Khalia Hades's Reviews > Wolfsbane

Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer
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's review
Nov 23, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: books-i-own
Read 2 times. Last read August 1, 2011 to August 2, 2011.

Call it the Sophomore slump, the second season syndrome, or what have you, but last year I gave NIGHTSHADE, the first book in the series of the same name by debut author Andrea Cremer, a perfect 5/5 rating. Today I'm giving the sequel, WOLFSBANE, a 2/5 rating. What happened to the story, the characters, the romance, and the writing between books one and two to cause such a drastic change? A lot of annoying, confusing, and boring things.

The mythology of the Keepers, Guardians, Searchers, and the Scion still offer an interesting twist on witch, werewolf, and demon mythologies. Likewise the sociopolitical interactions of each group are well thought out and have wide reaching effects on themselves and each other. Andrea Cremer's background as a history professor comes into play as well providing a detailed and very realistic origin for her mythologies. Unfortunately, those are about the only good things I can say about WOLFSBANE.

Just about everything I loved about NIGHTSHADE is absent in WOLFSBANE. The forbidden love triangle between Calla, Shay and Ren? Not so forbidden anymore. But don't tell Calla. She still anguishes over which guy to choose ad nauseam. Shay, barely recognizable in this sequel as a whiny possessive hot head, bears the brunt of her indecisiveness. Calla still wants to make out (and more) with Shay until mid smooch session when she'll abruptly shove him away out of guilt over Ren. But then the situation just repeats a few chapters later.

More annoying still was the plethora of new and extremely irritating characters. NIGHTSHADE was all about the wolves, WOLFSBANE is all about the Searchers. In the first few chapters a dozen new characters strut in and out of scenes with lots of desperate attempts at humor and inside jokes to show how close they all are. It was like a badly cast reality show. Calla and Shay basically just watch and ask zero questions about why they are there, what they are being asked to do, what the ultimate plan is, why they are so desperately needed etc. They are just ordered around and basically meekly obey. Well, Calla grows and shifts back and forth a lot, but that's about it.

90% of WOLFSBANE takes place in the Searchers academy and mostly consists of the Searchers inappropriately timed jokes (like after people just died), stupid sexual come ons, and lots and lots of history lessons. The last hundred pages or so finally spark with a bit of energy and action along with the first appearance of some of the original characters from NIGHTSHADE, but it wasn't nearly enough to compensate for the rest of this extremely disappointing sequel. The third book in the Nightshade series is titled BLOODROSE and will be published on February 21, 2012. Based solely on the strength of the first book, I still plan to read it, but I'm keeping my expectations firmly in check.
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