Saturday, September 18, 2010

Review of Nightshade

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Pages: 464
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pub. Date: October 16, 2010
ARC received through LibraryThing 
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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 Tor attends The Mountain School and has her life mapped out after graduation.  She is paired with Ren, another alpha, and they will fight together, rule together, and do whatever The Keepers ask.  Calla and Ren are Guardians, part wolf and part human and keep certain sacred sites safe for The Keepers.  Calla understands the expectations of being an alpha and doesn't question the world she lives in until one day on patrol she sees a hiker, Shay, being attacked by a bear. She saves this hiker's life, which is against the rules, but assumes she will never see him again.  That is until he enrolls at The Mountain School and she becomes friends with him.  Calla starts to question everything, especially when her and Shay start to figure out the truth about The Keepers.  This book ultimately questions the epic question of whether people should follow their hearts or follow their heads?  Either way, Calla will be required to make many sacrifices.  Andrea Cremer's debut, Nightshade, is an action-packed novel that will not disappoint fans of the paranormal genre.

One of the reasons I enjoyed this book is the fact that Calla isn't a typical heroine.  She's an alpha, which means she's strong, in charge, and brave.  I thought this was unusual, especially if we compare her to the typical main character in YA. (Ahem....Bella Swan, I'm talking to you!)  A lot of females in YA are whiny and wait around for the male to tell them what to do.  I enjoyed Calla's determination and the fact that she questioned her position in the world that the Keepers have created.  I also felt that the other characters were fascinating as I don't read many books with wolves.  I felt the whole pack mentality and the world that Cremer created was compelling and had me up late many a night flipping the pages desperately.

There's a love triangle in this book that is extremely captivating. I can't even say what "team" I'm on as I can see both sides and both perspectives.  There was definitely some steamy tension in this book and Calla often fought with herself concerning her conflicting emotions regarding what was "right" versus her raging hormones.  Also, kudos to Cremer for creating a best friend, Bryn, that is reliable and a true friend to Calla. Being that Bryn is second in command to Calla, I was glad to see that she was a good friend and not someone that would stab her in the back.  

Cremer's writing style was absorbing.  There's a bit of a conspiracy in this book and I was desperately trying to figure out where she was going to take the plot.  I especially enjoyed how each chapter is separated by a picture of a moon and displayed a different phase of the moon.  That was a nice touch that definitely set the eerie mood. This book is also set during the month of October, which I think is the perfect time to read Nightshade being that most of the plot takes place during the same month.

I will definitely be reading the sequel, Wolfsbane, which comes out next summer.  Cremer has left us in suspense at the end of Nightshade and I'm dying to know what's going to happen.  There's a third book, Bloodrose, which will come out during the spring of 2012.  I can already see that this book is going to accumulate quite a following!  Many teens will be captivated by the world that Cremer has created and I'm glad, because Calla is a kick-butt heroine!  If you buy any book at all this coming October, make sure it's Nightshade by Andrea Cremer as it will go perfectly with the upcoming autumn weather and moonlit nights.

*Pre-order Nightshade

*Watch the book trailer:


  1. Excellent review! This book fascinates me, and I just can't wait to read it! :)

  2. Well you know I'm a huge werewolf fan so I can't wait to read Nightshade! Your endorsement makes me even more excited!!

  3. Thank you for this wonderful review, Christina. I want to read this book but I have seen a few mixed reviews so I'm in no hurry to purchase it.

  4. Fab review. I love the sound of the heroine. You've made me want to pre-order this. Exciting!

  5. Thanks for stopping by, everyone!

    Kris- You'll love this book!

    Ladybug- If you are a werewolf fan, you'll enjoy this one!

    Becky- I really did like Calla. I hope you get to read this soon!

  6. Awesome review. So what kept you from loving it?


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