Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 4160
One Large Info-Dump/Where's Ren?!
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
2.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
I loved Nightshade. It was fast-paced, romantic and had an independent and strong heroine. Unfortunately, Wolfsbane did not live up to any of those expectations. Where Nightshade almost cruelly leaked out clues about the Guardians origins, leaving me desperate for more information, Wolfsbane was one large info-dump about the Searchers and their intricately linked history with the Keepers. My mind is reeling with all of the information I have gained, so while I (mostly) have their history sorted out, the manner with which I was given the information was horribly executed.

For the first couple hundred pages, amidst the non-stop bickering which had me putting the book down several times, we are subjected to a Searcher making a vague statement about some historical fact, to which Calla or Shay would reply with some inane question in order to continue with the guise of this info dump as being an actual conversation. This made most exchanges feel forced as they lacked the fluidity of a natural conversation; I kept finding myself skimming sections which were just Calla or Shay saying something like "I don't understand", followed by some bickering between the Searchers, before the conversation was brought back to the subject at hand and more information was given. It got to be quite tedious.

Once I got used to the bickering and info-dumping, I was then left with the perplexing manner with which Calla reacted to being held captive by her once-feared enemies, and then her answer when asked to help them with a mission before being given any real information. The Calla from Nightshade would have resisted being told what to do (after all, she is an alpha) and would have put up a fight before agreeing to help people she once called enemies, especially when they refused to explain themselves or their side of the story. Instead she agrees to help them in their mission due to her eagerness to help her pack (her pack that she didn't think twice about abandoning), without thinking anything through, which ultimately leads her directly into a trap - a trap Shay recognized might be possible, but neglected to mention. I love Calla, I really do - but she made it hard for me to like her in Wolfsbane. She was selfish and overly-emotional and completely unable to ever make a rational decision. She swooned each time Shay forced himself on her, before her head could catch up to her hormones and remind her that she wasn't fully comfortable with being with him.

Speaking of Shay, I really don't like him. Finding out he is "the Chosen One" - the Scion - seemingly has gone to his head: he's arrogant and over-confident and completely unwilling to let Calla make any decisions for herself, including whether she wants to be with him. He forces himself on her repeatedly, and it's only when she physically pushes him away does he take her "no" for an answer. He is so selfish that he can't see how leaving Ren (and the rest of her pack) might be emotionally draining, and that the last thing she needs is for him to push sex on her. He's jealous of any other person even looking at Calla, but has no problem with the way in which Adne compliments him or uses any excuse she can find to be near him, touching him in some way. His presence is overwhelming, and I found myself constantly hoping for Ren's return. His ultimate betrayal (for me) though, was when he omitted telling the Searchers that he had entered Haldis and had retrieved the item being held there. Had the Searchers known this bit of information, they would have known that their plan to retrieve the members of Calla's pack was flawed and lives may have been saved - and Calla's life would never have been in danger. How he could choose to omit something that big, and then claim it was out of love for Calla, is beyond me.

Having said all of this, I must admit that the plot still moved quite quickly, and I was fascinated with learning more about the Guardians and their Keepers. And even though I was mentally picking apart several aspects of how Wolfsbane was written, I still found it to be an enjoyable read, and I can see why other people (those who emphasize with Shay perhaps) may have liked it even more then Nightshade. I had hoped there would be more of Ren, but I was sadly disappointed. The introduction of new supporting characters was poorly done, as I wasn't made to care for any of them as they all acted so secretive, and I still don't understand the dynamic between many of them. What's going on with Adne and Connor? Why does Ethan seemed so infatuated with Sabine, someone who he sees as an abomination? I did foresee the big twist concerning Munroe, which made a revelation towards the ending less shocking, but my investment in Calla and Ren has me interested in seeing what happens in Bloodrose.
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