Thursday, November 29, 2012

Review: Rift

(Nightshade Prequel #1)
Andrea Cremer
Paranormal Young Adult
431 Pages
Available Now
Received at BEA

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
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.

Rift sprints from the gate as though the evil contained in its pages is nipping at its heels, immediately enveloping us in its dark and richly atmospheric world and continuing to coat us in layer after layer of complexity until we are so thoroughly ensconced in the life of the Guard that we dread the next page because it brings us one step closer to reaching the end. The time period is integral to the success of the story, the absolute control Ember’s father feels he has over her life instantaneously raising our hackles as we want nothing more than to speak out against the injustice of being treated as a commodity rather than a person. Additionally, the constant threat of zealotry from the townspeople surrounding Tearmunn as well as the Church itself–where whispers of witchcraft or an allegiance with the devil are enough to sentence any member of the Guard to a fiery fate–hangs heavy over our heads to ensure we’re fully invested in the health and welfare of Ember’s new Guard family.

Ember is an admirable heroine, choosing to embrace the path the circumstances of her birth dictated for her and throwing herself into it with a fervor that brings a smile to our faces. She's a young woman who fights what’s considered a female’s “role” in this time period, wanting to pick up arms alongside the men rather than be married and safely tucked away with a swollen belly, and she is determined to prove her mettle to the predominantly male Guard. There are times when her young age is readily apparent, mostly when she’s frustrated and takes to stomping her foot as a physical expression of that disgruntlement, but for the most part she’s someone we can easily support in her every endeavor–whether it be physical or romantic in nature.

Ember’s relationship with Barrow, her mentor in the Guard, is the kind of relationship that keeps us up late reading, following a mantra of “just one more chapter” to see if the tension thrumming between them will finally snap before we drag ourselves off to bed. They go from strangers to training partners to friends to something more at a pace designed to tease, their every interaction heavy with things left unsaid, and their every gesture garnering our intense scrutiny to see if we can decipher some meaning beyond the superficial. While there is a third player to the romance in this tale, Ember’s preference for Barrow is made clear to both us as readers as well as the other young man attempting to win her affection, therefore sparing us the formation of an actual triangle.

Readers, like me, who haven’t read the Nightshade trilogy in its entirety will have no problem settling into Ember’s world, and while we may miss some of the smaller details and hints as to what’s to come due to our ignorance, our overall enjoyment is not lessened as a result. We’re left on the last page at what’s clearly a beginning, the darkness that’s been set loose finally reaching the doorstep of Tearmunn and forcing the Guard into action, and the time until Rise is released cannot pass fast enough.

Rating: 4/5


  1. I have this one from the library but its overdue (bad me!) and I just don't have time to read it! Your review has me regretting that though. I love historical fantasy books. But I guess I can just try again in the future maybe... or I can say screw it and try to read it real fast. I guess we'll see. Maybe I will try to renew it and read it.

    1. I vote for the screw it and read real fast option:) It's a quick read despite being a thick book!

  2. Yay! So glad that you liked this one, Jenny! I really enjoyed this one as well and I had never read the Nightshade series before.
    This reminded me a little of Grave Mercy, yet another favorite of mine, because of the historical setting!
    I love how you described Ember and Barrow's relationship :

    "Ember’s relationship with Barrow, her mentor in the Guard, is the kind of relationship that keeps us up late reading, following a mantra of “just one more chapter” to see if the tension thrumming between them will finally snap before we drag ourselves off to bed."

    That's exactly why I kept reading the book non-stop even though it was so late. Ember and Barrow reminded me of Rose and Dimitri!

    I'm excited to read the next book.

    Lovely review, Jenny! :)

    1. I still need to read Grave Mercy! Fail. I could not stop reading this one, I had to know if Ember and Barrow finally got together. I was hurting the next day I was so tired, but it was worth it:)

  3. I only read the first Nightshade book and maybe the second ( I cannot remember) But somehow this earlier setting intrigued me and I heard lots of awesome things about this! I am so happy to hear that you liked it and that it#s fine to read it whieout having finished the Nightshade books!

    1. I only read the first Nightshade book as well. I loved the earlier time period of this one and the fact that there's no love triangle:):)

  4. I did not know about this one, still maybe I should read that nightshade book first anyway ;)

    1. I think you'd be fine starting this series first given it's a prequel, then you'd have all the information going into the Nightshade series itself:)

  5. Oooohhh!! I have the first two in the Nightshade series and thought about reading them next. Glad you liked it, because it gives me hope maybe I'll enjoy Nightshade since they're both by the same author and in the same world. Eeek! I'm excited. I'm not usually the one to read wolf books, so that says a lot. Heh.

    1. I enjoyed Nightshade, but not nearly as much as I enjoyed this one. I highly recommend giving this series a try even if the Nightshade books don't end up being your favorites!

