Release Date: October 19, 2010
Age Group: Young Adult
Received From: Publisher
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she’ll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters’ laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything–including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?
Where do I start? I have been reading YA paranormals with a very critical eye this year. How can you not with 7,452,897 out there? I was almost hesitant to pick up Nightshade. It had sitting on my shelf for months! Then, I thought ‘What the heck! I’m reading it!’ It only took me a few pages to regret my hesitation. Andrea Cremer doesn’t waste any time, you jump right into the story line! No explanations. No long drawn out history. Just Bam! Some people might not like this, and I admit that it wouldn’t work with every book, but Andrea Cremer pulled it off flawlessly.
Nightshade introduces us to a new fantasy world that was completely original and engaging. Aspects reminded me of the world in Vampire Academy. Not anything specific, maybe just the overall vibe. Nightshade isn’t about werewolves, not really. They really aren’t werewolves, they are Guardians. They can turn into wolves anytime they want. They are sworn to protect the Keepers and must abide by their rules, but are given every comfort in life.
There are layers and layers of world building, it just isn’t obvious. A lot of things don’t really get explained until at least 100 pages into the book. The history is complex and I can’t wait to learn more about it in the second book.
Calla was completely kick ass! Sometimes an author portrays strong characters as unfeeling. Thankfully Andrea Cremer managed to make Calla strong and full of emotions at the same time. She felt real. Some of her choices were questionable, but she’s a teenager! All the secondary characters, the packs, were fantastic. They were intricate, even though they might not have played a huge role in the story. I can remember each ones different personality days later!
The love interests….Wow! I don’t know if I have ever been so torn in a love triangle. Ren is the mate chosen for Calla from birth. They are the future of the new pack. Shay stumbles into their world completely ignorant of it, but he has true feelings for Calla.
I honestly don’t think I have ever read about 3 hornier teenagers! My god! All they had to do was look at each other! I usually find this very annoying but in case of Nightshade it worked! The chemistry between Calla and the boys was undeniable! It will leave you questioning who she should be with. In the end I sided with Shay, though. *sigh*
I guess you can tell from this (looong) review that I really really enjoyed this book! Nightshade is a gem! It has restored my faith in the paranormal genre. Don’t miss it!!