Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance Publication.Date July 26th 2011 Pages: 400 Published By: Philomel (Penguin) Website Andrea Cremer | Nightshade series Nightshade - Goodreads My review copy: ARC received from the publisher Where to get: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | Book Depository
This thrilling sequel to the much-talked-about Nightshade begins just where it ended-Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemy, and she's certain her days are numbered. But then the Searchers make her an offer-one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save the pack-and the man-she left behind. Is Ren worth the price of her freedom? And will Shay stand by her side no matter what? Now in control of her own destiny, Calla must decide which battles are worth fighting and how many trials true love can endure and still survive.(goodreads.com)
What if I could choose my own fate?
I’d risked everything to save Shay. And I’d do it again in a heartbeat if it meant I could get back to my packmates. If I could save them.
“You don’t want to do that,” he said, stepping into my line of sight.
I answered with a growl.
And you don’t want to find out what I’m capable of when I’m cornered.
"Are you sure she's an alpha?" Connor asked, tucking me against his chest when I stirred. "She doesn't look that tough"
(about Shay)"Oh, horrors, I've angered The Great One", Connor said. "Will I ever gain his forgiveness?"
Wolfsbane is the highly anticipated second installment of the Nightshade series by Andrea Cremer. It picks up exactly where the first novel left off. Those of you who have read Nightshade surely remember the heart stopping cliffhanger ending. Well, I don’t know about you, but for me it was almost as nerve-wrecking as the ending of Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2). Talk about frustration! Ever since I read Nightshade, I have been dying to find out what happens next! What will happen to Calla and Shay? What about Ren? Who will Calla choose? So many questions and practically no answers!
Oh, how I’ve missed the world of Nightshade! I was very excited to get an ARC of Wolfsbane and just couldn’t wait to dive into it. You know how you sometimes read a book and you love everything about it? How sometimes the story, the setting, all the characters and the amazing chemistry between them is so irresistible that you can’t put the book down? And then you get so engrossed in the world created by the author, you get attached to the characters and you want more, more and more of it, and you end up being a total book-junkie, with blood-shot eyes, reading to the late night hours? And even taking a five minute break to fix yourself a meal or comb your messy hair, or pick up the phone that’s been ringing for the past 3 hours just seems like a total waste of time? Well, Wolfsbane is THAT kind of book. Just like me, you’ll be turned into a couch-zombie, frantically turning the pages to find out what happens next.
Was it as good as Nightshade? Yes, definitely. In many ways it was even better! Because it’s the second book in the series, reading it felt like meeting a good old friend you haven’t seen in a long time. For me, it was a very sweet reunion. Calla is a great character. Actually, she’s one of my top favorite female lead characters ever. She’s strong, brave, beautiful, charismatic and sexy. She’s not afraid to follow her heart and fight for what she believes to be right. Yes, her indecisiveness sometimes annoys me, but I can’t really blame her for not being able to choose between gorgeous Ren and intriguing Shay – it’s not an easy decision! She’s tough yet very compassionate and full of passion, and this complexity of her character makes me like her even more. The same goes for all the other characters, and if you enjoyed the rich kaleidoscope of protagonists in Nightshade, you’re going to love Wolfsbane! If the first book was focused mainly on the Guardians’ world, and we got to know many Nightshades and Banes, the second book is all about introducing us to Searchers. And you know what?! They’re freakin’ awesome! Each one of them is essential to the story. Moreover, they’re unique and likeable and it’s all too easy to get emotionally attached to them.
Andrea Cremer knows exactly which strings to pull to elicit a strong emotional response from the reader. Wolfsbane is a perfectly balanced read. I’ve heard people complaining that Wolfsbane is slow-moving and yes, it’s not exactly what you’d call an action-packed read but, in my opinion, that’s a good thing. Andrea chose quality over quantity, serving us some well-thought-out and totally unpredictable twists and absolutely gut-wrenching actions. The story flows effortlessly from page one to the end. What I loved the most is that, unlike many YA novels out there, Wolfsbane actually makes sense. As we go deeper into the story, we learn more about the Guardians and their history, we discover the origins of the conflict between Searchers and Keepers, and we begin to connect all the dots. I don’t care much for writers who don’t bother explaining anything. Sure, I like action and unexpected turns, but I want it to be based on a solid plot. That’s exactly what we get here. Nightshade left us with a jaw-dropping cliffhanger and a bunch of loose ends, and I’m really glad that, instead of adding even more questions, Andrea provided us with some answers.
Another thing I really appreciate in YA books, is when the author is not afraid to kill some of his/her characters. No, I am not telling you who died, you’re going to have to read it and find out! Like I said, Cremer knows exactly which strings to pull to play on reader’s emotions!
My only complaint about Wolfsbane would be: not enough of Ren! He’s mentioned here and there, mostly as Calla’s mental chastity belt, but physically he appears only once and that’s definitely not enough for me. I hope to see plenty more of him in Bloodrose!
Overall, I really loved reading Wolfsbane. It was an engrossing, sexy read and I can’t wait to find out how this story will end. I was blown away by both Andrea Cremer’s writing style and her ability to make me care for her characters and feel what they’re feeling. This book moved me in a way that few novels have. I’m hopelessly in love with Nightshade world.
Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer (Book #3 in Nightshade series)
Expected publication: February 21st 2012 by PhilomelIs true love worth the ultimate sacrifice?