  6. Really enjoyed the relationship between Ember and Barrow -- they were an odd connection but it worked. Poor Ember -- I would not have been pleased to live back then when women had to fight for control of their lives from the man in their lives.

    1. I would have not been pleased to be a woman back then either. Being traded to the highest bidder thanks with the full permission of my father would not have been amusing:)

  7. Phew! I like the sound of this but I didn't really like Nightshade and I never made it past book 1, so I was worried I wouldn't be able to read/understand this one. I'm so glad I was wrong.
    Ember sounds like a great heroine, and her relationship with Barrow sounds very appealing. The love triangle thing worries me a bit, but I guess I can live with it if it's not very angsty.
    Wonderful review, Jenny! So elegant.

    1. I had no trouble with this world despite only having read the first book of the trilogy, so you should be good to go. And I adored Ember and Barrow!

  8. This sounds like a promising new series. I loved the Nightshade series (except the last book) and am definitely interested in in Rift. I really like Cremer's writing style- always action packed and it seems Rift is the same way. Thanks for the recommendation! Great review, Jenny!

    1. This one was definitely action-packed:) Never a dull moment for Ember!

  9. I still have Nightshade sitting unread on my bookshelf. I feel like I have FAILED somehow, Jenny.

    1. FAILURE! *laughs and points* Ha! I kid. You're not a failure, but I do highly recommend this book. Maybe you'll end up liking Nightshade even more if you know how things came to be after reading this prequel series:)

  10. I have not read the Nightshade series, although it is on my wishlist, so this would be a good intro to get a feel for it, lovely review!

    1. I still need to finish that series, but for now, this prequel series has me hooked, so I'm definitely going to finish it out first!

  11. As you know I've had a bittersweet experience with the Nightshade series, particularly with its conclusion, but I've been curious about this prequel series. I'm surprised I haven't read many reviews of this one but I'm thrilled that you can enjoy this series independently and there isn't a love triangle lurking here.

    1. I was worried about a love triangle given the Nightshade series, but Ember makes it clear early on that she has feelings for Barrow, and she sticks with them:)

  12. OMG! Jenny!!! I HEART THIS BOOK! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I really do. I love the back history to the beginning of the Nightshade. I can not wait to read the next one.

  13. Oh I haven't read the Nightshade trilogy, so I don't think that I would any of the issues mentioned with this book either. I love the way you described the relationship between Ember and Barrow, the slow building tension, I love seeing it in books! Another lovely review Jenny! I may just have to give this book a try! :)

  14. I never finished the trilogy. I was upset by the triangle and just didn't get to it. Still might finish that one tho. Oh but this one sounds perfect for me. Ember sounds like Calla in the first book and I really enjoyed her in that book. Yep, needs to get this one.

  15. I haven't read this series yet and I think this prequel might be a good place to start. At least the one more chapter on this one won't bite you in the bite tomorrow morning because it isn't too long so you shouldn't have to stay up until the wee hours of the morning,

  16. Great review! I have the first two in the series sitting on my shelf...I feel like I really need to re-evaluate where they sit on my TBR now!

  17. Training partners! It seems like there is always some sort of training scenario in books these days. Though I'm not complaining as it usually leads to interesting situations romance-wise. ;) I'm looking forward to meeting Ember and Barrow! Brilliant review as always. :)

  18. It's good to know that you don't have to have read Nightshade to read this - I like the sound of this much better. Nightshade was a huge disappointment for me, so perhaps I'll check this out now with such a high rating from you. Fantastic review, Jenny! :D

  19. Glad to you know you don't have to read the whole Nightshade series. I've only read the first one. I'd like to finish the trilogy before tackling this one though.

  20. It's remarkable to visit this website and reading the views of all colleagues about this paragraph, while I am also eager of getting knowledge.
    Also see my page: quick loans 560

  21. Hey There. I found your weblog the usage of msn.
    That is a very neatly written article. I will make sure
    to bookmark it and come back to learn extra of your useful info.

    Thanks for the post. I'll certainly comeback.
    My blog ; Http://Www.Socialtek.Info/Blogs/User/TiffinyDun

  22. Pretty great post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to
    mention that I've truly enjoyed browsing your weblog posts. In any case I'll be subscribing on your
    feed and I hope you write once more very soon!
    Here is my weblog ;

  23. Superb blog! Do you have any recommendations for aspiring writers?
    I'm hoping to start my own website soon but I'm a little lost on everything.

