Book Review: Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer

Wolfsbane is the second book in the Nightshade series by Andrea Cremer. It was published by Atom on 26th July and the book is 400 pages long.

In the lair of her sworn enemies, the Searchers, Calla Tor wakes up certain it is her time to die. Why else would she have been shot at and kidnapped?

Instead of ending Calla’s life, the Searchers make her a very interesting offer… work with them instead. Help them stop this war once and for all. Save her pack. Save Ren. More importantly, help Shay fulfil his destiny. If Calla decides to risk everything for the people she once thought she would never trust, she has to realise what it may cost her. Will saving Ren and her pack mean losing Shay in the process or is he really going to be there for her no matter what? Is stopping the war worth risking losing everything for?

What I thought
There are many YA books about werewolves available now but the Nightshade series is by far one of my favourites.

Andrea Cremer’s writing is amazing. Quite plain and simple really but that’s exactly how I feel about it. While the book has a dark and mysterious tone throughout, the characters and language used was very real. Even though we are smack bang in the middle of a story about werewolves, there is a simple reality to the whole story because of the writing. Yes, some of the characters are werewolves but behind that, you can see that they are just normal people as well. They have the same problems and fears as everyone else but they also have a bit more than normal to deal with.

Cremer doesn’t hold back on the language she uses and I loved this. I have a big thing about the language used in YA books because some writers don’t write believable characters at all and it’s all down to the way they speak. The characters in Wolfsbane aren’t afraid to swear at each other (in the right context of course) and while this won’t be for everyone, I think it fit in to the story perfectly. A big war is about to happen and people are angry and upset so lashing out with what they say to people is only natural and this is captured wonderfully.

Although the first half of this book is quite slow going, I loved it. As Calla and Shay are with the Searchers, we get to learn so much more about both of their backgrounds. There is a lot of mythology put into the first half of the book and while some people may find this a bit boring and frustrating, I loved it. I think having all of this information answered a lot of the questions that I had from Nightshade but also it gave the characters a lot more depth and meaning. I could understand a lot of the characters much better knowing what they had come from and now, what they were about to face.

As Calla and Shay are now away from the other wolves and with a whole new group of people, they have a lot of time to grow closer but also further apart at the same time. I have always been split when it comes to the love triangle in this series and this book hasn’t made my choice any easier. As much as I love Shay and the way in which his character develops in this book, I seriously missed Ren. In the last book, I wanted to slap him for being such an idiot but as he wasn’t around in Wolfsbane much, I would have happily had that idiot back. I can definitely see why Calla is having such a hard time realising where her heart really lays and I can’t wait to see who she chooses in the end.

Calla is the character who really changes a lot in this book. Gone is the strong and confident leader we first met in Nightshade and instead, she is now very unsure of what she is doing… in all areas. Now that she is alone with Shay and Ren isn’t around, Calla feels guilt like there’s no tomorrow. Although she loves Shay, she can’t help but feel something for Ren still but she doesn’t know how to deal with these feelings. Shay doesn’t exactly help in this department either. Also, Calla is trying to do what is best for everyone, especially her pack but now she doesn’t know who she can really trust so again, her feelings are split in two.

While I did love Wolfsbane, it did feel a bit like a filler book to me. It is the middle book of a trilogy and there was a lot of explaining before anything really happened. Now that a lot of that is out of the way, I can see the final book being non stop throughout and I can’t wait for it to be released already.

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