Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Review: Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer

Wednesday, August 17, 2011 with No comments
Wolfsbane (Nightshade #2)Title:  Wolfsbane
Author:  Andrea Cremer
Series:  Nightshade
Publisher:  Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication Date:  July 26, 2011
Links:  Amazon | Goodreads
Rating:  Photobucket

From Goodreads:

When Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemies, 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.

I know I’m in the minority with this sentiment, but I wasn’t as enthralled with this novel as I was with the first installment in the series. Rather than feeling like a supplement to the first book, this addition to the series almost felt like starting over. A slew of new characters, a completely different setting, and a tedious account of Searcher history all made the first half of this novel very lackluster for me, which I found very frustrating considering how much I was anticipating this book.

I really liked the strength of Calla’s character in Nightshade, but I felt like she lost some of herself in Wolfsbane. Maybe that’s just because Shay was more assertive, though, growing into his inner wolf, if you will. I liked his character less in this novel, too. He seemed possessive of Calla, controlling even, especially whenever mention of Ren was made. That said, I didn’t really feel the connection between Calla and Shay as much, especially with Calla so conflicted over Ren. The love scenes between Shay and Calla felt kind of forced and awkward. I was completely Team Shay at the end of Nightshade, but now I’m on the fence and leaning closer to Team Ren after Wolfsbane. Probably doesn’t hurt Ren’s case that he’s so tortured when we finally get to see him again. I do so love the tortured bad boy.

The second half of the book, though, made up for the flat first half. Plenty of fight scenes, secrets, making out…all the stuff that made the first novel so much fun. I understand the history lesson was necessary to get us to the startling revelations at the end of the novel, but sometimes less is more. I delight in finding hidden clues and putting things together myself, but because of the long-winded chronicling of Searcher history that was provided, I discovered the shocking secret very early on in the book.

Still, I may not have loved it as much as Nightshade, but the events of Wolfsbane are critical for the big finish I know Andrea Cremer has in store for us with Bloodrose. Just a little friendly advice, though: if it’s been awhile since you read Nightshade, I recommend you pick it up again for a re-read before starting Wolfsbane. I only read Nightshade earlier this year, but I was still fuzzy on some of the details from that cliff-hanger of an ending.


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