Thursday, August 9, 2012

Rift by Andrea Cremer

Book:  Rift (Nightshade prequel #1)
Author:  Andrea Cremer
Date:  August 7, 2012
Publisher:  Philomel (an imprint of Penguin)
Source:  Publisher via Edelweiss
My grade:  A+

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.


Initial reaction
Duuuuude!  That book was amazing!

Title and cover
I love the title, especially after reading the book.  The cover....meh.  Not so much.  And this whole series, the prequel and the Nightshade proper series, suffers from a terrible case of cheesy blurbs on the front.  Seriously.  I’m so glad this was an e-book, because I would for real have to take that cover sleeve off the book to read it in public.

Plot, characters, etc.
Ok, I’m going to admit this here.  I read Nightshade and loved it hard.  But I have not read the next 2 books.  Why?  Because I am so, so, so Team Ren and I’m afraid it will break my heart more than the Robsten cheating drama.  So I keep putting them off.

So, when I saw the chance to get a copy of this book, I was at first reluctant, but then I realized that since it was a prequel, there would be no Ren vs. Shay drama!  Hooray!  And I think prequels are cool.  So I thought to myself, “Self, let’s give it a chance.”

Thank goodness I listened to myself that day!  This book was way better than I anticipated!  It was phenomenally good!  I was expecting a werewolf book, but this one didn’t have any werewolves in it.  However, the story was amazing.  And the coolest part is that people who have not read the Nightshade series will still be able to read this book and understand everything that’s going on.

This has everything that I love in a book.  An awesome medieval setting, some great castle and sword fight scenes, some romance, some drama, some mystery and a total kick-ass heroine!  Ember was a wonderful protagonist and I loved reading her voice.  She is like a mythical warrior queen or something.  Here is a girl who wants to do all the things boys want to do and her father is just wanting to marry her off.  But does she stand for it?  No!  But she has an out because she and her mother were saved during her birth by a healer of the Conatus, so her father promised to give her to them to repay the debt.  And that is where the story picks up....on her 16th birthday.

Of course, what was really great is that she’s Scottish with auburn hair, so I kept imagining this:

I loved all the intrigue and mystery built into the story.  It had just enough plot twists and mysteries to keep me turning the pages.  And my kids basically went crazy the last 4 days, so I couldn’t just sit down and read it like I wanted to.  Unless I wanted to duct tape them together and take my chances with Child Protective Services.  So I had to sneak in reading time between all their dramas and that’s exactly what I did.  This story was so compelling that I had my Nook attached to my person at all times so that I could turn it on and read for even just 5 minutes at a time.  I just had to see what Ember was going to experience next.

And no worries, those of you who love swoon-worthy guys.  There’s a whole barrack full of them and also a couple very special ones.  Just keep that picture of Henry Cavill I keep posting in your minds.....

Honestly, this is one of the best books I’ve read this year.  I love Andrea Cremer.  Her story lines just suck you in and make you want to jump into the pages of the book to live out the story with the characters.  This book was just like that.  I can’t believe I have to wait for the next book. I was dying at the end of the book because I want to know NOW what’s going to happen next.  You can bet that if I can get my hands on an ARC of the next book, I will grab it and gloat!!!

This book was so.......Scottish and medieval.  It’s sort of hard to put modern songs to it in my brain.  So who else to choose but the Dropkick Murphys? : )

Cadence to Arms (Scotland the Brave)

Warrior’s Code

And then there’s a traditional song....Irish, not Scottish, but still appropriate.

Night Visiting Song performed by Damien Dempsey and the Dubliners

The final grade
My final grade for this book is A+!  I loved every moment of it.  I loved Ember’s spunk and courage and the story took strands of love, danger, mystery, supernatural, intrigue and history and masterfully weaved them together into a magnificent tapestry of a book.  The only thing she could have added to this book would have been kilts, but I’m not complaining.  I can’t wait to see what happens in the next one.  And I might just be brave enough to finish the Nightshade series now.

Thank you to Philomel and Edelweiss for allowing me to read and review this book.  I received no compensation for my honest review, not even a hot highlander in a kilt.


  1. your review is great, made me want to buy it >,<
    esp. when you say that the character is a Scottish =)
    I love highland characters ^^

  2. I have very high expectations for this book after the Nightshade series, thanks for giving me a good review on it so I know what to be aware of :)

  3. can't wait to read this one, loved nightshade!

  4. I love the nightshade books this sounds awesome i havee to read it now ty for the review!