Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Review: Wolfsbane

Author: Andrea Cremer
Release Date: Already out!
Publisher: ATOM Australia
Add it: Goodreads
You're an alpha, a leader. That's what we need. It's what we've always needed. When Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemies, she's certain her days are numbered. Then the Searchers make her an offer, one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save her pack - and the boy - she left behind.Is Ren worth the price of her freedom? Will Shay stand by her side no matter what?Now in control of her destiny, Calla must decide which battles are worth fighting and how many trials love can endure.
Wolfsbane picks up straight after Nightshade. Barely any time has passed and we begin the story just as Calla becomes more aware of her surroundings after she and Shay were taken in by the Searchers.

The first half of the book was more of a history lesson, but a far more interesting lesson than I ever had to endure during school. Evidence of that: I was not passing notes to the person sitting next to me while I was meant to be paying attention. Rather, I was telling everyone else to, "Shut up! I'm trying to read!". Fiction makes history fun! The emphasis is on introducing the Searcher's and learning more about the 'true' history between them, the Keepers and Guardians. Because it's clear that the Keepers have kept a lot of information from the Guardians or else just twisted the facts to suit their own agendas, forcing Calla to acknowledge that much of her life has been a lie. It's more than just the Searchers relaying these facts to Calla though, she also witnesses the surprising dynamic between them all. The fun, easy, playful banter and way in which they cope with being on the constant brink of war. It makes them more relatable and trustworthy, now that she's seeing for herself they're far more than the vicious killers she was led to believe.

The second half of the book is where more of the action begins and things start heating up. Both the reader and Calla are now armed with knowledge and a growing affinity with these new characters, so it seems only fitting to throw them all into mortal peril and ramp up the action and bloodlust. What's a book full of sexy, snarly wolves, twisted magic-users and a bunch of badass humans fighting against them without some gritty, I'll-rip-out-your-heart-with-my-deadly-incissors fun?

While I did miss much of the old gang from Nightshade, I loved meeting all the Searchers. I really enjoyed exploring their relationships, guessing at the hidden pasts that lurk beneath subtle gestures and how Calla, alpha wolf, would fit into their alliance. Andrea has added a great new cast of characters to accompany the old, but with so many souls lurking within the pages of these books, my heart grows weary. Because there's that much more potential for untimely deaths and betrayals. Both of which we see in the sequel.

I thought I was more Team Shay in Nightshade, so I was surprised to find myself missing Ren's alpha-sexiness in Wolfsbane! Which begs me to question where my true loyalties lie. I wanted to see more of that intensity between he and Calla. The glimpses we did catch were satisfying, but left me wanting more. At the same time, things were beginning to develop further between Calla and Shay, yet all the while Ren is intruding in her mind. Warring with her heart. He's infectious, that man. But Shay is coming into his own, growing more into his position as Scion and potential counterpart for Calla. Which is really not doing any favours for the difficult love triangle she's found herself in.

I guessed a particular secret revelation pretty early on, so that didn't really come as a surprise to me when we finally found out, but it was still a juicy bit of information that did help set up for a delightful cliffhanger (because authors just love tormenting their fans). Wolfsbane is a fantastic addition to the dark, sexy world of wolves and magic that readers have already grown to love. Secrets, love, betrayal and war. Sides are chosen, alliances form, friendships blossom and wilt. Andrea leaves fans howling to get their hands on Bloodrose, the final installment in this compelling trilogy, but war means casualties and sacrifice. Making me both nervous and excited to see how it will all end!

4/5 Golden Apples. Nom Nom!

3 comments:

  1. Awesome review! I loved this book! But Ren . . . wanted more Rennnnnnnnnnnnnn!

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  2. Ahh haven't read Nightshade yet, no idea what's wrong with me! The series looks so good as well! Plus, don't you love our cover for Wolfsbane (the UK/AU cover is the same)? I like it a lot better than the US one. Glad you enjoyed it - I seriously have to buy the first book at some point :P.

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  3. So glad that you liked it! I've been hearing REALLY mixed opinions on this book (although lately I've been seeing more positive) and I'm kind of nervous to read it.

    Oh, and I was completely Team Ren in Book 1 so it'll be interesting for myself to see how I'm feeling after reading so much more of Shay. Maybe the opposite will happen for me than what happened to you :P

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