Nightshade (Nightshade #1) by Andrea Cremer 454 pages Published June 28th 2011 (Original date: October 19th 2010) Buy at Amazon
Calla is the alpha female of a shape-shifting wolf pack. She is destined to marry Ren Laroche, the pack’s alpha male. Together, they would rule their pack together, guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But then, Calla saves a beautiful human boy, who captures her heart. Calla begins to question everything – her fate, her existence, and her world and the orders the Keepers have asked her to follow. She will have to make a choice. But will she follow her heart if it means losing everything, including her own life?
Wow. Nightshade was incredibly addicting. I didn’t even plan on reading it, but once I read an excerpt I was hooked!
The story and the history of the wolves was what really had me coming back for more. Things were explained in such a way that it didn’t feel like a brain overload, instead, it was interesting and in no way was there a dreaded info dump. The wolves aka Guardians, are soldiers for the Keepers. They protect them -the Keepers- and in return they given everything they need in life. I can’t explain how interesting and sad that their history is because it would be full of spoilers!
One thing I really liked was the pack (& I did get the names confused) and how they acted. Nightshade keeps Calla and her friends acting like wolves, like instinct for the hunt, fear and prey, dominance, etc. I just wished there had been more of it. We’re shown parts of how the pack work, but we’re not really given too many scenes that show this.
I do think the love triangle was a bit much. A big theme of Nightshade was desire and wanting what you can’t have. The love triangle played a major factor in this, but I still, after reading the whole book, can’t decide if Calla choose right. I, personally, didn’t particularly like Shay (the beautiful human boy) and I really can’t say why. He was just meh. A love struck boy fascinated by wolves. Ren might be a playboy, but he seemed sincere, and I’ve already fallen for him.
Let me go back to the desire part: every chance they get, someone is trying to stick their hands down Calla’s pants and at the same time, she’s pushing them away saying no and yet, a few more pages and we’re back to square one. No joke. I get that she’s supposed to wait for her union with Ren, but the way it’s portrayed in the story made it seem like a bad thing- I’m talking about sex, not waiting here.
There were some other things that made me question Calla and if you read Nightshade, you’ll see. She makes some pretty poor decisions regarding the secrets of pack and the orders she is given.
The good things about Nightshade really overshadow the bad things. Because seriously, all those moments where I trapped flies in my mouth were awesome. There are seriously some awesome moments that will have your brain spinning. It’s a definite must read and I can’t wait to start read Wolfsbane!