Nightshade (Book #1) by Andrea Cremer
Reading Level: Young Adult
Release Date: Available Now
Source: Received from publicist for honest review
(Event hosted by Casey from The Bookish Type)
Summary: Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexyalpha 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?
My Review: Andrea's Nightshade world of spiraling events created a start to a potentially riveting werewolf trilogy. Throughout the novel I was presented with a radically distinct theme of love, loyalty and betrayal. However, I was also at a crossroad of shortcomings. Calla, the alpha female of the Nightshade pack was an unswerving leader with brave instincts. Her destiny was to mate with Ren, the leader of the Bane pack. Ren's drool-worthy ability tingled my core and made me wish I was in Calla's shoes for a day. Unfortunately, the human boy she saved in the woods, turned out to be her missing love piece. Her relationship bloomed unexpectedly with Shay and ignited forbidden behavior against the rules.
I know Shay is a popular character among readers, however with my taste, he didn't seem that special. I prefer Ren's confident and smooth demeanor over Shay's quiet approach. Nightshade had its high points but regrettably surfaced with flaws as well. Personally, the whole plot around the Guardians, Keepers and Searchers was confusing. With an unclear deliverance in the beginning, it luckily started coming together once the true meaning behind the groups were unveiled. On top of that, I felt Calla took a backseat in the story. Being a strong alpha, I would have liked to see her take charge of situations instead of submitting to the low female ranks of power.
Also, a specific scene that took place in a cave with Calla and Shay annoyed me. It was such a profound moment of change which lacked the fear and realism I was expecting. I don't want to give too much away, but I'm sure Nightshade readers know what I mean. Most of the characters were diverse, but I never really got to know them. Most likely, the next installments will give others time to shine. By the end of the novel, I was yet again impressed by Ren's actions and hope to see more of him in the sequel. Calla's future is unknown and I'm anticipating that Wolfsbane will win me over with an action packed war for the life she longed for. All in all, Andrea has written a virtually stimulating series which I'm sure will grow into a pleasurable trilogy. With her creativity and detailed skills, anything is possible.
My Rating: (3.5)
Andrea Cremer spent her childhood daydreaming while roaming the forests and lakeshores of Northern Wisconsin. She now lives in Minnesota, but she thinks of her homeland as the “Canadian Shield” rather than the Midwest. Andrea has always loved writing and has never stopped writing, but she only recently plunged into the deep end of the pool that is professional writing. When she’s not writing, Andrea teaches history at a very nice liberal arts college in St. Paul. In the little spare time she can find, Andrea stares up at trees, rescues infant rabbits from predatory cats, and invents names for pug puppies with her husband. She has an unfortunate tendency to spill things – white carpets beware!
For more info on Andrea, visit her sites(s):
Wolfsbane (Nightshade, #2) - July 12, 2011
Bloodrose (Nightshade, #3) - 2012