Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Book Review: Bloodrose

The Ultimate Sacrifice.

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.

I just finished Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer today. I recently read and reviewed Nightshade and Wolfsbane in preparation. I didn't care much for Nightshade, but Wolfsbane was more enjoyable. So I was hoping Bloodrosewould step it up. It turned out to be my least favorite of the series.

Three books in, and I still couldn't get a handle on the characters. Many times there were odd responses. Things that brought me to a pause, and then I had to go back and see who was doing this. At times, I thought some of the characters had temporarily switched bodies. This happened a lot with the searchers. I couldn’t connect with any of them. Another thing that was off-putting was some of the transitions. The characters would be in a dire situation, or crying over the loss of a team member, and the next page everyone is joking and laughing. If you’ve read the first two books, you know what this one’s about: the war of Searchers versus Keepers with Guardians on both sides. They’re in the middle of battle, they get a break, and instead of regrouping and moving on while the people behind them are fighting and dying, they’re standing around laughing and joking. I was put off by this, and it felt very unnatural.

I really like Sabine and Bryn. I wish they had had more time to shine. I loved all the scenes were Calla got to talk to her father. It has been said for all three books that Calla is a strong alpha female but I feel like here is the first time it shows. I liked the last chapter and the epilogue. It ended on a good note for me.

Warning: spoilers ahead (For some reason, I’ve had trouble reviewing these books while keeping them spoiler-free. Sorry.)

The two characters that annoyed me the most were Ren and Shay. Ren has annoyed me from the beginning. He’s womanizing, domineering, and just plain cruel at times. I liked Shay much more in the beginning, but since his transformation and run for alpha male, he’s become more like Ren. Both claim to love Calla, but neither respect her. She says she’ll choose which guy she loves most after the war. They say they respect her opinion, but they’re both constantly fighting with each other and pushing boundaries with her.

I’ve read several ranty reviews on Goodreads, where people are saying “Really, Cremer? You took the easy way out.” To be honest, I agree that the choosing of Shay over Ren was an easy way out. But if Ren hadn’t died, do you think he’d have let Calla choose Shay? No. He’d have kept fighting. And if Calla had chosen Ren, Shay wouldn’t have backed down. I think Calla loved Shay more since she chose him. And I have to admit that I was happy when Ren died. Because, let’s face it, he’d have never let Calla and Shay be happy. In making both guys vie for alpha-hood, they were too similar in their wanting to possess Calla.

This next bit may also sound a bit ranty. These are some of the specific issues that bothered me and brought down the enjoyment level of the book. CPR on a wolf. Really? I'm CPR trained, and have been re-certified every two years for 13 years. The only way CPR will work is if you cover someone's entire mouth with yours, creating a seal. Otherwise, the air won't go in. So, yeah... On more than one occasion, a male character praised a female character for doing something by saying "Good girl." This drove me nuts. This is something you tell a 2-year-old who is doing a good job with the potty training. Not something you tell your alpha because you like her opinion. It's condescending in my book.

There is a line in which the narrator, Calla, says "I barked and wagged my tail." She gets offended by dog jokes, and then makes her own. Also... there must have been at least two dozen mentions of tail wagging. I've never seen this much tail wagging in a werewolf book. "I'm fierce; watch me wag my tail." I don't think so.

I feel really bad giving these books poor reviews. I’ve met Andrea Cremer, and she’s a very lovely individual. I really wanted to like these books, and I’m sad to say I didn’t. She has a prequel series coming out. The short in the end of the book (I’m not sure if it was only in the B&N edition or others) is a really good hook, and it does make me want to try them. I guess we’ll see when it comes out.


Sarah said...

I read Nightshade and was struggling to read Wolfsbane, I had to stop reading because, Shay was annoying the hell outta me. You voiced exactly what I was thinking without knowing why I hated this series. I was gonna try and finish Wolfsbane so I can read this, but thanks to your review, I will not.

Midnyte Reader said...

I'm sorry you didn't enjoy these more. I just read the first, which I really liked and will probably read the next two. I never liked Ren!

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