Bloodrose

by Andrea Cremer (Sphere) ISBN: 9781907411373 R200 



Cremer finishes the Nightshade trilogy in style. The battle between the keepers and the searchers is set. Shay accepts his destiny as the Scion. He and his team travel to the sacred sites to assemble the sword needed to defeat the evil Bosque Mar. Calla, Ren & Shay are set to return to Vail and face their worst nightmares. 

Calla sets a new standard as a teen fiction heroine. She is strong, brave and can think for herself. She is one of the heroines I would encourage my teenage daughter to read, if I had a teenage daughter. 

Searchers, Connor, Anika, Ethan and Adne add layers to the final instalment. New bonds are forged, love found, and lost, and sacrifices made. There is no perfect ending which is exactly as it should be. However, the ending is perfect for the story. 

Like the other novels in this trilogy, Bloodrose is well-written, well-plotted and driven by worthy characters. This really is a good read. 

Amanda Patterson
4/5 

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Wolfsbane

by Andrea Cremer (Atom) ISBN 1907410309 



Wolfsbane is the much anticipated second book in the Nightshade series. 

Calla wakes up. She is in the searcher's stronghold, recovering from her ordeal and the wounds sustained at the end of Nightshade. Shay is there too, and he is safe. The sacrifices she has made seem worth it, but are they? Calla has left a life behind, her mother has been murdered and the members of her pack have been tortured. She has betrayed everything she believed in. Including Ren, the Alpha boy she was supposed to marry. 

I found this book too much like an unbelievable action-packed Hollywood film. I missed the attention to character Cremer applied in Nightshade. I think we should have learned more about the searchers. However, she is still a very good writer and worth reading. I hope the next book lives up to the first. Nightshade made me believe that there were some paranormal books worth reading. 

And we have to always be grateful for strong, determined Calla – the definitive anti-Bella. 

Amanda Patterson
3.5/5

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Nightshade

by Andrea Cremer (Atom Books) R180, 00 ISBN: 9781907410277 

I do not like paranormal / fantasy / science fiction novels. Twilight was torture for me. Bella is a million miles from what I conceive a strong female character to be. The writing was poorly executed, and the plotting ridiculous. 

So I took Nightshade only because a good friend said I should read it. She doesn't like Twilight either. I'm glad she insisted. (Her review is in The Bluestocking Review as well.) 

Calla Tor is a werewolf, or a 'guardian', as she says. She is an Alpha, the beautiful blonde leader of the Nightshade pack. A strong woman with the nerve of a wolf and the heart of a human. She is to be mated with Ren Laroche of the Wolfsbane pack. The two Alphas are to form a new pack to protect the sacred site they patrol from the 'Searchers'. 

The guardians are ruled by the 'Keepers’ who apparently have the magic that keeps the world in balance. They are also slave masters beautifully disguised. Everything is going along swimmingly until Shay Doran arrives in town. He is human. And Calla saves his life when she is on patrol. A bear attacks him and she lets him drink her blood. He survives. 

This is Twilight in reverse, I suppose. But it's so much more than that. It is perfectly written by a writer who knows how to make you turn the page. The plot is supported by philosophy and mythology and history. Andrea Cremer is a history professor who has written about violence, sex, religion and power. She uses all this knowledge in this novel. 

The plot is, as it always is in this genre, the quest. The pacing is perfect. The suspense well-executed. The characterisation is what sets Cremer apart in a writing world swamped with Twilight lookalikes. Meet Bryn, Ansel, Sabine, Fey, Neville, Mason and all the others. Lumine, Effron and Logan will make your skin crawl. 

Nightshade is for anybody who loves a good read. It will remain with you. You will order Wolfsbane as soon as you are finished. Highly recommended. 

Amanda Patterson
4/5

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