Rating (out of 5) 4.5 stars
Note: There is no way to write this review without spoilers from the first book. If you haven’t read Nightshade, please read the VBC review of that book instead. Trust me. But I promise not to spoil Wolfsbane at all.
Wolfsbane picks up quickly after the crazy WTH moments at the end of Nightshade. (Really, if you haven’t read the first book, you’ve been warned.) Calla finds herself at the Searchers’ HQ. They want to use her to help make an alliance with her pack. The only person she knows in this den of the enemies is Shay. He’s trying to protect her — which is a whole other issue — and is skeptical about just how the Searchers will treat Calla.
Plot-wise, this review is going to stop there. Yep. Andrea Cremer weaves a twisty tale in Wolfsbane, and you’ll like being surprised by characters. The surprises can be good, but some of the shockers will have you clutching at your chest as Cremer details the emotional blows that hit Calla over and over. The emotional ride is necessary. Calla is learning what it means to be alone. She’s trying to determine if that’s truly freedom. (If you ever wonder why we suggest the Nightshade novels to fans of Vampire Academy, now you have it: emotional ride with a strong heroine defining freedom.)
Then she has to deal with Shay.
She loves him, but can’t stop thinking about those final moments with Ren …and that kiss. She still wears Ren’s ring. Can she really be with Shay if she remains so connected to Ren? The Team Shay readers (like myself) will love seeing him step up — he wants to protect her (though she can handle herself), he wants to fight to be with her, he wants her to have freedom. The romance between them will give you butterflies, but is far from graphic. Don’t worry, Team Ren, Calla is very conflicted and though Ren doesn’t play a major role in this novel, he’s always on Calla’s mind.
Worth noting is Cremer’s prose is once again beautiful to read. Her descriptions of the Searchers’ academy walls, the kisses between Shay and Calla and the visuals when on a rescue mission are stunning and moving and, really, just beautifully and precisely written.
Expect emotional upheaval, indecision about Shay, answers about the Guardians’ history (you’ll be surprised, Calla was) and one hell of a frustrating cliffhanger in Wolfsbane. (Yes, the first chapter of Bloodrose has been posted, and now we all know why.)
Sexual content: Kissing and sex (limited details)