Let me say that this book is not one that everyone will agree about. Just look at the reviews. That being said, let me dive into my own list of pros and cons.
Some SPOILERS ahead. You have been warned.
Enshadowed is just as well written as Nevermore. Descriptions are detailed, elegant and brief. Unlike most books I've read in the YA/Teen genre, word usage isn't dumbed down and it's written in third person while maintaining a clear narrative from Isobel's POV. One of the things I dislike most about this genre is the dominance of first person narrative, so I can't tell you how much I enjoy Creagh's style.
Moving on to plot - and yes, plot DOES happen in this book. Let's make one thing clear; this is in no way a book that can stand by itself. It's also not one that you should read if the first isn't pretty fresh in your mind, because chances are you will miss connections. And I feel this trilogy will dig deep throughout with branching hints and clues that will come together in the third book and may be easily missed by anyone who skims pages or lets their mind wander during the less exciting parts. We learn a lot about the dreamworld and various side characters in this one, particularly about Varen's past, though many holes remain to presumably be filled in the third book.
We get insight into character relationships with the now-missing Varen, and his absence in the book is a key to the overall feeling. While I wanted to see more of him (as everyone does with favored characters) the whole point of book two is that Varen is gone from the waking world, and that only glimpses maintain our connection with him. If she had more dream interactions with him, I think we would have seen Varen being caught in inner turmoil and unable to do anything. It wouldn't have furthered the story, since there seems to be nothing Varen can do. Better to leave his condition and feelings a mystery until the end of the book. As it is, you miss him just as Isobel does, and alongside her you begin putting together the bigger picture of his inner self.
BIGGER SPOILERS BELOW.
One thing I think some may miss is that Varen does have a very strong, very compelling presence in the book. It's just not as the goth we think we know and love. Pinfeathers, as I suspected and was thrilled to find, is not merely a creation of Varen's darker imagination, but a part of Varen himself. This Noc, unlike the others we saw in Nevermore, is made entirely of the dark inclinations Varen has kept locked inside himself. Pinfeathers truly hooked me as a character, and my most frustrated moments with Isobel were her not picking up on who/what he was sooner. The last few chapters broke my heart, because we find that Pinfeathers - as flawed as he seemed - was the part of Varen that refused to give up on Isobel, the part that saw through Lilith's lies and was torn between hoping Isobel would come and scaring her away. In spite of his own nature, he remained loyal to her, even knowing that he was not what she wanted.
Other characters really grew on me as well, and I'm looking forward to the third book.
That said, it's time for the not so good:
The length. I have to say, when I read a series I like for all the books to be a similar length. Enshadowed is much shorter than Nevermore, and while I understand how this could come to be from a writer and publisher's perspective, it was one of my disappointments. I would have liked to see more of the dreamworld and perhaps a stronger vision of Varen's direct influence over it (rather than the implication that it kind of just revolved around him) explored in a few more pages. Once Isobel entered the dreamworld, things kind of flew by.
Another thing I didn't care for was Isobel's inability to pick up on certain clues, even those glaring at her. Granted, she wasn't in a good frame of mind, but some of these clues might have sped up the pace a little. I do worry over what state of mind she may be in by the third book, but that is part of the cliffhanger.
Lastly, there were moments when it's clear that Isobel is losing herself, and while that's clearly part of her development, it can get tiresome to the point where you really want Gwen to hit her. It's likely to get much worse before it gets better in the next book, but I do look forward to that with ideas and thoughts on how things might possibly resolve from such a heart-wrenching climax.
Isobel seemingly did not make a lot of progress in this book - but that kind of futility may be the entire point. With so much hopelessness going into the final installment, we're likely in for one hell of a pay-off, for good or ill. Definitely read this book (don't skim!) and try to do it while the first is fresh. But, if you're like me and hate waiting after a cliffhanger, you may want to wait until we are close to the release of the final book so you can see what happens without such a wait.