Book Review: Snakeroot (Nightshade Legacy #1) by Andrea Cremer
PROS:the return of beloved characters; interesting internal Search politics; stronger, tighter writing than the first three books
CONS:Calla and the pack are sorely missed; ending leaves you hanging
A solid return to a beloved world and its lively characters.
Warning: slight spoilers for the prior three Nightshade books
When I heard Andrea Cremer was going to extend her Nightshade series beyond the first three books, I was excited, but a bit nervous. Given where we leave Calla and her pack at the end of Bloodrose, I wasn’t sure how the story could proceed, and how different the reading experience would be. While Snakeroot succeeded at bringing many beloved characters back in play, it never really approached the excitement levels of the first three books. Nevertheless, it was so lovely to be back in the world of Nightshade, so I’m firmly on the hook for these final three books.
I have adored Adne ever since Wolfsbane, so I was thrilled to see this story centers mostly around her. She’s having strange dreams about Bosque Mar, the big evil baddie who was banished to the Nether at the end of Bloodrose. Apparently he’s not done wreaking havoc on this world, and Adne is his next target. Meanwhile, Logan is on the run, seeking out the few remaining Keepers left in the world as he comes to terms with a life without magic. He realizes Bosque is his only hope at reclaiming the power he needs, and he puts a plan in motion to bring him back.
Possibly the coolest part of the story is that we get more Ren time! No matter what side of the Shay-Calla-Ren triangle you were on, Ren’s fate in Bloodrose had to hit you hard (I was Team Ren, so I imagine it hit me slightly harder). I’m thrilled that he’s back in this story, and that he’s the protective older brother Adne deserves (the girl has lost too many people).
While the writing is tighter (much less infodump) than in the prior three books, the plot could definitely have been stronger. Unfortunately, facing down the same villain I thought we already vanquished isn’t as exciting as I thought it would be. It’s hard to summon up the same sense of danger I felt before, since the events of this book seem to make any ground gained by Calla, the Guardians and the Searchers nearly meaningless. I think a new villain would have been more interesting. Also, despite my love for Adne, Connor, Sabine, Ethan and Ren, I really miss Calla and Shay and the pack. We had a first person, very personal approach in the first three books, so this omniscient third person feels a bit strange and removed, though it does allow us to see all the moving parts of the story and how they will come together rather well.
Overall, Snakeroot is a solid, fast-paced read that brings us back to a sorely missed world and its lively, lovable characters, so I can forgive the cockroach style villain (I’m not sure this dude can ever be killed really, but we’ll see). I’m firmly on the hook to see what happens next, especially after the rather abrupt “to be continued” style ending.