Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Wow, where do I even start with this review???
First off, I have to say that as with her previous two novels, Cremer really knows how to suck you right into a book. I really did not want to put this one down. I even updated my status to say that work was getting in the way!!! I had it on my phone, my Kindle and in hard cover so I could read it wherever and whenever. And, WOW, is all I can say.
Now I do have to explain why I am only giving it 4.5 stars, because I'm upset about Ren. Although I pretty much knew what was going to happen having listened to conversations between my friends who had read the book, I still wanted it to end differently. I hate to not give it 5 stars, but I am just too upset to go there.
In any case, the blurb for those of you who have not read it:
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.
Like Nightshade and Wolfbane (by the way, Andrea, I love the flower names, although I would love to know the meaning behind you choosing them for titles...guess I might have to ask), Cremer sucks you right in. There is action, adventure, romance, tragedy. And it's all wrapped up in a nice little neat package.
Who is my favorite character? Well, it's hard for me to pick just one, to be honest. But if I had to choose, oh, maybe two, I would say Conner and Mason. Why, you ask, I just love their sense of humors. I love how they are so comfortable with themselves and don't care what others think about them. And I love how dedicated they are to their friends and the ones they love. Nothing is more sexy than a boy who knows exactly what he wants and goes for it.
As for Calla, well, I do love her sassy style. I love her ability to stand up for herself and fight for what she wants. Did I get annoyed at her confusion and inability to choose between Shay and Ren, well of course I did. But I'm pretty sure that was the point of her story. Teen angst really does exist and if Cremer made it a neat little package, well, we would be bored, no?
And Ren and Shay...oh where to start. I have to say that I have always been team Ren. There is just something about his character that draws me in. He's sexy and confident. He is suave and persuasive. I love it all. And on top of that, the description of him just leaves me drooling (yes, I am a 41 year old woman, but who doesn't like a sexy boy?). Shay, well, he pretty much was just annoying to me from book one. I thought I could like him, I grew to love him a little bit in this last book, but really I just wanted to punch him in his cocky face! He was confident, but not in a way I thought good. It annoyed me and I just wanted him to go away.
One thing that I have to point out in Cremer's writing is how well she paints a picture of a scene. When I read what she writes, I truly feel like I am there. I feel the cold in the mountains of Vale, I feel the pain of the Wraith's attack, I smell the scent of the wolves. How does she do that? That, my friends, is a mark of a great writer. One who can take you into a scene and really make you feel like you are right there with the characters, experiencing what they are experiencing, feeling what they are feeling, smelling what they are smelling and seeing what their eyes see. It is a truly impressive feat.
And it was so easy to get attached to the characters. To feel you were actually there listening to their stories. It was like they were friends going through this experience and you were looking on in anticipation of what was to happen. You were cheering for them, and crying for them and laughing with them. They were authentic and tragic, loving and giving, and even so selfish at times. Best of all, it made me feel like they were all one big family, despite any differences they may have had. I loved that they had banter and charisma. I loved that they defended each other and fought with each other. It was so realistic.
And the story, well, I loved how Cremer wrapped it up. Was I happy with the ending, not really, to be honest, but I don't think it could possibly have ended any other way. I have heard of people wanting to throw the book across the room, to be honest, I didn't feel this way. I think there needed to be tragic deaths, as much as I didn't want it to happen. Without those deaths, there was no story. Without the twist at the end, there was not story. In my opinion, Cremer's willingness to take that leap of faith that her readers would understand the story needed to go in this direction is the mark of a truly great author. And also the mark of an author who knows that her story has to go the way she needs it to go, the way the characters need it to go, in order for it to end right. As a reader, I applaud Cremer in having the courage to end the book in a way that she probably knew would upset her readers. Without the ending, there would be no closure for the characters. I don't think it could have gone any other way and really had finality to the story. I think as a reader and as someone who can understand the importance of where a story line must go, I am proud to say that I am not discouraged by the ending. Upset, yes, but the ending does not make me want to never recommend this book to my friends and family.
This was certainly an interesting end to a wonderful trilogy. I really loved the wolf theme throughout the books. And I loved the mysteriousness of the Keepers. And I'm excited to see where the prequel takes me. Kudos to you, Andrea! I love your writing. It flows so well and keeps you wanting to read. The characters are relatable and interesting with such different personalities it's so easy to tell them apart. The story line was innovative, far different from any other wolf story I have read.
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