Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was the final installment of the Nightshade trilogy, and for fans of the series, it was certainly worth the wait. There is so much action and tension in this book- almost nonstop- that I doubt many readers could have been justifiably disappointed.
When I read Nightshade, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. The concepts were interesting, but it was too romantic, and too trivial a story for me to really claim interest. Despite that, I watched an interview with Andrea Cremer before Wolfsbane- book number two- came out, and she hinted that Calla’s romance (the clichéd drama of choosing between two loves- Team Ren or Team Shay?) would be put on hold. So I gave it a chance. I enjoyed it, like I enjoyed Bloodrose, but I still can’t get 100% behind Andrea Cremer’s writing style.
A lot of YA fiction out there presents teenagers as mature young adults, which, as I know from being a teenager once upon a time, is not always an accurate portrayal. Cremer strikes a delicate balance between childlike interaction and mature behavior in her characters. The childishness sometimes seems overdone, but I figure it’s intentional to show the pack mentality and behavior. Wolves are dogs. Even my grown dogs act like puppies sometimes. But in doing so, much of her witty or funny dialogue was ruined for me. A character would say something unusually funny, but then everyone would discuss that character’s sense of humor for a paragraph. It reminded me that Cremer’s characters were, indeed, kids, despite being thrown into very adult situations and being forced to make adult decisions. But that’s what makes YA fiction so great, so my complaint here really isn’t warranted.
The trilogy is a fun, interesting read, and its final conclusion in Bloodrose is completely unpredictable. I could not have imagined a better ending. Even if you’re still on the fence about Nightshade and Wolfsbane, Bloodrose will win you over. It’s the best book of the trilogy.
That being said, I’m unsure of this last title. Like Nightshade and Wolfsbane, Bloodrose certainly sounds cool, but is that all it is? Did Cremer really just pick a cool-sounding name for the last book, or did I miss something? In the first book, we’re introduced to the Nightshade pack and its alpha, the main character of the trilogy. Hence its title. In the second book, we learn more about the animosity between the two Guardian packs, the Nightshades and the Banes, and the union between Calla and Ren, a Nightshade and a Bane, respectively, comes to a breaking point. Hence the title. I cannot explain Bloodrose, though. Not even a little bit.
But it does sound cool.
View all my reviews
My review on Nightshade, Book One
My review on Wolfsbane, Book Two