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Monday, January 30, 2012

Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer (Nightshade Series #3)

Let me start off by saying that i thoroughly enjoyed the first two books in this series, before I start ranting smacking things with common garden tools. And this is a huge spoiler.

Deep breath now...

Here we go...



First off, Ms. Cremer built up a wonderful romantic tension by creating a love triangle scenario between Calla, Ren, and Shay. For the entirety of the first two books, i was wondering exactly how things were going to go down in the end; who she would choose, the reaction of the one she didn't, and the aftermath of it all. But then she decided to ruin it all. She kills off Ren near the end of the book (more on this, lots more, to come) leaving Calla with only one choice. This is literally the biggest cop-out since twilight. (read: literary equivalent of sliced bread) I can just imagine, “I don’t want to actually have to think about how to wrap this book up in a realistic way that will leave my readers satisfied with Calla’s choice. I think I’ll just kill off Ren and make it easy on myself.” All the time she spent in books one in two making the choice between Ren and Shay difficult for Calla and the reader: completely wasted.
Let’s revisit Ren, Silas, and Cosette, the notable characters who died during this book.
In the final battle, Ren dies while attacking his father. Now you may be imagining some fight scene of epic proportions, but sadly, I was disappointed yet again. Paraphrasing Cremer, Ren was really angry at his “dad” (the not biological one) because he was making fun of how great it was when he killed his biological dad. So in his anger, Ren leaps, but he leaps too high, allowing his fake-dad to slide reposition himself, leap up in the air to meet Ren, and snap Ren’s neck.
WTF?
As an alpha, Ren would absolutely have known how to manage his anger during battle so that it didn’t affect his judgement, or else he would have died way before the first book even started. Cremer just did not want to have to deal with making the choice between Ren and Shay, so she just killed Ren. If I were her editor I would have given her at least a 10 minute time out to think about what she’s done. Additionally, Calla only spends a paragraph mourning before Shay drags her on to the real final battle, thereby rendering his death insignificant, which it isn’t.
Silas, the searcher also has an insignificant death. He dies while Calla and crew are trying to get the water part of the badass sword thing. One moment they are standing in the water, and then suddenly a cloud of darkness descends on them, and then Calla and crew (it just rolls of the tongue so easily) are in the water, but silas is dead because the vampire bats that dropped down were “magically” (read: plot device gone wrong) transformed to be part piranha so that they were able to shred Silas to bits in a timespan of 2 lines of text. Even though he was kind of annoying, that’s the second worst way to have been killed off by Cremer.
Cosette takes the gold for worst way to get killed off in a novel. Sabine is going back to the town in order to spy for the resistance, and the other Keeper is glad to have her back.
Cue paraphrasing…
Sabine: “Where’s Cosette”
Evil Keeper Guy: “Oh. Her. She hung herself a week after you left because she was a weak frail wolf and couldn’t handle being my sex toy like you could”
Time taken to kill her off? Plus or minus 1 line. Sidenote: I was talking with a friend about this book earlier today, and I had forgotten that Cosestte died at all because her death was made so insignificant and meaningless.
Now: the 3 temple/challenges/mini-climax plot points.
In the earth cave/temple/plot-point, Calla and crew are walking/padding along, when Calla nearly falls into an invisible, seemingly infinitely deep hole.
(paraphrasing)
Shay: “OOOH! There’s a giant hole in the ground! Let me just be a badass super character who can do anything and just traipse across it like it was a hole a toddler created in the sand. Because I am the F-ing scion, so I can do all sorts of crazy stuff like that.”
Can anybody say “Deus Ex Machina???”
And then again in the fire cave/temple/plot-point
Ren: “AAAAHHHH!!!! I’m about to get toasted by this unstoppable fire wolf thing from the nether!!!”
Shay: “Nope! I think I’ll just miraculously save the day again, with no warning or plot development to suggest that I managed to find the last piece of the elemental cross, which is conveniently the only thing that can kill the fire-wolf. You’re Welcome!”
Since “Deus Ex Machina” worked so well in the earth temple (or rather, didn’t) Cremer decided to do it again.
And yet there is still another one.
When Bosque Mar summons up a magic hedge maze to divide Calla and Crew, Calla is isolated from everybody else with Adne. They are cornered by a wraith, and Shay, the only one who can kill wraiths, is on the other side of the hedge. So Adne “asks” the earth to remove the hedge, her reasoning being that it is an unnatural hedge, so that Shay can once again play the super-awesome-badass-hero guy. Completely unexpected. Adne is one of the few characters that I really like. Too bad she isn’t developed more.
Anyways. It would have been way cooler if Calla like grew some sort of super power and kicked the wraith's ass, maybe because when she and shay had sex from out of the blue it infused her with scion essence. Way better explanation than having Ariadne become a super mage writer person.
Another deep breath, I’m almost done.
In the beginning, Calla seems like a nice, respectable, half-lupine, girl. But she is actually a closet slut. When she first rescues Ren, she decides not to choose between them, romantically that is. But then one night Shay stops by her room.
(paraphrasing)
Calla: “I’m feeling conflicted, I don’t want to choose between either of you…”
Shay: “Whatever, just have sex with me.”
Calla: “Okay, I’ll just rationalize it by calling it a mistake…”
Last point.
So at the end of the book, Shay is told that he has to seal the portal to the nether, which means that all the Guardians will revert to their true wolf forms permanently. Shay ends up doing it, but because he is also part Guardian, he is like, “Bye mom and dad, I know I just rescued you, but I’m gonna go be a wolf with this chick I met less than a year ago. Good bye forever, love you!”
What a crappy ending. Everyone has to say goodbye to half the people they each love.
Furthermore, the reason Shay has to close the gateway is that he could theoretically re-open it if he didn’t perma-seal it. What are the chances that Shay decides to turn traitor exactly? Also instead of sealing it, Calla and Crew could have just gone on another epic quest to destroy the elemental cross, so that the portal couldn’t be re-opened, not even by shay. Alas, Cremer fails us again.
Overall I have to give this book not one, but two shovels to the face.
Read this book if you’ve read the first two so that afterwards, you can rant about how crappy closure that book gave, which is extremely cathartic.
Finally. I think I covered all that I need to say.
Chris McKinney

4 comments:

  1. I'm sorry, what book/series is this?
    Yes, I could Google it, but... could you make it more clear to viewers?

    ReplyDelete
  2. The shovel to the face is totally mine.
    Just saying.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Since the first chapter of Nightshade i have not been able to put the books down until the last page. There is never a point within the books that was even remotely close to boring or dull. Andrea Cremer does an amazing job of keeping you on your toes and fully engrossed in her novels. I count down the days until her third book and look forward to hopefully many more novels by Andrea.

    ReplyDelete

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