Review: Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer

My Rating: 3 out of 5
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.

My Review:
At last, the Saga draws to a conclusion, and will they all make it out alive? Hmm, maybe not.
Some of you who've read the first two will no doubt have read reviews giving most of the plot away. Key characters kick the proverbial bucket, and the adventure closes on a suitable ending. This, for me, was much better that the Shiver series which I found a little too bland. The Nightshade series offers nastier characters, lots of history and enough paranormal oddities to shake a stick at. But lets start at the beginning...

In Wolfsbane, Book 2, we learned that Shay is the Scion. The only person who can wield the Elemental Sword and defeat the bad guy, Bosque Mar. But Shay needs the help of the Searchers, the Guardians and a rogue Keeper who may or may not be playing both sides of the field.
In this book the search for the missing parts of the cross lead the characters on an adventure around the globe, fighting the defenders of the hidden pieces. There's loss all the way through, and not necessarily in a deadly way.

I liked this book but I didn't love it. So far, all the 'series' books I've read have drawn to a thrilling conclusion but this one just seemed to lack, for want of a better word, atmosphere.

Calla as a lead role continued to flit between Ren and Shay, at an alarming rate. She's consumated her new Alpha but still leads the other on. Even at the beginning when she finds Ren to bring him over to the other side I found her motives lacked honesty. Ren was promised more than he got and I didn't like Calla for deceiving him all the way through. She constantly implied that she loved Shay, he was The one, but then flipped her decision whenever Ren was in the same room. As role models go I didn't think her Alpha moniker held up to much. She didn't seem to be able to lead any of her pack very well. Mostly they made decisions without her say so and she just went with it.

Shay, who I loved in the first book, was a little disorientating. His quirky demeanour didn't shine like I expected. As a character he was flawed and only seemed to find himself when he was in wolf mode. As a human I didn't think he held the charisma for being the chosen one, the Scion, he just came across as a very arrogant boy.

I had a lot more respect for Ren. His own flaws were redeemed countless times and his superiority was deserved as he began to be accepted into the world of the Searchers. He held more power and deserved to be Alpha once again but Calla dealt with him wrongly time and time again.

Again, the Searchers were all over this book and again they would have come across as nicer people if the characters had a little more flare rather than the bickering that we saw in Wolfsbane. Yes, they all live together and take each day as it comes and as warriors they rock, but as people I just wouldn't want to be in the same room as them for very long.

It was nice to have the pack back together, even if it was a little disjointed. Each pack member had their own role. I would have liked more of their wolf sides to come into the story more than they did.

And in the end, I couldn't get to grips with the final battle scenes. It wasn't an epic ending by any means. If I wrote down what I thought would happen before the ending, it would have appeared exactly as I'd written. There weren't that many twists and turns as promised. It all just fell away towards the end to tie up all the loose ends and let the story filter out. The epilogue was horrible. Once again, several pages of random chit-chat that could have been so much more.

Final conclusions: As a trilogy I have to say that my favourite book was Nightshade. It had spark and fire that the next two seemed to lack. The characters were all gutsy and had attitude. All was a little lost when the human side of the Paranormal world took over. I'm glad I read the trilogy to the end and didn't give up. As wolf books go it is a much better series than I'd hoped.
But in the end I can't help feeling that the it was too safe and Calla got her perfect ending without too much of a battle.
If you like love triangles and wolf-shifter stories then you'll love this series.


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