Friday, February 17, 2012

Review: Bloodrose

Author: Andrea Cremer
Publisher: Philomel US / Atom AU
Release Date: January 3rd US / February 28h AU
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon / Book Depository
Is true love worth 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.

Bloodrose picks up exactly where Wolfsbane left off and wastes no time in ramping up the danger, the romantic tension and the action-packed adventure our favourite characters must embark on. They have the Scion, but if Shay has any hope of succeeding, then he needs to wield the Elemental Cross. And naturally each part is scattered all across the world, guarded by life-threatening obstacles and Guardians very devoted in their mission to protect it. Andrea continues to deliver in the final installment. Each mission is just as deadly and uncertain as the last. The animosity between Shay and Ren remains ever present, with Calla holding the reigns to both boys hearts. Friendships strengthen and each character has their own sub-plot, whether it's romance, fulfilling their own destiny or else struggling to move on after losing an important part of themselves. I loved the unity between everyone and especially when the pack were in wolf form - their wolfy affection was so cute!

At times Calla frustrated me with how she handled things between the boys. One minute she was in sneaking in Shay's room, the next she was nearly kissing Ren. But given the fact that Ren is an enticing piece of sex on paws who took every opportunity to mark Calla with his, Mmm I'm A Sexy Alpha, Howl For Me scent (I am, Ren, I am!), I can understand her own heart betraying her too often. Andrea does explore Cala's conflicting feelings well. She cares deeply about both boys, perhaps one more stronger than the other, but this is not a decision to be taken lightly. Choosing a pack mate is a forever type of bond. And no matter who she chooses, someone she loves is going to be hurt. I've always liked Shay, but he definitely won me over even more in Bloodrose! And to be honest, while I love Ren, I felt Shay was the better choice for her. But only by a little bit! I could understand her calculated move of not making a decision between them until the war was over, because they really needed both boys working on their side if they had any hope of winning, but I did feel bad for the impact it had on the guys, especially Ren. I guess the phrase, "All is fair in love and war," has never been more fitting.

Romantic uncertainty aside, Calla is an incredibly strong heroine. Naturally she must be, given that she's an Alpha. Her loyalty and dedication to her pack really shine through in Bloodrose. And I like a determined, independent leader in my protagonist. I adore all of the secondary characters. Mason, Neville, Connor and Adne in particular. I loved seeing them all work together, fight beside one another. Guardians and Searchers, a united front. The camaraderie and banter between them all was so much fun to read and it added the perfect balance of lightness to the dark and ominous war they were facing. And to see blossoms of romance grow stronger between many of them was heartwarming to watch!

Unfortunately I stumbled upon a major spoiler months ago, but it still didn't prepare me for actually reading it myself. That moment when my jaw fell slack, eyes grew wide and my brain desperately tried to find a different meaning in the words because this could not be happening! It absolutely broke my heart, but with war comes sacrifice. It's depressing and unfair and you just want to throw the goddamn book across the room, but it's realistic. And I liked the way Andrea handled it. It wasn't melodramatic and drawn out, but fast, shocking and painful.

Action, mystery, romance and heartache, there's never a dull moment. Whether pulse-racing scenes of the sexual kind or heart-pounding danger that keeps you worrying over the fates of your beloved characters. Bloodrose is at thrilling and emotional end to what has been such a captivating series. Get your tissues ready though, because Andrea doesn't conclude her story without first stealing a dozen tears from you! The ending is incredibly bittersweet. I'm happy with it, yet at the same time I felt a deep pang of sadness in my heart. I was sobbing as I closed the final page! It's one that tugs at your heartstrings and is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression on you. If you haven't given this series a try yet - what are you waiting for?!

4.5/5 Golden Apples!

23 comments:

  1. Ah-mazing review Brodie and without spoiling that’s ‘props to you babe!’ Now for me to write a review without doing that and also as good as yours ;) I am now very looking forward to the prequel novel since Andrea Cremer is splendid at what she does.

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    1. Awww thanks Braiden! <3 It was hard not to spoil because I wanted to scream about CERTAIN THINGS, but I tried to be good :) Yes! Super excited to see what she brings with the prequels!

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  2. I CRIED SO HARD when that THING happened! It completely devastated me.

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    1. OMG I KNOW! I... it... and... I kept reading that chapter in the midst of tears, but I had to stop at the end and go back and reread it because I don't think it sunk in properly after the shock *sob*

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  3. Eeee! OK, I ordered the whole series online last night after reading your tweets, and I'm SO. EXCITED. to read it now!

    I'm... err, NOT a fan of love triangles, but I love how you've described the feelings, and how conflicted Calla is with the triangulation and she's not just being capricious or flighty. Aaaah! And I swear I'm in love with both boys already!

    Err... seriosly, how on EARTH have you convinced me to read a series that I KNOW is going to break my heart? *stares* you're totally using mind-brainy-compulsion stuff on me, aren't you! AREN'T YOU! *backs away*

    Also: "Mmm I'm A Sexy Alpha, Howl For Me scent."
    LOL <--- see what I did there? XD
    You have a bottle of the eu deu wolfume on your dresser at home, huh?

