Sunday, January 20, 2013

Rise by Andrea Cremer

Rise (Nightshade Prequel, #2)Reading Level: Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 432 Pages
Release Date: January 8, 2013
Publisher: Philomel
Narration: Third Person:
Ember, Alistair, Eira
Genre: Historical Fiction, Werewolves

Nightshade Prequels:
Book One: Rift
Book Two: Rise

Nightshade Series:
Book One: Nightshade
Book Two: Wolfsbane
Book Three: Bloodrose

Order On Amazon: Hardcover
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Order On Barnes and Noble:
Hardcover and Nook

Author's
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Goodreads Synopsis:

The sequel to Rift and the prequel to the New York Times bestselling novel Nightshade.

Everything Conatus stands for is at risk. Hoping to gather enough resistance to save their order, Ember and Barrow attempt a desperate escape. But fate offers little mercy. When their mission is exposed, the couple face relentless pursuit by the supernatural horrors that act on the commands of Eira’s ally: the mysterious Bosque Mar. A shocking revelation forces Ember out of hiding, sending her back into the heart of dark magic at Tearmunn keep, where she must convince her old friend Alistair of her love or face dire consequences. Ember’s deception offers the only chance for the resistance to succeed, but what she discovers in the shadows beneath the keep will shatter her world and bring about the Witches’ War.

Richly sensual and full of magic, action and danger, Andrea Cremer's fifth book set in the Nightshade world is an edge-of-your-seat page turner.


My Review:

Andrea Cremer was the first author to get me hooked on werewolf novels! Yeah yeah Twilight was a major contender in it as well, but in my opinion, Twilight was more focused on vampire lore and their origins rather than werewolves themselves. When I first read Twilight (My first YA Novel ever!), I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread! But now that I reminisce on it after reading a whole plethora of vamp novels; I have recently realized that the whole idea of sparkly, shiny bloodsuckers is a bit silly.

Anyways, back to the whole werewolf genre. After I heard that Andrea was planning on writing prequels to her bestselling Nightshade series, I was flipping ecstatic. Two huge reasons why I love her novels so much are because of her epic writing style and her badass female protagonists! In Nightshade, we follow the story of Calla, a girl who isn't happy about her carefully arranged marriage and future. Instead of submitting to her master's orders, she finds a way to fight back in order to gain control of her own life and make her own decisions. Ember has a similar story as well. She too, isn't happy with what her father has in store for her, and instead of marrying some airhead with a buttload of money just for the purpose of securing allies for her greedy father, she flees to Conatus, in hopes of becoming what she has always dreamed of being.  A Warrior.

And did you see the covers!? Rift was absolutely gorgeous! I had to quell the urge to buy a hardcover copy in Barnes & Noble, just for the purpose of staring at it all day. The cover for Rise was pretty as well, but I didn't fangirl over it as much as I did Rift.The yellow color palette was unique; I don't see much of those shades on YA novels! But, to me, the candle looked corny and fake, which ruined my overall obsessiveness of the cover.

Historical Fiction is not my forte, but I have to say that Rift, Rise, and Throne of Glass are rare exceptions. The style of writing Andrea used helped me connect with the characters and imagine the setting in which these events took place. Andrea has a unique way of structuring sentences that just immediately captures your full attention. In Rise, answers and jaw dropping discoveries are finally revealed! Although I wasn't completely satisfied with the explanations that were given, Andrea did a decent job at it considering the fact that she invented this mythology from scratch. However, there were still a few loose ends that I really wished were better tied together. It's not necessary to read the prequels before reading Nightshade, because there's only like what, one character that connects both series? But I would definitely recommend reading them in order so that you understand the whole background story, how werewolves were brought into the world, and where wraiths and lyulfs really originated. 

