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? – Goodreads
Let’s start with the plot. There’s so much I would love to tell you, but if I was to do that there would be some serious hate/rotten tomatoes thrown my way due to immense spoilers. The plot is very fast paced, but at the same time, things are slow at being revealed/discovered. It doesn’t all come out at once, which I loved, because it meant that it wasn’t all thrown at you or Calla. Andrea Cremer took her time explaining the (brilliant) world that she has created, whilst keeping a lot of things a mystery at the same time. I couldn’t put this book down once I had started reading it. It was really a tremendous read for a debut novel, and I was shocked, even though I had heard plenty of excellent reviews on this book.
Learning about the Keepers and the Guardians was the best part of this novel. The history involved was in-depth and brilliantly thought out. Each little connection made led you closer to the truth, but even by the end of the novel you’re left needing and wanting to know more. Which is more than appropriate, because there is going to be a sequel coming out next year.
The main character, Calla, was brilliantly described and is probably one of my favourite female leads I have read about in the past few years. As some of you may know, I tend to have a major problem with a lot of female main characters, but I really loved Calla’s strong, independent character.
However, what kind of brought this book down a notch – for me – was the love triangle. I’ve seen so many of these, I’ve become bored of them. On one point of the triangle is Ren, the alpha male of the new pack, and consequently the werewolf Calla’s betrothed to. He’s strong, sarcastic, and flirty, at the same time as being loyal and kind. I did like Ren, but at times he got on my nerves and at one point in the story I truly did dislike him. However, I understood why he did what he did. He’s a pack leader, and won’t put the safety of his pack at risk for anything.
The other point in the love triangle is the new boy in town, Shay. He’s human with whom Calla suffers from the “love-at-first-sight” debacle. I honestly didn’t see why they had a sudden and immediate connection. Shay was an interesting character, but like I said – I wasn’t keen on the love triangle.
Cover: A+ . It’s absolutely beautiful. It has to be my favourite cover… ever!
Overall, I would recommend this book if you are looking for a fast paced, easy to read novel with a strong female lead.
Buy Nightshade at:
Format: Hardcover, 454 pages
Publication Date: October 19th 2010 (US)
Nightshade is not currently available in the UK, however you can pre-order the paperback edition from Amazon; to be released in December 2010.