Neverwas Review

Neverwas ReviewNeverwas by Kelly Moore, Larkin Reed, Tucker Reed
Series: Amber House #2
Published by Arthur A. Levine Books, Scholastic Press on January 7, 2014
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, YA
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: ARC from author

"I was sixteen the second time I had my first kiss...."

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.

Midnight Thoughts:

 ~ I loved Amber House, so I was thrilled beyond belief when Tucker Reed emailed me and asked if I wanted to read the sequel.  Tucker narrated the first book, and did a fantastic job, and I plan on purchasing the audio (probably once I finish writing this review since I have some audible credits burning a whole in my computer).

~ If I learned nothing from The Butterfly Effect or from Stephen King’s 11/22/63 it’s this: Time travel can screw the entire world up.  You mess up one little event and maybe your ancestor causes some holy havoc on your future.

~ Sarah fixed some major problems in the last novel, I don’t want to be all spoilerish, but it’s in the summary anyway so… Aunt Maggie is alive, her parents are happy, and the family is moving into Amber House.

~ Only a few minor things are wrong.  Like that fact that Sarah and her family, and Amber House itself, is now located in The American Confederation of States.  The USA never became united, and Jackson is living in a very segregated society.  Plus, because America isn’t the super power it was during WW1 and WW2, there are NAZIS!

~ In the first book I loved the gothic mystery of the story, but book two ramps it up.  It’s still got a gothic mystery vibe, but now it’s also a mash-up of dystopian, alternate history and gothic mystery.  I love it, mostly because the authors make it work.

~ While there is romance, this series is about the women of Amber House.  I love the flashbacks and echoes of those who came before Sarah, especially Diedre and Fiona.  I really loved Anne Rice’s The Witching Hour for similar reasons- she gave a very in depth history of all the the Mayfair witches, but the rest of the series went all off kilter.  Neverwas is very much on kilter.  😉

~ Sarah in Neverwas has no memory of the time/reality she lived through in book one, but she is haunted by scraps of paper, found here and there throughout Amber House, directing her actions.  It was lovely magical realism, how the poetry came to her, and it made me love Amber House even more.

~ Okay, midnighters, there is no better way to completely spoil a Christmas party, or really any party, than by bringing a Nazi as your plus one.  I think Dear Abby would agree that it is terrible party etiquette.

~ Hitler and his little sycophants had a real interest in the occult, so of course Christmas Party Crasher Nazi is very curious in Amber House and it’s haunted history.  Ruh-row, Scooby!

~ I am in awe of how the authors pulled this book off! The different time lines, the mystery, the world building!  It’s seriously impressive, because even though I’m positive it must have been hard work, it’s like watching a high wire act.  They make it look so easy you don’t see all the work that went into it, instead you get to enjoy the beauty of the performance.

~ All of my favorite characters were back, and even though the setting was dystopian, the characters were almost all better versions of themselves (Richard in particular).

~ The ending is so tense, and even though I know that there’s another book coming, it was hard not to get swept up in the fear and heartbreak.

Timeless Characters:

 Sarah- our heroine, who once again must listen to Amber House and it’s insistence that time is out of whack.

Jackson- Sarah’s best friend and true love, he’s in the middle of his own struggle for freedom but he’s always there to help Sarah realize the potential of the right and perfect future.

Sammy- Sarah’s totally adorable little brother.  I swear that kid just gets cuter and cuter.  I expect him to morph into a kitten in the next book. 😉

Richard- still a Senator’s son, still a romantic interest.

Rose- Jackson’s grandmother- her role in this book is small, but I can’t not mention her!

Maggie- Sammy and Sarah’s aunt, all grown up and pretty amazing. Her close bond with Sammy does tend to make Sarah a little jealous at times.

Midnight Moment:

 Jackson’s Christmas present to Sarah, his one true treasure, and the story behind the item.  The gesture was so sweet and heart warming that I had to go back and read it twice!

Stop The Clock:

 This is definitely a series that I wish all my friends read!  When I bought the first book on audible, it was simply because I had fallen in love with the gorgeous cover.  I didn’t realize at the time that story contained within would be as lovely as the cover.  Neverwas amps everything up, the stakes are higher, the danger more real, and the consequences are more life threatening than every before.  I cannot wait until the last book!

Kelly Moore, Tucker Reed, Larkin Reed — Website |Amber House Trilogy

Neverwas gets a Midnight Book Rating of:




  1. kai charles (Fiction State of Mind) says

    These sound grest! I’m adding themm to the ever growing wishlist!