Monday, January 20, 2014

Review: Snakeroot

SNAKEROOT
Nightshade Legacy #1
Andrea Cremer
Paranormal Young Adult
336 pages
Philomel
Available Now
Source: ARC from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Fans asked for it, and now they've got it!

Andrea Cremer is continuing the story she began in in her internationally bestselling trilogy: Nightshade, Wolfsbane and Bloodrose.


Bosque Mar haunts the dreams of both Adne and Logan, trying to escape for the Nether, where Calla, Shay and the other Guardians trapped him in the final battle in the War of All Against All...

Will he turn Adne to the dark side? Will Logan reclaim his birthright? And will darkness take over our world?


MY THOUGHTS
Snakeroot is a story clearly written for lovers of the Nightshade series, providing a look at this world from a slightly different angle as secondary characters rise to the forefront and become the focus. This story does take a little while to really settle into–particularly for those of us who may not have read the entirety of the Nightshade series–our minds trying desperately to piece together the events of the previous books in order to understand the state of things in this first installment, but Ms. Cremer does a nice job of weaving helpful reminders into the fabric of this new story to help any who may be struggling to find purchase.

While the story itself is entertaining enough and many a reader will delight in seeing characters they thought they’d said goodbye to grace the pages with their presence, an emotional connection to neither characters nor events entirely forms. We follow several different characters in Snakeroot, but our time with them is spent directed outward–the roles they’re meant to play in facilitating Bosque Mar’s possible return outlined and the various pieces of the plot shuffled and moved into place–rather than inward (with perhaps the exception of Ren) where we would really be able to feel the pain of their losses in the previous books. This was perhaps a conscious decision given the dramatic events at the conclusion of Bloodrose, but those of us who didn’t experience that book and are picking this world back up anew are left a bit emotionally adrift with no one character really stepping forward to take our heart in their hands.

Despite this being very much an ensemble book with a handful of characters all playing major roles, Adne is arguably the most intrinsic part of this new installment, and she provides a challenge for most of the book. She’s clearly struggling in the aftermath of her brother and father’s deaths, and the addition of horrifying dreams in which Bosque Mar makes his presence known only deepen her misery. Instead of being honest with Connor who is clearly nothing but supportive however, she decides to keep everything to herself and deal with it on her own, a decision that is incredibly frustrating for all the unnecessary drama it causes. She’s given ample opportunity to confide in any of the people who love her, but every single time she pushes them away and, in doing so, only further opens herself up to Bosque Mar’s insidious influence.

Overall Snakeroot, while certain to be enjoyable for those who weren’t ready to leave this world behind in Bloodrose, feels like a preparatory story for what’s to come, a slow-build up culminating in an ending that’s more beginning than anything else. We’re left with what’s sure to be a long and arduous journey on the horizon, but the promise of a return to the very start of things in the highlands of Scotland does ratchet up the desire to see how events in the next installment will unfold.

Rating: 3.5/5
 

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This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

35 comments:

  1. So to get to the point, this won't be a book for me. I haven't even finished the Nightshade series so I don't think reading this spin off would be something exciting for me. It's sad really. I so wanted to love this series but didn't ...

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    1. I read book one and it was okay for me, but I really loved the two prequel books, so I figured I'd give this spin off a try. Adne wasn't my favorite because I don't like characters who try to handle everything on their own, but I am looking forward to the next book.

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  2. And I still have not read that other series

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    1. I highly recommend the two prequel books, I loved those:)

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  3. I've had the worst luck with Cremer's books so far. Something about them just doesn't work for me, and I'm pretty sure it would be the same with Snakeroot. Heroines that choose to keep secrets for no good reason than to drive everyone away are pretty much a dealbreaker for me.
    I never made it past book 1 in the original series so reading the spin off makes little sense.

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    1. I definitely struggled with Adne Maja. I just wanted her to confide in someone, particularly Connor. He was there for her every step of the way but she just wouldn't let him in. Grrr. Still, the ending was promising and I do want to follow this group to Scotland in the next book!

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  4. Hmmm I don't think I'll be giving this one a go because I don't think that the Nightshade series even captivated me enough to finish it. It sounds strong for the most part, but I don't like books that simply prep the next installment, you know? Great honest review though, Jenny!

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    1. I didn't finish the series either, which is likely in part why I stumbled through this one a bit. I did read book one and both prequels so I wasn't entirely lost, but this still didn't grab me quite the way I wanted it to.

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  5. I really loved the Nightshade series, but I think I am done with it. I read Captive, which is a spin-off, but I think I am going to skip this one. It sounds like there are a lot of characters to focus on in this one and sometimes that drives me nuts. Great review though, because I had been wondering about it.

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    1. I definitely need to read Captive Christina, I remember your review for that one. This one did bounce from character to character more than it did in Nightshade since obviously Calla narrated that series, but I was used to it since the prequels are the same way. Those worked better for me though.

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  6. I enjoyed the first two in the Nightshade series but didn't read the last one. Read this one and liked it...but didn't love it. Yeah, I think I'm done with this series as a whole. Time to move on!

