Author: Andrea Cremer
Series: Nightshade #1
Genre: YA, Paranormal Romance
Summary (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?
What’s Good About It
I loved this one. So much good about it – from the beautiful presentation of the pages to the characters to the plot.
We’ll start with the pages. I know, I know, how a book looks has nothing to do with how good the story is, but whoever designed Nightshade did a really good job. I loved how the chapters of the book were phases of the moon. It set the mood for the whole story and was just so aesthetically pleasing that it made me want to turn the pages.
The characters in Nightshade were great too. While for the purpose of the story, the love triangle did have to set itself up fairly rapidly, but I believed the chemistry between Calla and Shay from the first meeting. After all, saving someone’s life would have a way of endearing you to them. Shay’s almost stalkerish pursuit of Calla didn’t come across as creepy because he was so likeable, even when being an idiot.
And Calla was tough – something I much prefer in YA paranormal stories to the sappy heroine whose largest problem in life is not knowing which boy to choose. She came across as strong and independent, without being unbearable, struggling between her duty to her pack and her distaste for the inevitable life of servitude to her alpha mate that would eventually lead to.
Ren, the obligatory love rival, was a well rounded character too – not just ‘hot’ but with motivations and desires of his own. I liked how it was never easy for Calla to choose between Ren and Shay, how every decision she made had consequences and caused problems for her.
To top this all off, there was a pretty amazing story to boot. Fast paced enough to keep me turning the pages not just for the pretty moon pictures, and exciting enough to hang the love triangle on without feeling like an afterthought. I loved the complications of the world, the hidden agendas of the races, and the mystery and intrigue of Shay’s involvement in it all.
I can’t wait for Wolfsbane to come out now!
What’s Not So Good
There was a bit of reliance on a ‘magic book with all life’s secrets’, but I can forgive that in the face of everything else excellent about this book.