Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Nightshade Trilogy #3: Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer

Quick summary of the series: Calla Nightshade is an alpha wolf, created by people call the Keepers to keep the peace. She is destined to be wed to another alpha wolf – Ren – uniting their two packs. She is questioning this destiny when a new student – Shay – enrolls in her school and he intrigues her. Through interesting events, Calla and Shay fall for each other, but she is still meant to wed Ren, who isn’t too happy about this new student and how close he has become to her. Eventually, she chooses Shay over Ren and runs from her destiny. While on the run, the Searchers capture Shay and Calla and they reveal that everything Calla thought to be true, isn’t.

Being completely honest here, there were a lot of time lapses between when I read Nightshade – the first book in the series – Wolfsbane – the second book in the series – and the final book Bloodrose. Between Nightshade and Wolfsbane it was nine months and between Wolfsbane and Bloodrose it was four months. So my memories of the plot line and characters are a little hazy, hence why the summary of the first two books is quite vague.

Anyway, Bloodrose takes place right where Wolfsbane left off with Calla going after Ren. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but as much as I love writing love triangles and reading about love triangles – the drama, the angst, the heartbreak – ever since reading Clockwork Princess I can’t reading about them anymore. Mostly because of how the love triangle was handled in that book, no other can compare. But, I have to admit this love triangle is intriguing. I’ll admit that during Nightshade, I couldn’t stand Ren; I was rooting for Shay for the previous novels. But, in the opening scenes of Bloodrose, I sort of changed my mind.

Ren, even though he has his faults, was actually the better fit for Calla, and as the events in Bloodrose continued, I couldn’t help but strengthen my belief. Shay being this mystical Scion has to find the other three pieces of the Elemental Cross, a weapon that will be able to defeat the Keepers and his uncle – the mystical Harbinger. While collecting these pieces, Calla starts to realize that the Cross might be changing Shay and that because of his duties as the Scion he might not belong in her world.

Reading this realization and her inner turmoil about it, I was thinking that maybe Cremer was going to give me what I wanted. Maybe Calla was going to end up with Ren, but as quickly as the doubt is placed, it’s taken away and she declares – right before the final battle – that she is going to choose Shay. Grumble, grumble. If it wasn’t for the fact that I was already so emotionally involved with these characters I would have stopped reading, but damn it I wanted to know what happened!

And near the end, I really wished I had stopped reading.

Love triangles are supposed to be about the girl – or guy, I guess – choosing between her two suitors, not having to default to one because the other person died. I was so, so annoyed with Cremer for killing off Ren that I barely took in anything from the final battle. When the anger haze finally started to dissipate, I got pissed off again.

For the battle to finally end, Shay had to lock the Rift, which would reverse all the magic that the Keepers did. Meaning that Calla and her other wolf pals would revert to just wolves. Wait, wait, wait, are you telling me that after killing off the competition for Shay, Calla loses her happy ending with him anyway because she will only be a wolf? What kind of…

So, okay, there was an epilogue where you get to see that Shay and Calla do get their happy ending, but as wolves, but I don’t know. The ending was sorely lacking.

Final rating: 3 out of 5 stars. Other than the horrible ending, and the bad outcome of the love triangle, Andrea Cremer’s writing is amazing.

Bookshelf worthy? Definitely. After reading so many vampire books, it’s great to read a good werewolf series.

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