Friday, July 8, 2011

Wolfsbane Review

Author: Andrea Cremer
Release Date: July 26, 2011
Pages: 390 (ARC)
Publisher: Philomel
Most Appropriate For Ages: 14+
Where I Got It: For review through tour site
Other titles in series: Nightshade

This thrilling sequel to the much-talked-about Nightshade begins just where it ended-Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemy, and 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.
I had such high hopes for Wolfsbane, since I absolutely loved Nightshade. Unfortunately, I ended up very disappointed with pissed at Wolfsbane.

I knew something was off in the first chapter. I don't know about you guys, but I am a forgetful person, especially when it's been a couple of months since I've read a sequel's predecessor. So I like to have a bit of a recap. Well there is none of that in Wolfsbane. I felt so confused for the first fifty pages just trying to remember what happened.

"But Jessica," you say, "at least the fabulous characters from Nightshade are still there!" Um, NO, Voice. No, they're not. We spend a good 75% of the book with Searchers, trying to keep up with their different connections and personalities, when really I just wanted the pack back, who didn't make an appearance in the novel until the last 90 pages.

And that wasn't my only annoyance with the characters. Shay and Calla seem to be completely different from how I remember them. (Whether this is because of me or Wolfsbane I'm not sure, honestly.) Shay seems to be evolving from the boy Calla first met in the woods. I remember him as this sweet, slightly rebellious boy. Well, he is gone, folks. He was replaced by some annoyingly possessive and horny boy that I spent half of the book wanting to slap.

But he's not the only one! Nope, I wanted to slap Calla as well. Not only did she follow the Searchers--who have been her enemy for her whole life--without an ounce of skepticism, but she was stupid too! ("Why would he call himself a fool?" OMG I almost threw the book at the wall. Seriously? How blind can you--UGH.)

My problems with Calla don't end there, though. What I don't get is why this love triangle is continuing. In Nightshade, the love triangle made sense; she's supposed to be with Ren and has almost gotten used to it, when this new guy comes along and their love is forbidden. But in Wolfsbane, Calla is free to be with whomever she chooses. So you'd think she would actually choose then, right? Especially since she's this strong, powerful, alpha, she should be able to pick between two guys, right? Um, WRONG. Calla is as annoyingly indecisive as ever. She would be heavily making out with Shay, then think about Ren, then decide she needed to be alone. I can almost excuse Shay's butt-cheese-iness (sure, it's a word) cause the poor guy has to put up with the Calla's constant mood swings.


As if that wasn't enough to turn me off of Wolfsbane, the pacing seemed so slow. Wolfsbane is a 400-page book that takes place in two days. Two incredibly long, boring days. There was an action scene or two thrown in just to appease the reader, but the build-up to them seemed way longer than it had to be.

This feels like the worst review I've ever written. It might've been because I know that Wolfsbane could've been stellar, and because I expected it to be stellar, and it was just so far from that.

Having said all of this, it might've been me, too. I have grown much pickier since I read Nightshade, so I guess things I didn't notice while reading Nightshade I noticed when reading Wolfsbane. Though luckily, not everything was wrong with Wolfsbane. I still love the unique world Cremer has created and what she's added to it, and her writing is still pretty impressive. I know that I'll be reading book 3, Bloodrose, because I need to know how this story ends. But hopefully it's as good as Nightshade.

Plot: The world is good, but the pacing was off.
Characters: The ones I loved weren't there, and the main characters were annoying. Some of the Searchers were pretty cool, though.
Writing: Good.
Ending:  Open-ended, but not a huge nail biter.
Kind Friendly? There was some heavy making out, violence, death, and swearing.

Reviewers who liked this book more than I did:


  1. After reading this book, I felt the same way. My review is similar in the way that I hated a lot of the changes but I still love the series. I hope Bloodrose follows more of the Nightshade goodness, but overall Wolfsbane just didnt do it for me :(

  2. Ha ha, this is a great review! I love honest reviews, and something tells me I'm going to be reading a lot of "It was so great, la la la" reviews about Wolfsbane in the coming weeks. I haven't read it yet, but the things you pointed out are things that I absolutely loathe reading in YA books. Still, she might've had pressure put on her to stretch into into a trilogy, and of course all the satisfying, exciting parts must be saved for the end. Bloodrose could still be great.

  3. Yeah, you aren't the first person that I've read didn't like the book much.

    Honestly, if it's mainly about the Searchers and Shay, I don't know how much I want to read it (okay, I'll still read it, but you know what I mean). I didn't even think Shay was that great in the first book but now I'm hearing everyone say that he's annoying and horny in this one and - gah. I don't want that.

    I hate when it doesn't make sense for a character to be struggling over two guys. I mean, is it just added for plot's sake or does it actually make sense? I loved Ren so much more than Shay but jeez, woman, if you're going to pick Shay then PICK HIM ALREADY.

    Anyways, thanks for the honest review. Hopefully you enjoy Bloodrose more!


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