Paranormal Young Adult
432 pages
Philomel/Penguin
Available January 8th
Received from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Everything Conatus stands for is at risk. Hoping to gather enough resistance to save their order, Ember and Barrow attempt a desperate escape. But fate offers little mercy. When their mission is exposed, the  couple face relentless pursuit by the supernatural horrors that act on the commands of Eira’s ally: the mysterious Bosque Mar. A shocking revelation forces Ember out of hiding, sending her back into the heart of dark magic at Tearmunn keep, where she must convince her old friend Alistair of her love or face dire consequences. Ember’s deception offers the only chance for the resistance to succeed, but what she discovers in the shadows beneath the keep will shatter her world and bring about the Witches’ War.

MY THOUGHTS
Rise wastes little time returning us to the dark changes taking place in Ember’s world, the promise of answers as to how the wolves of the Nightshade series came to be teasing us until our curiosity ensures we turn the pages with record speed. While the Nightshade world was intriguing (though I confess to only having read the first book), there’s something even more appealing about both prequels; perhaps the fact that we’re starting at the very beginning–the moments just before and the moments of creation–of the wolves that satisfies our inquisitive minds more fully and completely, giving us intimate knowledge that can only enhance Calla’s story should we read the books in chronological order rather than order of release.

Though we switch back and forth between multiple storylines, we spend most of our time with young Ember, a woman we admired immediately in Rift for her desire to step outside what’s deemed “appropriate” for women of her station and embrace a more challenging destiny. She both maintains and strengthens our admiration in this second installment, her desire to fight and protect tempered by her affection for Barrow to make her into a beautiful blend of appealing characteristics. She’s strong without being reckless, thoughtful without living too much in her own head, and in love without all the drama and fanfare, and we know with certainty that she’ll make choices that, though difficult, are ones that are best for all and not simply herself or Barrow.

While there’s no true love triangle in Rise, Ms. Cremer does a spectacular job of depicting Ember’s troubled relationship with childhood best friend Alistair–their every interaction thick with layers of truth and deceit stemming from years of history–and we can’t help but be drawn into their painful web, held in place as a captive audience to their hurt. Even as we despair of the man Alistair is becoming, we cling to the last few remaining vestiges of hope we have that he’ll shake loose from Bosque Mar’s influence and return to the teasing friend and treasured confidante he once was, but each page challenges our stubborn hold on hope, and we look toward the next book with a touch of dread, wondering what fate has in store for him.

Overall, Rise suffers from very few of the pitfalls that plague many a sequel, answering as many questions as it raises and giving us our first glimpse at the intricate and terrifying transformative process for the wolves, something the part of us that constantly asks “how” and “why” is extraordinarily grateful for. Ember’s story is one that can’t be put to page quickly enough, and I will certainly be counting down the days until the next leg of her journey is in my hands.

Rating: 4/5

30 comments:

  1. Prequel, and I who have not read the series yet. But I do have book 1

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    1. I've only read the first book of the main series, and I wasn't lost at all in these prequels. You'll be fine starting with these first if you want to!

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  2. I did not read the Nightshade series either, but I did read Rift and absolutely loved it. It was fantastic. I loved Ember and Barrow and the whole world-building. You're so lucky you got to read Rise early.
    I'm so excited to hear that the sequel lives up to the first book. I'm sad to hear about Alistair, but I had my doubts after Rift that he wouldn't become a character that I would approve of.
    Lovely review, Jenny! :)

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    1. YEAH! Glad you loved it too:) I was really pleased with this one, I thought we might get the standard second-book formula where the main couple separate and a new love interest steps in, and while that does happen a little bit, Alistair is never a true romantic interest for Ember. It's Barrow all the way:)

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  3. I haven't read the Nightshade series - there are too many series for me to keep up with, although I have heard a lot of good things about that one. Also, is it just me or is everyone coming out with prequels, ebook extras etc nowadays. There seem to be lots around!

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    1. I know! I feel the same way Leanna! I have like 15 series on my list I want to start and I don't know if all ever get there because I get distracted by all the shiny new books coming out:)

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  4. Son of a giraffe shifter. This series already has the second book out? I need to get on this stat.

