Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bloodrose, by Andrea Cremer

Release date: January 3rd 2011
Published by: Philomel
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 4/5 stars

This review will have spoilers of Nightshade and Wolfsbane. If you haven't read these yet, then I suggest you don't keep reading this.

Calla has always welcomed war. But now that the final battle is upon her, there’s more at stake than fighting. There’s saving Ren, even if it incurs Shay’s wrath. There’s keeping Ansel safe, even if he’s been branded a traitor. There’s proving herself as the pack’s alpha, facing unnamable horrors, and ridding the world of the Keepers’ magic once and for all. And then there’s deciding what to do when the war ends. If Calla makes it out alive, that is.

In the final installment of the Nightshade trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Andrea Cremer creates a novel with twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat until its final pages. A dynamic end to this breathtaking trilogy.

My thoughts:

Nightshade and Wolfsbane, the previous books in the series, were action-packed and set in an interesting world, but to be quite honest, I didn’t care whether the main character, Calla, ended up with Shay or Ren. I, however, didn’t like Ren, so I was always “Team Shay”. This indifference continued with me as I was reading Bloodrose, but I was still able to enjoy Calla’s final adventure.

The Searchers’ only hope is for Shay to dive into his role as a Scion, and finally, release all the Guardians from the life-long bond that have always kept them by the Keepers’ side. The mythology introduced especially in this final installment was really great and kept me hooked, but Andrea Cremer could’ve explored each mission to retrieve a piece of the sword a little more deeply. I couldn’t feel the tension that always seemed to be on Calla’s shoulders, because the characters themselves sometimes acted like they weren’t at war at all. That kind of bothered me. I wasn’t looking for a dark book in which war is dutifully described – like Mockingjay or Harry Potter 7 – but some jokes just didn’t fit with the situation, making the scene fake.

Calla’s mood, while fierce in a way that made me proud of her sometimes, was forced at some points, and her angry reactions didn’t make sense most of the time. I often found myself thinking “Something is wrong with this girl”, because I just couldn’t get her.

The romance, however, was decent. The love triangle wasn’t that obvious, and Andrea Cremer managed to make Calla seem confused and torn between two guys, without being slutty. The ending, I admit, brought tears to my eyes. Andrea Cremer is not afraid to hurt, break, or kill her characters, and this is one of the reasons I liked Bloodrose. What happened in the end was acceptable both for the love triangle and for the characters as well. It was realistic without being cruel. Just something that could happen, and in the end… it did.

Nightshade – although not one of my favorite series – was a great trilogy. I can say that Andrea Cremer did an excellent work. Her series has everything to attract readers as well as fans: A good main character, decent love triangle, well built mythology and creatures, and most important, an ending that’s not disappointing. Thumbs up!

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