“BLOODROSE,” by Andrea Cremer, Philomel, Jan. 3, 2012, $18.99 (young adult)
Andrea Cremer’s “Bloodrose” is one of the most anticipated books of early 2012. Why? Because it’s the third and final installment of a series involving a band of teenage werewolves.
Calla Tor is a werewolf. It’s all she’s ever known and she’s never questioned it. At least she didn’t until she saves Shay, a human who befalls danger while hiking. Saving Shay not only violates Keeper’s law, it also sets in motion events Calla never expected.
Calla is the intended mate of alpha wolf Ren Laroche. Together the two will lead a new pack, guarding sites sacred to the Keepers. But when the Keepers order the sacrifice of Shay during Calla and Ren’s joining ceremony, Calla can’t follow through. She’s become attached to Shay, so much so that she’s turned him into a wolf. The two run away together, hoping to solve the mystery behind the Keepers’ power, only to run right into the arms of the Searchers, sworn enemies of the werewolves.
“Wolfsbane” picks up right where its predecessor left off. Calla wakes up in the Searchers’ lair and finds the Searchers have a plan for her — help them take down the Keepers. But she needs her packs’ help to accomplish the Searchers goal, and she’s not sure they’ll forgive her for running away.
In a coordinated effort, the Searchers join Calla in gathering her pack, but some important lives are lost in the process and friends are left behind.
After spending her life having other people make decisions for her, Calla is now in charge of her own destiny. And her decisions could change the fate of her people forever.
“Bloodrose” opens with Calla on a mission — saving Ren. Even if it upsets Shay, she has to do it, Ren has always been her mate, her co-alpha. But Ren isn’t her only concern; Calla has to keep her brother, Ansel safe, too.
On top of that, there’s leading her pack and the not-so-simple task of finally getting rid of the Keepers for good.
It’s hard to say much more without spoiling the final installment. And trust me, you want to be surprised. It’s worth waiting for.
As I’ve said in previous reviews, if you haven’t read “Nightshade” and “Wolfsbane,” then you’ll be completely lost in “Bloodrose.” Read the first two books first. They’re enjoyable and imperative to understanding “Bloodrose.”
When it comes to “Bloodrose,” the book is kind of the best of two worlds, harnessing the strong character development from “Nightshade” and great action of “Wolfsbane” into a complete and gratifying package.
Author Andrea Cremer has well thought out this series, leaving few-to-none plot holes. She’s also managed to keep the momentum moving forward, helping readers to become invested in her characters and the Nightshade world as a whole. If you’re a fan, you won’t be disappointed, and if you’re new to the series: Welcome, sit down and enjoy the ride.
**Read Cracking the Cover’s interview with Andrea Cremer.