Source: Copy provided by publisher for review
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.
Wow! Rift was definitely an exciting read! Well paced, plenty of action, good writing and character development--Rift kept me hooked till the end!
I liked Ember's character; she may wield weapons most of us have never even seen, but she's still a character readers can relate to with her drive and determination. Overall, I thought most of the characters were good. There is quite a wide range of characters among the Guard, which makes them a very dynamic group.
The antagonist has more depth than I would have expected, which was a pleasant surprise! She isn't just your typical evil-and-out-to-accomplish-evil-things from the get-go, but was instead someone who had good intentions and wanted the best for the people she cared about, but ended straying from her goals after being misled and enticed onto a path that isn't entirely savory. It was a nice change from the 2D villains who roam around causing death and destruction and just seem bad from the start so the story can have an antagonist.
For a book that was well-written and had a plot that didn't follow the same loops that most paranormal YA fictions do these days, that tagline on the front cover was quite a let down! "She can battle darkness, but she can't fight love?!" To me, it made gave the impression that the book was much more cliche than it actually was! The book is much better than the tagline, believe me! I also like the cover itself, but it is a bit busy. There seems to be quite a bit of writing; if they were to ditch some of it, or shrink the font size (i.e. of the tagline or the part about it being the prequel to the bestselling Nightshade series), I think the cover would look even better, since the text wouldn't take away from the image (which I am a fan of).
I actually didn't read the Nightshade series by Andrea Cremer before reading Rift. I actually really enjoyed reading Rift and had no trouble understanding everything--I think the Nightshade prequel series will be a stand-alone series, and from what I understand, is set centuries before the events that take place in the Nightshade series. I would recommend Andrea's newest series to her fans and would also recommend Rift to those who haven't read her other works before--I think fans of the paranormal genre will find Andrea's latest offering to be an enjoyable read that sets itself apart from some of the more run-of-the-mill paranormal books in the YA genre lately!
I am eagerly awaiting the next book in this prequel series, Rise, but in the meantime, it looks like I should read Andrea's Nightshade series!
Overall: 4.5 out of 5
Plot: 4.5 stars
Characters: 4.5 stars
Writing: 4.5 stars
Cover: 4.5 stars