Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Publisher: Philomel/ Penguin
Release Date: October 19, 2010
Source: MundieMoms ARC Tour
My Rating: 5 Stars-It was amazing!
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?(From Penguin)
When I read that Nightshade was about werewolves I immediately added it to my list, I was eager and excited about getting the chance to read it and get my next fix on another great werewolf story. What I was not expecting was to be blown away by Andrea Cremer's unique take on werewolf mythology, not only do we get werewolves but there are other types of magical and mythical creatures that I wasn't expecting.
Nightshade to me was pretty incredible, from the very first page you get swept away into this fast paced world of werewolves and magic that Andrea Cremer has created. The werewolves have their packs and their leaders, Calla and Ren are the ones that will be the future leaders and have been arranged to be married to form a new pack together. In Nightshade the werewolves only purpose is to be the protectors of the keepers and their secret sites, they are not allowed to let any human know what they are or date and marry whoever they want. To me it seemed more like slavery the way they are treated by the keepers, yes they give them money, houses, and cars but they are not allowed to make their own decisions about the big things, everything has to be approved by the keepers and if not there are consequences and possibly death. At times I wished that they would just go wolf on these bully warlocks and rip their throats out or something.
Calla and her friends seem to accept their fate even though Calla can't stand Ren and his womanizing ways, she's willing to marry him for the future of the pack and because she pretty much has no other choice until Shay comes into her life and stirs up trouble. We get a really complicated love triangle in this one, we have the hot bad boy Ren that causes a lot of sexual tension between him and Calla and can get the reader's thoughts all muddled and make you feel like your melting. Then there's the sweet and brave Shay that is also very hot and not willing to take no for an answer even when he knows he can get killed. I personally had a hard time picking between the two so you can definitely understand Calla's frustration, does she follow her heart and gut feelings or should she obey the rules and tradition? There's plenty of difficult choices to be made in this story and most of them fall on poor Calla.
We get a lot of characters in this one but they are very well written that you feel a connection to each one and feel like you're right there, a part of their little group seeing the story unravel right in front of you. The story is woven perfectly that you don't feel like you're missing something or confused while you're reading even though there are a lot of things happening at once and we have many characters, it's not hard to keep up. The ending is definitely one that I did not see coming and when I got to it I kept flipping the pages back and forth to see if some more words would appear by magic but of course it didn't and it just left me desperate and yearning for the next one. Nightshade is one of my favorite books of the year, I loved it's unpredictability and twists that keep you on your toes while reading and its brave and tough heroine. It was way better than I imagine it would be and I can't wait to finally own it and read it again!