Release Date: October 19, 2010
Source: BEA 2010
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 was so astonishingly well-written, so well-crafted that I'm wondering how could this possibly be Andrea Cremer's debut? Every single detail about this novel, from the fantastically awesome main character to its world building and beyond, was flawlessly executed; there is never a lull in the story, never any moment where I, as a reader, wanted to take a break and stop reading--I was, simply put, addicted to this story.
Calla, as I mentioned before, is an awesome main character; she is fierce, intelligent and extremely loyal to her family and friends. As a reader, I appreciated her strength but I really admired her devotion to her family and pack. As the alpha, she has a lot of responsibility placed on her and she never takes this lightly: she has a no-nonsense attitude which was very commendable. The hierarchy of Calla's world was fascinating to read about--there was a political vibe to it which really caught my attention and as the story progressed, the menacing undertone, coupled with Calla's increasing fear for her situation, really helped moved the story along. Cremer also wove mythology and philosophy into the book which really added to the mystery (and the promise of more danger to come).
Oh, and how can I forget the romance? Cremer knows how to write a good love triangle: The two boys she presents are so deliciously sexy that even I'm torn as to which one is better suited for Calla. Ren and Shay both stand a good chance of winning Calla and since there's no definete idea (so far) of what's going to happen to these three, I'm even more anxious to get my hands on the sequel.
Addictive and sizzling with power, Nightshade was a stellar debut. Cremer has tremendous potential as a writer; I sense that her new take will be a welcome change among all of the usual werewolf stories. Fans of Blood & Chocolate should pick this up without fear of being disappointed; Nightshade truly delivers.