Author: Andrea Cremer
Series: Nightshade, #1
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Philomel (Imprint of Penguin)
Date Published: October 19th, 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?
Going into this book, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Part of me, for some reason, thought I might not like it. But another part of me was excited about the book because of all the buzz floating around the time it came out. After reading it, I find myself right in the middle in terms of how I felt.
Calla is alpha of her pack, the Nightshades. Her pack will soon be merging with another pack, the Banes, by a union between her and the Banes’ pack leader, Ren. She has always known what she was meant for, and who she was meant to be with. But when she saves a human boy named Shay from being attacked by a bear, her feelings about her certain future begin to change. She starts to question why her future is written out for her, and why she has no say in it. She also starts to feel things for Shay that she’s never felt about anyone else, even the boy she’s supposed to be with.
If you’ve read the little prequel for this series, Shadow Days, then you’ll notice that this kind of starts off right where that one left off. Only it’s in Calla’s POV rather than Shay’s. I liked that because the prequel leaves us pretty much hanging, so it was good that it jumped right into that. I also liked the world that was created here. It seems very unique to me and it’s still kind of mysterious, even after the first book is completed. There’s still so much more to learn about this world, and so many more answers which we will hopefully get in the future books.
What I didn’t like most about this book was that it was pretty dry. It just seemed to drag for most of it and, quite honestly, I think a lot of it could have been edited out and made shorter. I also found myself feeling extremely sorry for Ren, and I thought that Calla was extremely cold and mean to him. I honestly didn’t see what she saw wrong with him. In fact, I liked him a lot better than Shay. In the prequel I liked Shay, but in this book he just seemed whiny and disrespectful of others. Ren was constantly trying to make things work with Calla and I could genuinely see that he cared about her. But she just didn’t seem to even want to give him the time of day. The only times that he would do something a bit jerk-ish was when she hurt him in some way, which was understandable to me. It just sort of seemed like she only liked Shay because of him being so forbidden.
Overall, I wasn’t too impressed with the book. It has a solid world there that I’ll be interested to see develop in the future books. But I was just disappointed with the two main characters. I found Calla to be cold and uncaring and Shay to be immature and ignorant, making rash decisions before thinking them out. I hope that their characters come into themselves and mature in the future novels, and that I will start liking them better as a couple as well.
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