Rift by Andrea Cremer
Digital Audiobook narrated by Sile Birmingham
Published by Philomel on August 7, 2012
Series: Nightshade #0.5
Genres: Fantasy, Magic, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Length: 430 pages or 12 hours, 10 minutes
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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.
In Rift, there lies another world of shadows just below our knowing. The Conatus is sworn to protect the innocent against the monsters. But, what if there was another way? What if they could go right to the source and end the suffering of innocents once and for all? Rift tells a tale of good vs. evil in the faces of Ira and Ember. Ira is a seasoned member of Conatus, a proven guard and member of the leading circle. Ember is a rookie recruit, just discovering the world of darkness.
For most of this book, I couldn’t decide if I liked it or not. Then, I found myself sitting at work, and I couldn’t stop thinking about Ira. I found her storyline far more interesting than Ember’s (love… triangle… make it stop), but it’s the way that Andrea Cremer writes that kept the story in my mind. There are times I’d find myself thinking about the words she chose. This book wasn’t lyrical in the way that Tahereh Mafi is, but the writing was very deliberate. Her verb choices were subtly incredible.
And the relationship between the warriors and the horses? I actually paused it and googled to see if the author was a rider, because the way she wrote about the horses felt intimate to her as a person. It’s a really well written companionship, something I think a lot of people have really close relationships with their animal friends, and that doesn’t often come across in novels. On Andrea Cremer’s bio, the first thing was about a horse, so her writing made perfect sense. This author is a early modern historian as well as a writer and everything about her world building and her story spoke to me as a reader. This is the kind of story I love, the kind of story I write, and the kind of story that captures my imagination. Others won’t feel the same.
As I listened, I forced myself to edit out the love story. I know that’s a little harsh, but I hated it. There was a scene where a character I really liked died and then in the grief of the aftermath, two characters hooked up after chapters of sexual tension and I was just mad because they should be crying not making out. Just bothered me.
I really liked it, overall. I will be reading the rest of the duology, and unless something insufferable happens, I’ll read the other books as well.