Ember. I was quite flabbergasted by the changes in her personality and character. Maybe it's just me, but I felt like she was nowhere near the headstrong, fiery spirit that she was in Rift (No Pun Intended xD). What Happened!? There were a few moments when I enjoyed Ember's character and how she responded to difficult situations, but the majority of the time I felt like she was weak, desperate, and needy for attention. It wasn't too bad in the first 30% or so, but as soon as she returned to Alistair, things got ugly. All Alistair had to do was ignore her for a few days, and she would go out of her mind wondering what she did wrong and why he wouldn't pay attention to her. I mean yeah those are realistic reactions, but it was just the way that Ember said it, acted, and her thought process that just made me want to smack her. The old Ember definitely wouldn't let anyone use or push her around like that. I understand that a lot of it was a act to try to gain Alistair's trust in order to use it to their advantage, but you can still act one way and think another.

Another thing that I was really looking forward to were the fighting scenes and the interactions between Ember and her horse Caber. I'm a huge sucker for animal companions; For Example Buruu in Stormdancer and Nox (I think that was her name..) in the Touch of Frost series. I loved the fact that Caber had his own little personality and horsey sense of humor. Although we do see some of Caber in this novel, he wasn't in it nearly as much as I hoped. There were barely any fighting scenes either! Only a short one in the very end, which was basically the only reason I wanted to read this book in the first place. For the action and adventure! I get that it was neccessary for certain events to pass in order to set the scene up for the actual novels themselves, but I couldn't help but be disappointed by the outcome. =/

Alistair was a complete physco. He never respected Ember as a warrior or saw her as his equal in combat like the others did. And now after reading Rise, I'm glad that my hypothesis from the previous novel was dead on. He was scum. Absolute scum. Of course this was probably the author's intention, but still. Here's a quick recap if you don't remember who he is: Ever since they were children, Alistair was in love with Ember, unbeknownst to her. As they grew older, his love turned into something much darker and sinister. What used to be affection and compassion morphed into lust, dominance, and possession. Of course it's not totally his fault. Bosque Mar, the netherling responsible for the pickle of a situation there in, had a huge hand in his violent transformation. Anything connected to Bosque, anything at all, would be corrupted sooner or later. Bosque Mar just repressed Alistair's redeeming qualities and enhanced his ambition and drive to crush anything that got in his way.

The action was pretty well paced. Even when I didn't like what I was reading, I couldn't bring myself to put the book down. Although I enjoyed the first prequel Rift a lot more than Rise, because of the vast number of battle scenes, Rise was intriguing in it's own way.

Overall, if you enjoyed the Nightshade series, I encourage you to read these as well. Rift was magnificently written and included everything from dark magic, intense battle scenes, a steamy romance, and most important of all, a strong heroine. In Rise, we see more answers to the questions we've been asking, at the expense of losing our brave heroine and fast paced fighting scenes. Although I was disappointed at how Rise turned out, I don't regret reading it.
 
Note: This review was entered for the 2013 January Paranormal Reading Challenge.

Heroine- 2.5/5
Action- 3.5/5 Kept me interested even when I didn't like what I was reading.
Romance- 3/5
Writing- 5/5
Overall- 3.5/5

4 comments:

  1. Great review! Loved reading your opinion. I wish that we were able to see more of Caber too!

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  2. OOoh nice review!! I have this to read as well, although I read Rise nearly a year ago when I scored an ARC. So my memory is totally fuzzy on details, hoping it returns when I eventually get to reading that one!

    Again, amazing review!

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  3. I had so so feelings for Rift, but I still loved Ember, and with the ending for Rift, I was very much looking forward to Rise. It's sucks that you didn't like Ember in this book, but I think I'm still going to give it a try.

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  4. I never really was a fan of the Nightshade series. I was put off by the first book, and when I read reviews of the last book, I was even more put off because the guy I was rooting for dies. Not to mention complaints about Calla and Shay's relationships.

    Hm.. No offense, but from what seems to be coming from here, Rise is one of those cliched paranormal books. Which is sad... :( Hopefully the next book in the series will be better.

    Angie @ YA Novelties

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