Review: Rift by Andrea Cremer

Posted October 16, 2012 by Carmel in / 2 Comments

Rift by Andrea Cremer

Title: Rift
Series: Nightshade Prequel #1
Author: Andrea Cremer
Publisher: Philomel
Format: Hardcover, 464 pages
Published: August 7, 2012
ISBN #: 978-0399256134 / 039925613X
Genre: Young Adult
My Copy: bought
Rating:Paw RatingPaw RatingPaw Rating
Buy:Amazon.comTBDChapters Indigo Icon

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.

Typically I don’t read a lot of YA; the only reason why I opted to read Rift is because I’m a huge fan of Cremer’s Nightshade trilogy. Unfortunately, this prequel is nothing like the actual series. I’d expected to learn more about the Keepers but other than a few small tidbits there are very little additional details revealed. I enjoyed Ember’s character and the budding romance between her and Barrow but other than that nothing else about this book appealed to me. I spent the first 315 pages waiting for something to happen and then, when the action finally kicks in, it’s hugely disappointing. I was rather bored while reading this novel and as a result, will not be continuing with this series.

It took me a couple of chapters before I was able to fully shift gears from the Nightshade universe to this new one. This story follows the Keepers instead of the Guardians so it took some time for me to realize that the werewolves probably weren’t going to make an appearance. Also, this tale unfolds in the fifteenth century which is another hurdle that I had to overcome. Women have no rights, the church reigns supreme and having sex out of wedlock is a sin. I found Rift to be somewhat lacking from a paranormal perspective; this story is about Ember and her transition from life as a lady to life as a fighter, the rest of this novel’s happening’s are rather weak in comparison.

Ember’s character is well-developed and fascinating. She could have followed in her sister’s footsteps, married a lord and had babies like most high born women are expected to do. Instead, she goes against her father’s wishes, leaves home and becomes a member of Conatus. Ember has to fight to earn her spot among the guard and then lie to keep it. She’s courageous, determined and eager to do her part in the battle against evil.

I found Alistair’s appearances and attitude incredibly irritating. He always seems to show up at the most inconvenient moments. After a while it became annoyingly predictable. Ooh look, Barrows and Ember are having a moment and then, lo and behold, Alistair pokes his head in and ruins it all. After reading the Nightshade trilogy, I’d fully expected to encounter a lover triangle in this prequel but not like this. It felt forced to the point of being fake. That being said, I thought that Ember and Barrow’s romance was adorable. The candid glances, furtive touches and awkward blushing really captured the essence of young love.

Other than Ember, none of the other characters in this book are very well developed. It seems as though Cremer put all of her efforts into her main heroine and forgot about the rest. The world building is weak at best and the overall story comes across as medieval rather than paranormal. This prequel pales in comparison to her action packed Nightshade trilogy. I only tackle a few Young Adult books a year and I’m sad to say that after reading this disappointing first installment, Rise will not be one of them.

Books in this series:
Rift Rise

Recommendation: A good options for readers who just want a small taste of paranormal.
Like this, like that: I read para books not medieval so I got nothing.

Carmel Signature

About the Blogger
I review Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance books with a focus all things werewolf. Based out of Ottawa, Canada

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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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2 responses to “Review: Rift by Andrea Cremer

  1. I think I will be skipping this book. And I will not be finishing her other series now that Jennifer told me what happened. I just can’t.

    P.S I love the new design. Its looks fantastic!