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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer (Nightshade series #2) (Review)

Genre:Young Adult, Paranormal Romance
Publication.Date  July 26th 2011
Published By:  Philomel (Penguin)
WebsiteAndrea 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.

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. 

What's next?

Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer (Book #3 in Nightshade series)
Expected publication: February 21st 2012 by Philomel

Is true love worth the ultimate sacrifice?


Book Passion for Life said...

Awesome post Evie. We pretty much agreed on everything the same, the book was awesome and even though there wasn't enough Ren, I can't wait for the next one. :) Donna

Bonnie said...

What an endorsement! I haven't started this series yet but it is so high up on my TBR list that it is killing me to not read it!

After reading this review I am even more excited to get started on Nightshade and Wolfsbane! I mean really, an author who writes well, creates a suspensful story, hits you on an emotional level and characters that you fall in love with.. yes PLEASE!!!

Awesome review Evie!!!
Bonnie @ HandsAndHome

Tynga said...

Glad you loved it as much as I did =)
I'm a new follower BTW! Yay for fellow Canadians <3

Kathy said...

WOW. I haven't started this series yet, and this review has made me want to RUN to pick up the first one. It sounds amazing. Your post highlights exactly what made you love this series, and that has made me so excited to read it.

Sounds like some the guys in the novel are pretty sexy too, which is always a bonus.

I have to admit I love authors that are willing to kill off characters and are able to make us feel. It shows how invested we are, and I love the emotional aspect of reading.

Awesome review!

P.E. said...

I'm glad Wolfsbane is just as good as Nightshade! But I'll be missing Ren a lot... I don't care much for Shay. Great review!

Bumps In The Road said...

Great review! I'm thinking that I need to order this book right away when I get paid tomorrow. :)

Bloodrose releases on my birthday! Happy birthday me! :)

landofbooks said...

I can not wait to read this! :D

aurora M. said...

I want to read this so bad but I haven't even read the first one's on the TBR pile...I can't believe I haven't ate this one up yet. Thanks for the review.

Krystal said...

I just picked this up, so I'm glad you liked it! I want more Ren too :(

Rachel Bohlin said...

I love this series but I haven't been able to get my hands on Wolfsbane yet!! I cant choose between Ren or Shay!! D:

Andie said...

I wasn't into the Nightshade, it was Ok for me, some parts i really enjoyed, but with that cliffhanger i can't stop bring myself to read wolfsbane too. But i'm afraid of the signs of Ren withdrawal xD

GFC ~ Andreana

therainhouse said...

I agree with you entirely about Ren..

There was too little of him in Wolfsbane.

I thought Andrea wanted to create a real love triangle, one where the reader wouldn't know who Calla's going to choose. But now it's super obvious that Calla's going to end up with Shay. Sigh.

I like Shay but that doesn't mean I don't want Ren to end up with Calla. Maybe she can have both.

You're right.. The Searchers are so awesome. I thought the Keepers were weird in the first book and maybe really bad at the end, but the Searchers really revealed all the lies the Keepers told. Whoa.

Thanks for the review Evie!

Jeanne said...

Thank for this review! I can´t wait to read this book I love Calla and Ren so I´m really excited about this xD

IdentitySeeker said...

I haven't read this series yet, but I've only heard good things about it so far. I love the original cover for the book and I hope to read it once I get a copy with that cover. Your review served to cement my determination to get this book in hand and start the series. I love that, as you mentioned, this series has more substance than most YA novels because may things are explained and connections are made. That sounds like a good enough reason to pick up the book.


Jennifer said...

I read this last week and really missed Ren too. OMG, did you read the Bloodrose first chapter?!?!?

Love it.

Arianne Cruz said...

this is a very informative review! thank you! I have been wanting to get this series and with this review, definitely making it more of a possibility :)

Sky said...

Awesome review,Evie! I completely agree with you

Yvonne said...

Loved the first book! Can't wait to read this one

Kaylene said...

Oh I'm soooo excited to read this. I bought it but haven't had time to read it. :(

melissa said...

i havent read any of these books and i really want to they look so good and ive heard only positive things about them

Tiffany Mahaffy said...

I LOVED the first book and am excited to (hopefully) get this book and find out where it goes. I am super glad to hear how much you enjoyed it. Would have been such a let down if it turned out horrible/.

annejude said...

Many questions, no answers...definitely yes! After reading Nightshade I am so curious about the sequel.
I'm little bit afraid cause there won't be enough Ren. Can't help myself, but in the first book I just couldn't stand Shay.
But thanks to your review and high rating I am looking forward to reading Wolsbane even more!:)

FairyWhispers said...

yum, heard so much about this series

Jessica Louise Livermore Wright said...

This was just even better than wolfsbane!! I cannot wait for Bloorose!!!
**This is a must have book!!!

etteleadragons said...

I want read this! But some people sa it not as good as Nightshade, but your review is great, I think, it's very good book!

Brandileigh2003 (Blkosiner's Book Blog) said...

I really enjoyed it too. It was fun learning more about the world, and watching the chemistry.

infernal_wings said...

OMGods! I honestly can't pick between Shay or Ren~ They are both cool in their own ways!! Eeek!!

Munnaza said...

Ahh, I didn't realize Nightshade had a sequel! I'm glad this book lives up to its predecessor! The world building and characters sound fantastic, and I love that the author isn't afraid to kill a character (as long as it's not an unnecessary death) too. Thanks for this review! I really need to pick up this series fast!

Fara said...

Awesome post! I like this book. It's one of my favorite's and is definitely on my re-read list.

Christina said...

I do like Calla, but I'm so sick of the love triangle. I kind of wish some other guy would come in and just sweep her off her feet. Ren and Shay are both so jealous and over protective that they drive me crazy!

Karina A. said...

I haven't started the series yet but this sounds really good!

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