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Monday, February 20, 2012

Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer

Release Date: Jan. 3, 2012 (UK: Feb. 21, 2012)
Publisher: Philomel
Age Group: Young Adult
Format: Purchased
Pages: 416
Buy: Amazon / Book  Depository / Fountain Bookstore
Description: Goodreads
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.
One of the good things about leaving a book to read long after publication is that you don’t have as long to wait for the next book and so when I finished reading Wolfsbane, I only had to wait 3 months before the release of Bloodrose.  The Book Depository teased me by saying it had been made available just before Christmas but it wasn’t actually dispatched until 6th January.   I was dying to read it but my desire was bittersweet as this is the final book in the series (well, sort of but I’ll mention that later).  I’d teased myself by reading the first chapter of Bloodrose months ago and I was chomping at the bit to read the rest.  It goes without saying that if you haven’t read Nightshade or Wolfsbane yet do yourself a favour and start reading the series before you read this review.

I think in a lot of ways, this is the best book in the series and I say that even with a bit of a chip on my shoulder but we’ll come to that. I really enjoyed the quest to find the elemental sword and how the searchers and the keepers worked together towards a common goal. Not all of them of course, there is still a war going on and with war comes inevitable tragedy and loss. With regards to the characters, in Bloodrose Calla strives to be the alpha she has been brought up to be, Shay is stronger than ever in his role as the scion and Ren accepts what he learns well, I feel he has matured nicely from the cock sure (yet sexy) teenage boy he started as. Connor and Adne remain some of my favourite secondary characters and I fully admit to having a soft spot for Connor. Whilst one of the strongest attributes of the series is the characters, I also feel this is also one of the biggest problems as especially in this book, there are A LOT of characters to keep track of and this sometimes became a bit confusing for me, trying to remember their individual histories. I would have liked some kind of guide at the front of the book with the names of the characters and whether they were a searcher, a keeper, a guardian or human or whatever.

Bloodrose is of course the final book in the Nightshade trilogy and so you can expect a lot of surprises but also a lot of tying up of loose ends. I mentioned that I had a bit of a chip on my shoulder and now I’m going to tell you why but as spoiler free as possible. I finished reading Bloodrose this morning  (Feb. 8) and I have to say that I have been reeling all day from it. There has been a lot of controversy about the ending and all I can say is that on the whole, I liked it but there was one major thing I did not agree with and I really wish I could discuss it here, but there is no way I am going to spoil it for you. I don’t want to say this ruined the book or the series for me but I’m saddened by it and I truly did want to throw the book at the wall. There was also one thing I didn’t understand about the ending and I’m hoping that this might be addressed in Cremer’s upcoming book The Rift which is a prequel to the Nightshade series and explains how everything started. I’ve pre ordered this book as I’m a huge fan of the series and definitely want to read it.

I do realise that it’s Andrea’s story and she can and should write whatever she wants but still, I disagree with a major decision she made. If you’re curious, catch me on Twitter if you’ve read it and you want to discuss it. Just out of interest, Andrea’s own take on writing the ending to the series is here.
Bloodrose if full of action and adventure with some exceptional sceneworthy moments like the opening chapter and the shower scene *fans self*.  If you’re a fan of the series then it goes without saying that you NEED to read this book.

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