Nightshade – Andrea Cremer
Pages: 452 (ARC)
Publisher: Atom (Little, Brown)
Release Date: 28th December 2010
From Goodreads: 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?
Nightshade is a fantastically engaging and compelling debut from Andrea Cremer that had me hooked with the very dramatic beginning.
This is an unusual novel regarding the usual conventions of YA paranormal romance. Instead of a normal human girl being thrown into the midst of a supernatural world and having to be introduced to its lore and have things explained, we join Nightshade’s protagonist, Calla, in the centre of the action. As she is already such an integral part of the supernatural elements the lore is revealed naturally and as it is needed. This approach is very refreshing in a genre that’s becoming clichéd.
I found the pack dynamics fascinating. All of the hierarchies and power plays that ruled the Bane and Nightshade packs were complex and very specific to wolves. Andrea Cremer then introduced the origins and lore of the Guardians and Keepers. It’s completely unique and original. I did find it a little confusing in the beginning with which wolves were members of which pack and other details like that, but I did eventually get everyone sorted out.
I’ve always believed that to love a book I need to love the protagonist, but Nightshade proved me wrong. It’s not that I didn’t like Calla, it’s just that I didn’t really feel anything for her. But saying that, I was cheering her on throughout the novel and I had a very clear idea on who I wanted her to be with: Shay, as I didn't like Ren at all. The relationship between Calla and the two boys were fiery and intense, made even more so by Andrea Cremer’s sensual and seductive writing.
Nightshade is a brilliant novel and left Calla’s story in such a way that has me dying for Wolfsbane.
For my 2010 Debut Author Challenge, 2010 100+ Reading Challenge