Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer
Series: Nightshade (2)
Rating: 5 of 5 stars
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.
Wolfsbane picks up right where Nightshade left off, and once again, Andrea Cremer thrusts the reader right into the thick of the action. Calla barely has time to wake and acclimate to the fact that she is being held captive by her sworn enemies, the Searchers, before she is introduced to an entire new cadre of faces, all Searchers, all who are asking for her trust, trust our heroine is not sure she can give: but will consider if it means saving her Pack. Once again, I admired Calla's ferocity and her loyalty to her Pack, those left behind. Her guilt over abandoning them is so palpable that hurt me to read the scenes where she was thinking about them, be it Bryn, Ansel, or even Ren, her intended mate.
Ahh, Ren. From the first scene he appeared in, there was never a choice for me: it has always been, will always be, Shay. Too often authors show, and don't tell why they are linking two characters romantically - that is not true here. Calla's interactions with both males are genuine and heart-felt, and as much as I thrilled to see her relationship with Shay growing and changing (I adored seeing him truly becoming an alpha) I was a little gutted every time she thought of Ren. He was the ghost in between her and Shay, and I completely sympathized with Calla. Her relationships with both males continue to feel real and gritty and sometimes, overwhelming and wonderful. I adore her with Shay though, and all the little moments we got, especially seeing all of his character growth!
Andrea really delivers several punches with this book - and I mean that in the BEST way. From the romance, to the shock that flows through Calla - and the reader - upon realizing she and others have been lied to, on many levels, for a very long time, to the new characters, to the overall plot, and the risks Andrea takes, I applaud her whole-heartedly. Wolfsbane is, at times, a difficult book to read because of its intensity. The pacing zips along, barely leaving you room to catch your breath before something else is unfolding.
The Searchers come fully into play in some awesome ways. I loved that Monroe, as one of the leaders, proved a fantastic foil to Emile Laroche, whose darker side we truly see in this book. Connor and Ethan are new favorite of mine - Ethan is raw and fierce, while Connor is a funnyman who uses his humor to hide his tormented soul. (Plus, hello, sword-fighting!) I adored Connor's interactions with Calla, and found myself craving much, much more of him. And I thought his relationship/interactions with Adne were fascinating, as was she. She's definitely one character I want to see more of in Bloodrose.
I don't have any gripes with this book. I loved it. There was one twist that I thought was very, very obvious from the start, but evne that still worked for me, considering the emotional punch it packed for all the characters involved, and how, in some ways, I think it will end up furthering the story. Which, again, I loved. I applaud all the character growth - Sabine, Shay, Calla, etc. I enjoyed all the history we learned, and how things are changing - by the end, it's clear that nothing is set in stone, as the Searchers and Calla's pack venture tentatively toward an alliance. I even loved the heartaches that Andrea Cremer spun so well, because they just made this book feel more genuine, a little more risky, since she's not afraid of taking chances to tell the story she wants to tell.
I feel like I should say more, but I think I will close with: just go buy the book. : )
"Staring at the wreckage of the life we could have had, I knew it wasn't about love or Shay or the Searchers now. It was about sacrifice and redemption, loss that could have new meaning."- Calla