Type: Young Adult Novel
Publisher: Philomel (Penguin Book)
My Copy: Library
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?
Calla is an alpha wolf. She was bred and raised to not ask questions. A new pack is being formed with the union of her and Ren, a boy that gives her warm fuzzy feelings. She may be nervous but her sense of duty to that of her people and her pack is steadfast. Ren is most definitely a good match, one many wolves would love to have.
Everything makes sense until Calla breaks a rule and saves a human from a bear attack on the mountain near her home. Shay is unlike any other boy she has ever known. He makes her feel…alive…normal. Calla starts doubting her rules, her destiny. Research into her packs past reveals lies that have been told to everyone. Those in charge fear those lies being found out.
What is worth risking your life? Those lives of people around you. Love and the truth.
I am so glad I decided to venture back to the YA genre with this book. Nightshade was a book I’d heard a lot of buzz about. Something you either loved or you hated. I, for one, really enjoyed it once I got into it. I can’t even explain to you what jumped out at me. I’m at a loss on that. Nightshade kept me engrossed and coming back for more. The story line ran at a good pace and I wasn’t ever bored while reading it. Coming from someone that doesn’t read a lot of YA because it usually fails to keep me interested, I was really surprised by Nightshades ability to entertain me.
I really liked the interactions within Calla and Ren’s pack. At times they seemed so very human and then other times sounded very much like the wolves they embodied. Calla’s conflicting emotions between Ren and Shay were very well wrote. I was quite surprised at the level of sexuality that Andrea wove into the book. She really pushed the line as far as YA goes. However I found it to be a refreshing and honest look at the way in which teenagers feel, especially girls. The new feelings, the want and need that pulls at a young woman when she starts falling in love.
Nightshade’s world building was really good as well. By the end of the book I was left wondering who was lying and who was telling the truth. The wraiths really reminded me of the Dementors from Harry Potter though. I did like the presence of other supernatural creatures like succbi. Even if they weren’t portrayed in quite the way I normally read about them. Feeding off mere emotion instead of sex.
At the heart of the novel is the old good versus evil story. Someone blinded by the lies and lead to believe they are doing right when in fact they are living as slaves. The story has been done a million times but I really enjoyed this foray into it. Andrea’s writing pulls you in and you keep reading, even if you’re not quite sure why. She is descriptive without being annoyingly so and her characters relationships are well-rounded and thought out.
The next book, Wolfsbane, comes out this summer. It will be a definite read for me!
I give Nightshade by Andrea Cremer 4.50 stars!