DON'T READ THIS REVIEW IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE FIRST TWO BOOKS IN THE NIGHTSHADE SERIES!
Voila! Another book in one car ride! So here's how my experience with the book went:
Me: Fine! You're amazing! DEATH! Action! Scandal! Love! Amazingness! Adventure! Heartbreak! Confusion! Adrenaline-pumping! Sad! Amazing! I'm sorry I didn't read you as soon as you came out! *hugs*
Bloodrose: Squeezing--too tight.
That took just about an entire car ride to come up with. The Nightshade Trilogy has--always will be--one of those series that has a small part reserved right next to my heart. I fell in love with Nightshade as soon as I read the first sentence. That adrenaline-inducing book continued in Wolfsbane, and also the love triangle. Now, the series has come to an end and it had caused me great heartbreak. I never wanted these books to end. They were so good, I couldn't even come up with a witty title for this post. That good. And now I have to write a review for this book....
Calla has always welcomed war.
But now that the final battle is upon her, there's more at stake than fighting. There's saving Ren, even if it incurs Shay's wrath. There's keeping Ansel safe, even if he's been branded a traitor. There's proving herself as the pack's alpha, facing unnamable horrors, and ridding the world of the Keepers' magic once and for all. And then there's deciding what to do when the war ends. If Calla makes it out alive, that is.
Great hook on the back cover, right? It's so dramatic. But, the book was all dramatic. Everything about it was action and tears and--overall, it was an emotional roller coaster, not only for the characters, but also for all the readers.
The book starts off right where we were left off; at the Haldis pack's cul-de-sac, a developement that was specifically reserved for the Nighshades and Banes once Ren and Calla get hitched. But things don't go as planned, blah-de-blah, you know the story (Refer to Wolfsbane if you don't) and the houses were never completed.
In this book, Ren proved himself worthy. Not only to Calla, but to the others--Adne, Connor, Ethan, etc. It was really surprising. As you know, he's Adne's half-brother, and he took that role very seriously. He genuinely loved somebody without all his smolder and jerkiness. I almost fell for him, but since I'm Team Shay, I didn't. His role in the book became big as things unraveled and adventures were taken.
I've always loved Calla. She's fearless, deadly, and strong. But, emotionally speaking, she was a wreak in Bloodrose. She was all over the place, and it drove me insane! I haven't always minded love triangles, but the triangle in this book almost sent me to madness. Calla never confided in her friends and I think that was the reason why she was in that predicament. She didn't know how she felt herself; she didn't know what her heart wanted. For me, the answer to her love triangle was obvious. (Dur! Just choose one of the guys and get it over with!) But, with the Searchers preparing for a big war and everything, she really couldn't choose right off the bat. Understandable. That still didn't mean it wasn't infuriating.
As the story progressed, Shay, Calla, and the rest of the gang travel all over the world in search for the remaining pieces of the Elemental Cross. They face danger around every corner--which was beautifully written--and get to get each other more. Silas came along! Even though people hate him, I've always liked Silas's practicality. We even get to know a bit more about Calla's father. He was awesome. And had great timing.
As you probably guessed, Shay succeeds and retrieves the last three pieces of the Elemental Cross. There's an epic battle scene, but I won't go into that because that's for you to find out.
It took me a while to come up with a good rating for this book, believe it or not. I agreed that it deserves 5 stars, just because I've always loved these books and I'm too nice. Please keep in mind that this is my personal opinion!
I'm really sad that this book came to an end, and with it, the story of Calla and her troubles and triumph. The ending irked me a bit, but that could just be me. It was bittersweet and terribly good. And, if Hey There Delilah by the Plain White Tees comes on anywhere around you while you're reading the last few pages of the book, STOP READING! I didn't cry. I think I would have if I wasn't cramped in a car with my family all around me, but the raw emotion of the book plus the song does not make a good mix.