Thursday, July 3, 2014

Book Review: Neverwas by Kelly Moore, Larkin Reed, and Tucker Reed

Neverwas (The Amber House Trilogy #2)
Authors:  Kelly Moore, Larkin Reed, and Tucker Reed
Publisher:  Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, 320 pages
Publication Date:  January 7, 2014

From Goodreads:
At the end of AMBER HOUSE, Sarah made a choice that transformed everything--and now she must choose it all again.

Things are very different--better--for Sarah and her family: her Aunt Maggie grew up; her parents are happily married; her grandmother died after a long, productive and respected life. But other things are different too, and not for the better.

After growing up in the free country of the Pacific Northwest, Sarah Parsons has settled in at Amber House, the stately Maryland home that's been in her family for generations. But the world surrounding the House feels deeply wrong to Sarah. It's a place where the colonists lost the 1776 Insurrection, where the American Confederation of States still struggles with segregation, and where Sarah is haunted by echoes of a better world that she knows never existed.

Her friend Jackson shares these visions of a different world--and together, they manage both to remember the way things ought to be, and to plan a daring mission that will reset the universe once again. Sarah must figure out what has changed, and why, and how she can fix it--how she can find her way to another otherwhen.

Review (Spoilers for Amber House):
This was an amazing sequel to Amber House.  It picks up right where Amber House left off, with Sarah having changed the past by saving Sammy and Maggie.  It starts with her grandmother's funeral, again (remember the first line of Amber House:  "I was almost sixteen the first time my grandmother died").  Everything is different and I mean everything.  Not only with Sarah's family but with the world.  The United States is split into two countries, with Sarah growing up in Astoria, where it's similar to now, except for technology is woefully behind.  She moves to Amber House, which is in a different country, the American Confederation of States.  Slavery has only been over for 30 years and segregation still exists.  The colonists lost the 1776 Insurrection, and the Nazis have basically taken over the world.  So yeah, different. And Sarah doesn't remember the old world although she feels like things aren't right.  The whole time I was reading the book, I had the same question that Sarah had:  how could this one change have changed the entire world?  We're given an answer, but I'm not completely satisfied with it.  The authors, in the acknowledgments, mention that their website will explain this alternate history, but when I checked it wasn't there.  Hopefully it will be added soon, because it made me very curious.

In a way, this is such a different book from Amber House, and it even has a completely different feel to it.  It's basically a dystopian with paranormal aspects to it.  I absolutely loved it, but I was a bit impatient for Sarah to figure things out and start working to fix it.  A lot of the first part of the book is Sarah feeling deja vu, seeing echoes and not knowing what they are, etc.  Her relationship with Sammy is different too.  They're close, but he hangs out with Maggie all of the time, and I missed seeing more of them together.  

Jackson…oh, how I loved Jackson (by the way, I couldn't stop picturing him as a younger Jackson from Gray's Anatomy).  *swoon*  It becomes clear that Sarah is different in this world, happier with her personal life, but not as strong as Sarah One and I appreciated the differences between Sarah One and Sarah Two and also that she becomes aware of those differences and struggles with being strong enough to handle what she has to do.  In this world, she visited Amber House a lot, and grew up being great friends with Jackson.  But ever since the funeral, she feels a distance between her and Jackson and she feels like Jackson is disappointed in her.  As she starts to remember the other past, she realizes that although she's different, Jackson's the same. 

Once Sarah and Jackson start working together to fix things, I couldn't put this book down. Engrossing, compelling, riveting…it's action packed and filled with tension.  Once again, the ending just about killed me.  I highly recommend this series and I can't wait to read the next one!

Posted by:  Pam


  1. I'm so glad you loved this one! If I had to pick ONE underrated series that is simply amazing it would be this one. It doesn't get enough attention. I agree that for the beginning of the book I was a little impatient and a little baffled by all of the changes but I still loved the story. I am just completely mesmerized by this house!! I love it!!

  2. The fact that the ending absolutely killed you makes me nervous! I feel like I can't start this until the series is all out, I am not a patient person and the waiting would probably kill me. I am glad the sequel wasn't disappointing, sometimes the sequel to a book you love can end up disappointing you. I'd very curious to see how one small changed ended up changing the whole world.

  3. I have the ARC for this. I grabbed it for the cover alone, which I absolutely love! I need to read both of these and then be ready for the third book. I'm glad you're enjoying this series!

  4. Obviously I need to read this series! I just skimmed your review but I see high praise - and no love triangle, correct? Glad the sequel met your expectations!