Rummanah Aasi
  I really enjoyed reading Andrea Cremer's debut paranormal romance novel Nightshade. You can read my review for Nightshade here. The Nightshade series is highly recommended for readers who like a strong female character, excellent and intricate world building, and searing romantic tension.

Description (from Goodreads): When Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemies, she’s certain her days are numbered. But then the Searchers make her an offer—one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save the pack—and the man—she left behind. Is Ren worth the price of her freedom? And will Shay stand by her side no matter what? Now in control of her own destiny, Calla must decide which battles are worth fighting and how many trials true love can endure and still survive.

Review: Wolfsbane begins immediately where Nightshade ends. Readers new to this series must read the first book in order to gain a familiarity with the earlier story and a large cast of characters since the author offers little explanation to new readers.
  As the book begins, Alpha Calla awakens in a room where she has been held captive by the Searchers, a group of humans who fight the Guardians, a pack of werewolves. Having left her wolf pack to save Shay, she reluctantly allies with warily trusts the Searchers yet finds herself questioning all she once believed in, including the nature of her own species. Plagued by the idea that she is solely responsible of putting her pack in trouble and shocked to learn her real history, Calla joins forces with the Searchers, led by the dark and stoic Monroe. Together they hatch a scheme to infiltrate the Keepers, an evil group that controls the wolves (Calla's pack in particular). The crew embarks on deadly missions to try to save them.  
  The tone of Wolfsbane is much darker and sinister than Nightshade. As readers, we can't help but feel the urgency, seriousness, and danger that infiltrates the air and surrounds our characters. Much of this change of ambiance from the friendly banter of Nightshade is due to the large absence of the wolf packs, particularly Calla's, but that isn't to say that the wit, charm, and romantic tension is completely gone from this book. In a lot of ways, Wolfsbane is like a new story. We are introduced to new characters and learn a lot about how the Searchers function and their community. Like the wolf packs, I also really enjoyed learning about these characters. Adne is a weaver of portals and Monroe's daughter. Connor is a strong, snarky, and flirtatious Searcher who might have a thing for Adne. Connor reminded me a lot of Jace from Cassandra Clare's popular Mortal Instrument series. Ethan is a powerful fighter with a chip on his shoulder. I was surprised to see how much I warmed up to these characters who were once deemed as Calla's enemies.
   Wolfsbane is a really fast read. There are so many plot twists and action scenes that filled the pages that I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. As Cremer has promised, we learn more about Ren's past, the war between the Keepers and Seachers. We also learn more about Shay's role in the grand scheme of things. There is a lot of heart break and loss in this book as lives were lost. Unlike many other paranormal romances that I read where I can predict where the author is going in his/her storytelling, I have no idea what will happen next.
  I really enjoyed Wolfsbane, but I did have a problem with how the love triangle was presented in this book. In Nightshade we were first introduced to the love triangle between Calla, Shay, and Calla's betrothed, Ren. The tension escalates as Shay and Calla become closer. Calla is sure she loves Shay, but she is racked with guilt over abandoning Ren and the rest of her family and pack. Even though Ren doesn't appear in this book hardly at all, his presence can be felt. Shay continues to irritate me to no end with his incessant reasoning of how things "should be done". Though I understand and see why his assertiveness is coming out, there is something about him that I don't trust. For me, I thought the love triangle was less exciting this time because we get to know Ren's past but not him as a person. I really hope Cremer gives Ren a larger role in the next book, which I think she will as Wolfbane leaves off with a very big cliffhanger revolves around him. I can't wait to see what Cremer has in stored for us next.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Words of Caution: There is strong violence, some language, and an allusion to sex. Recommended for Grades 9 and up.

If you like this book try: Blood Rose (Nightshade #3) by Andrea Cremer released January 2012, Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, 13 to Life by Shannon Delaney
10 Responses
  1. Sounds good. It's interesting that Ren is still there without actually being there. I like that it's a completely new story. Keeps things from getting old. I hope it's not too confusing though.


  2. Alison: I didn't think it was too confusing. I like how we get the information at the same time that Calla does.


  3. Annette Says:

    I liked the "new perspective" in this book too. I hated the cliff hanger.... BTW, are you going to the ISLMA conference this week?


  4. Annette: I hated the cliffhanger too. The book just ends. Glad to know that we don't have to wait for the next book for too long. As for ISLMA, I can't make it. :(


  5. I read Nightshade but still haven't read this one so I'm kind of bummed that you don't see much of Ren in this one. I'm glad that you learn about his past though. Since I'm totally Team Ren - Shay annoyed me in Nightshade - I too hope that there will be more of him in Blood Rose and that Calla picks him.


  6. Jenny Says:

    So glad to see you enjoyed this one Rummanah, I've been reading a lot of negative reviews for it lately and I enjoyed Nightshade:) I'm super disappointed we don't get much of Ren himself in this one, he was one of my favorite parts of Nightshade. Love the sound of all the new characters though and I'm really glad we get more background on the Searchers and Keepers:) Awesome review!


  7. Canadian Girl: I'm really leaning towards Team Ren, especially after this book.

    Jenny: Yeah, I really missed Ren in this book, but he's present without actually being there. O.o He's background is really heartbreaking. Hope to see more of him in book 3.


  8. Missie Says:

    I'm gonna wait until the release of the last book to finish this series. Cermer has said she is big on cliffhangers and will not apologize for them and that really bugged me.

    I can't stand Shay, so when you mentioned that he irritated you, that only increased my dislike of him. The Searchers sound cool, but I just don't think I really see Calla as a strong female character, her wishy washy feeling and the fact that she let the love triangle develop really turned me off, plus I read a review of Wolfsbane that mentioned something about someone rode her like a horse just for fun, and that again, turned me off. :/


  9. Missie: I'm always astonished on how people react to sequels. Yeah, the love triangle is a bit off but I would have to disagree with you and say that Calla isn't a strong female character. I kinda think that's Cremer's point in that woman are defined in such limited ways. I really getting more of background info and my heart ached for Ren. *sigh*


  10. Danmark Says:

    The plot really doesn't move forward too much. Sure, a few things get explained and we learn a few shocking secrets, but there was never a jump to the next part of the story...until the end. We get another cliff hanger! The book was fast paced and because of that, I feel like there should have been another 100 or so pages added. And seriously, that cliff hanger! I like them, but can I please not have them right when the story is getting to its grit?


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