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    1. I'm thinking I'll give the next one in this series a try and see where I meld out. I do want to go to Scotland Mary!

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  7. REN.

    OK? Just .... REN.

    As soon as I saw he was back, I jumped all over this book even though I had written off the series because of what happened in the last one. Way to lure me back in, Cremer.

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    1. I was very happy to see Ren as well:) I didn't read Bloodrose but I knew what happened to him, so it made me happy to see he wasn't quite as gone as we all thought:)

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  8. Thanks for sharing your review Jenny! Chayse read this and said it was a good spinoff. Will have to give it a try.

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    1. I think fans of the series will be really happy Savy!

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  9. I wasn't a fan of Nightshade in the least, so I likely won't pick this up though I've heard it's quite a good spin-off. I'm glad to see you enjoyed it despite a few flaws, so hopefully the rest of the trilogy shapes up just as well. Wonderful review, Jenny!

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    1. I know I was missing out a bit not having read the second two books in the series, but I still wanted just a touch more from this one. Still looking forward to book two though:)

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  10. I haven't read the Nightshade series because I heard bad things about the last book, so I don't think I would want to read this one either. It frustrates me when a character refuses to open up to the people around them, but since both her brother and her dad passed away, it must be hard for her.
    I hope this series continues to remain strong for you, Jenny.
    Great review!

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    1. This book kind of renders the last book in the trilogy not irrelevant, but it remedies some of the things that I think left fans upset:) I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes!

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  11. I have yet to read the NIGHTSHADE series, though I do have a copy of this one. The fact that it's sort of a filler story to prepeare for the books to follow leaves me slightly disappointed, but I've heard good things about the series as a whole and I might just have to delve into this world!

    Great review, Jenny!

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  12. I still haven't started either series (although it sounds like I need to read the first before starting this one) because of how many people were disappointed with the ending.

    Great honest review Jenny!

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  13. WHY ARE YOU GUYS DOING THIS? *dies* I have this book. I love this pretty cover. I love the title. I LOVE THESE CHARACTERS FOR CHRIST SAKE. Adne, Connor, Ethan, Sabine (and Ren) are 4 (5) of my very favorite characters in this Nightshade world and I can't wait to dig in. I'm bookmarking your review because I don't want to hear anything about this until I have read it. I peeked at your rating and 3.5 isn't bad, I was kind of expecting more, but you can only go up from here (hopefully) :)

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  14. I loved Nightshade and Wolfbane, but unfortunately was terribly disappointed with how Bloodrose ended, which is why I didn't bother picking this one up. Thanks for the honest review, Jenny!

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  15. I never read Bloodrose and I guess I was afraid to because everyone was freaking out about something that happened. I am a bit curious though so I need to read it and then continue on and read this one.

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  16. I haven't read the Nightshade series, although I did really like Rift. I think I might give this a try, since the storyline does sound interesting! Awesome review, Jenny :)

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  17. Seems to be a bit of hate going on towards the Nightshade books. While I did enjoy them, I did find some of the details behind the history a bit confusing. But I still enjoyed the books overall. The prequel dulogy was just as good, if I recall.

    So I am eager to come back to this world and see what else there is to see. I can't quite remember Adne, perhaps it's been too long since I was in the actual world of Nightshade when she was there--meaning not the prequel books. Would you say that the details that are spread out here and there a good recap or memory jump-starter?

    Nice review!

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  18. I still need to finish the other series. I want to do that before I start this series since they are set in the same world. I didn't love the Nightshade series but I did like it okay. However, I may wait a while since she kept killing me with the cliffies. Ugh I hated those. I'm hoping these aren't the same. :P

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  19. I haven't read this series so sadly this holds no appeal to me, but I am glad that you enjoyed aspects of it. Lovely review Jenny :)

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  20. I just can't get excited over this series. I think because some many people were disappointed by the third book.

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  21. No, Jenny, I don't think I can do this. I swore off to Andrea Cremer reads after the disaster that happened in Bloodrose, so I don't think I would be continuing it with Skateroot. Plus, I read the first book in Nightshade prequel and hated Bosque. On top of that, I don't like when people hide info and try to act like they can handle everything on there own. Well this comment is turning out to be more negative than I realized. I'm glad that you enjoyed some if it. Thanks for sharing :)

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  22. Probably not up my alley. Though I did just spend 5 min trying to figure out how to say the title. That actually is quite clever and I am sure has something to do with the series. I like it! Creative!

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  23. I had no idea Cremer was continuing this series. But unfortunately I will be staying far far away from it. I could barely make it through Nightshade. It's one of the worst love triangles EVER. I'm feeling triangle sensitive and ranty today so forgive me. But I'm glad that you found something to enjoy about this.

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  24. Whaaat?! I thought this was a direct continuation of Bloodrose! I returned Bloodrose to my TBR when I found out about this book but ugh, guess I'll be removing it again. :(

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  25. I completely agree with this review! This feels like a preface to something, and Adne's secrecy makes up most of the conflict in the story. I'm still hopeful about the next book, but a bit disappointed that this wasn't stronger. Wonderful honest review!

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