    Would you propose starting with a free platform like Wordpress or go for a paid option?
    There are so many choices out there that I'm totally confused .. Any recommendations? Kudos!
    My webpage

  24. Informative article, exactly what I needed.
    Here is my webpage ... http://oxwall.ros-Dating.Com/

  25. Hello, i believe that i noticed you visited my web site so i got here to return the favor?
    .I'm trying to to find things to enhance my site!I guess its good enough to use some of your ideas!!
    Feel free to visit my site :: ShortTermLoan90

  26. Excellent way of explaining, and pleasant paragraph to obtain data
    regarding my presentation focus, which i am going to deliver
    in university.
    my web site: Fast Cash Loan

  27. Hi, I do believe this is a great web site. I stumbledupon it ;) I will come back once again since I book-marked it.
    Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to help other people.
    Stop by my website ::

  28. Hello, Neat post. There's an issue along with your website in web explorer, could check this? IE nonetheless is the market leader and a huge portion of other folks will leave out your great writing due to this problem.
    Review my page -

  29. What's up Dear, are you genuinely visiting this web page on a regular basis, if so then you will definitely get nice know-how.
    Here is my homepage

  30. It's going to be finish of mine day, but before end I am reading this great paragraph to increase my experience.

    My homepage: Steinzeitdiät Rezepte

  31. I am regular visitor, how are you everybody? This post posted at this site
    is genuinely good.

    Here is my weblog; low carb life
    my web site: kochrezepte

  32. I'd like to thank you for the efforts you've put in writing this website.
    I'm hoping to see the same high-grade blog posts by you later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own website now ;)

    my web page - bilanzbuchhalter teilzeit

  33. We're a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your website offered us with valuable info to work on. You've done an impressive job
    and our whole community will be thankful to you.

    Feel free to surf to my web page - internet aktien

  34. Keep on writing, great job!

    Visit my weblog :: paläo diät
    Also see my web page > paläoernährung

  35. What a material of un-ambiguity and preserveness of valuable familiarity about unpredicted emotions.

    Also visit my web site: homepage frame
    my website: title tag zeichen

  36. Good day! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering which blog
    platform are you using for this website? I'm getting fed up of Wordpress because I've had issues with hackers and I'm looking at alternatives for another platform. I would be great if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

    Feel free to visit my web blog - Glutenfreie Diät

    1. I know different books to prepare education exams:

  37. This system has a unique follow system to get you the followers you need.

    Here's the top ten: after Obama in 4th place is a recent arrival to the top ten, reality star Kim Kardashian in 5th, followed by Katy Perry in 6th, in 7th place is actor Ashton Kutcher, then talk show host Ellen De - Generes in 8th, Taylor Swift in 9th and Oprah Winfrey in 10th. Whether you're
    building your Twitter followers in the <.

    my web blog: Buy Twitter Followers cheap

  38. Hi, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine but when
    opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.

    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up!
    Other then that, very good blog!

    Feel free to surf to my site: Green Machine Big Wheel

  39. It is caused by the hormonal problems, weight gain, and
    many other factors. Article Source: tested cream
    is a inexpensive and fast way to remove cellulite.
    There may be a new and innovative cellulite treatment
    available now: cryotherapy.

    Look into my weblog ... Stretch mark removal

  40. Stoyas Lotus fleshlight is shaped just like Tara Whites
    pussy. The breath assists in channeling your sexual energy in the pelvic muscles, and dual control.
    Sperm or spermatozoa These are the cameras the individuals

  41. If you wish for to obtain a good deal from this post then you have to apply such techniques
    to your won weblog.

    Feel free to visit my web page wine buyers

  42. Doch auch diejenigen, die sehr gern entscheiden wollen,
    was die M�nnerwelt vor der sexcam masturbiert, ist der hei�este Gedanke vieler Zuschauer.

    We did run into a few points that sexcam we want to call out a model number of R800i, which has previously been associated with
    the Zeus. She is a good thing if the third party titles starting to trickle
    out -- the stuff people are coming up with something that clearly
    harkens back to the app.

    my blog post; sexchat

  43. Hellо there! Do you know if theу mаκe any plugіnѕ tο protеct against
    hackeгѕ? I'm kinda paranoid about losing everything I'vе workеd hard оn.
    Αny tіps?

    Alsо visіt mу weblοg
    - Daniel Chavez Moran

  44. Hi there! This post could not be written much better! Going through this post reminds me of my
    previous roommate! He always kept talking about this.
    I most certainly will send this article
    to him. Fairly certain he will have a very good
    read. Thank you for sharing!

    my web site; how to get more youtube subscribers and views

  45. What's up to every body, it's my first ѵiѕіt of
    this blоg; thіs wеb site contains rеmаrkable and reаlly
    excellent іnformation in fаvοr оf

    Hеre іs my ωeb ѕite: blog network

  46. Hi! Тhіs іs kind of оff topic but I need some аdѵicе from аn established blоg.

    Is іt hаrd to set up уοur own blog?
    I'm not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I'm thinκing abοut mаκing my own but I'm not sure where to begin. Do you have any points or suggestions? Many thanks

    Stop by my weblog; link building

  47. Nice pοst. Ι was сhecking continuously thiѕ
    blog and I'm impressed! Extremely useful info specially the last part :) I care for such info a lot. I was seeking this certain info for a very long time. Thank you and best of luck.

    Feel free to visit my blog post ... Arjun Kanuri