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    1. EEEEEEEE! I'm excited and nervous to see if you like it now! I hope so :D

      I'm a fan of love triangles if both boys are compelling and they're written realistically, but annoying love triangles are... well, ANNOYING. *gasp* You think I would use my mad mind-brainy-compulsion stuff on my most loyal sidekick? Why, I'd nev.... yeah, okay, I probably would. BUT I'd only do it in your best interests!

      Erm *shifts uncomfortably* Maybe. Or maybe I have the real thing *wiggles eyebrows* *tries to hide wagging tail poking from under bed*

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    2. Hehe! He's adorable!
      *gives doggy treat*
      Nice doggy... please don't bite me *runs away*

      I'm CONVINCED I'm going to LOVE it... Ugh. Want it NOW. I even tried to get it from the library while I waited for my copy to arrive (sorry, I'm talking Nightshade), but no joy.
      *sigh*
      Back to waiting.

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  4. I was not a big fan of the first book, but I DID love the mythology behind Nightshade. I don't plan on continuing the series because I just don't think it's for me, but I have to admit that I totally cheated and looked up spoilers to see how everything ended. Lol.

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    1. Oh I definitely love the mythology Andrea has crafted! So compelling! Sad this series wasn't for you, but I'm glad you still gave them a go! Hehe naughty spoilerific Natalie! EEEE THE END! :(

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    2. I was sad about the end too, even though I didn't "technically" read it. Don't want to spoil it for anyone, but what happens at the end would have made me sad, because that aspect of the book, along with the mythology, was one of the things I did enjoy about the book. Sorry for the cryptic language, but I think you'll get what I mean! Lol.

      Despite my kind of ambivalent feelings towards the series, I think Cremer has a lot of talent as an author, so I will definitely be keeping an eye out for what she publishes in the future!

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  5. Great review Brodie! Yeah . . . I too was frustrated with Calla and how she handled the boys. My poor Ren . . . she was so unfair to him. Anyway I didn't mind this book but I was still disappointed by the ending.

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    1. *sniffles* REN! My.... our poor boy. *snuggles close to him* If Shay didn't have his paw in my heart, I'd be plotting with Ren to kill him. But damnit!

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  6. Brodie, I'm just going to quick scan this review for now because I am so SCARED to read this book! When I've read this book, I'll come back to read your review thoroughly! Although I'm 100% sure your reviews are always AWESOME so... ;)

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    1. Haha aw, thanks Celine! But YES. Be scared, terrified, quaking in your boots! You know why! I can't wait to see what you think of this <3

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  7. I was seriously depressed for a day or two after reading this book and I said the same about wanting to throw the book across the room, I very nearly did! Props to Andrea Cremer though for invoking such a strong reaction from readers which means she is doing something right even if I didn't agree with what she did!

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    1. I am STILL DEPRESSED!! But you are so right. It's the mark of an amazingly talented author to evoke such strong emotions from us. Even if those emotions are breaking out hearts into tiny pieces </3 I'm sadistic and love those kind of endings though... don't ask me why I like self torture, I don't know!

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  8. Great review without adding spoiler! I think it was an amazing series. My husband teased me being 34 and reading a YA book but it was that good. I'm very anti twighlight and potter and it very much does not read as a "kid" series. I haven't been so emotionally connected to carachters since Tolkien and Goodkind. I love a strong heroine and Calla delivers. I love a fight within her between love and duty.
    Cremer even makes you love the minor players you don't really get to know until the last book. I was team Shay from the start but she even made me feel for Ren by the end. The book ended in a completely satisfying if not heartbreaking way. The realness of the carachters as wolves too really blew my mind. She really nailed pack loyalty and the bonds wolves have.

    I recommend this read for anyone YA, or adult. Especially if you want realistic mythology and animal traits.

    AC has earned a spot in my literary heart

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    1. Haha there is NOTHING wrong with a 34 year old reading YA! I'll still be a obsessing over the genre when I'm 80 :) Although my Potter-fied heart is sad to hear you're not a fan!

      Oh gosh, yes. I love the minor characters all so, so much! I really become invested in their own personal goings on. I was Team Shay at first, then (I think the online fanbase had an impact on me) sorta switched to Team Ren and then Bloodrose tore me between both boys =\

      Thanks for your comment! I hope we see a lot more from Andrea, she definitely has a talented career ahead of her.

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    2. I'm not knocking Potter fans I'm just not one. I've always preferred a little darker fantasy.

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  9. I DON'T LIKE SHAY but you're really tempting me to pick this book up !

    Great Review!
    Krazyyme @ Young Readers

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  10. "It's depressing and unfair and you just want to throw the goddamn book across the room, but it's realistic..." <-- PURE PERFECTION. I can't even begin to explain how amazing this review is -- it explained everything I was thinking and MORE! So many people hate this book because of the ending, but I think it was perfectly bittersweet too. Just like you, it was really mostly Calla's actions with the boys that made me dock half a star! :)

    Utterly perfect & beautiful review, Brodie! Sometimes I think we share the same mind -- it makes me so happy that you felt the same way about this book! :) <3

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  11. I haven't started the Nightshade trilogy so I kind of scanned your review because of my fear of spoilers. I think I should give this series a try. I'm definitely intrigued.

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  12. Ok, I didn't read this review, because I'm yet to read Wolfsbane, so I'm avoiding it all like the plague. But I saw your rating, and I'm so glad you liked it! I have high hopes! :)

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