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    1. I know. Some series the books seem to take forever to come out, and other seem to come out so fast I fall behind in no time:) I really enjoyed both Rift and Rise!

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  5. I am so behind on the Nightshade series and now there's this series...and it sounds terrific. Eeek! I'll never catch up. Terrific review and the tension between the main characters does sound truly heartbreaking.

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    1. I'm really behind on that series too, I just sort of started over with this series and that's worked out pretty well:)

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  6. Alister drove me absolutely insane in the first book! I wanted to smack him upside the head. But I liked Barrow (though he seemed a lot older than Ember) and Ember --definitely an intriguing character, fighting against expectations and desires of her family and time.

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    1. He'll probably be even worse for you in this one! It was hard to watch him continue to make such poor decisions, but I liked how the relationship between him and Ember progressed in this one, even if was one of deterioration rather than repair.

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  7. I think this book is a bit slower than the first but still I adored it! It was so much fun to read and so exciting. I can't wait to see how it ends.

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    1. I can't wait to see how it ends either!

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  8. Yaaaaaay! I'm so glad you liked this. I loved Nighshade, but after the turn the latter two books in the series took, I was pretty worried the sequels to Rift would go the same way. All the reviews I am seeing are pretty much saying they don't, which has me REALLY excited to get this.

    So glad I pre-ordered it! Thanks, Jenny!

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    1. I've been hearing people weren't crazy about how things in the last book wrapped up, so right now I'm glad I stopped after book one and then gave these a try:)

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  9. Wow, this sounds like such a phenomenal sequel! I'm definitely going to have to give this series a shot for sure. Amazing review, Jenny! :)

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  10. Is it just me or this lady on the cover reminds me of Angelina Jolie. :) I have seen this book before but this is the first review I read for it and I must admit it sounds better than it looks. Thanks for this amazing review :)

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    1. She does a little! I see a little Miley Cyrus in her as well, not sure what that's about:)

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  11. There seems to be quite a few decent sequels popping up, I#m glad Rise can be added to this list, Cremer is another author you have reminded me that I really needed to get to sometime next year! Looks like you've found another great series to settle down with! Btw the girl on this cover reminds me of Kristen Stewart!

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    1. I was really pleased with how this book held up as a sequel, I was worried we wouldn't see much of a progression, just a preparation for the third book, but that wasn't the case at all:)

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  12. I never finished the Nightshade books, even though I did love the first two. I had the first one from these books from the library but had to return it before reading. I remember you liking it though and really need to try to fit it in sometime. Both books now, I guess. So glad it wasn't a disappointing sequel!

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    1. I think you'll like these Candace, especially if you're a fan of the Nightshade series already:)

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  13. I really need to find the time for this series. I really loved the Nightshade books and was so excited to get Rift at ALA this summer but I never picked it up off my shelf once I got it home. I guess I'm just worried that this won't be as amazing as Nightshade was so I just keep putting the Prequel series off. I guess I should stop doing that and get to reading it already because it sounds awesome.

    Thanks for the great review, I hope you enjoy the rest of this prequel series.

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    1. I actually prefer this series to the Nightshade series, but of course everyone is different:) I hope you love these books as much as I did!

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  14. It's too bad that I was never really able to get into this series. Every time someone writes about it in a positive way, I start wondering what the heck is wrong with me... and you especially can be very convincing. I've only read the first book so maybe I should give it another chance.

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  15. I only read the first book in the Nightshade series as I found Calla kind of wishy-washy in terms of the romance and then heard that a certain character doesn't appear much in the second and has something tragic happen to him in the third. I like the sound of the prequels much better, Jenny.

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  16. I love strong woman who are willing to step out of the role society has cast for them! Awesome review!

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  17. So glad to hear you enjoyed this. I can't wait to get my hands on it! Loved Rift! The characters and world/story were wonderful, although I just wasn't a fan of Eira. I'm looking forward to getting back to this world. It sounds like I may enjoy Rise more than Rift. We'll have to see ;) Brilliant review!

    Lisa | Read Me Bookmark Me Love Me

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