Book Title/Author: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Publisher/Year: : HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Fiction
Other Books From Author: Wolfsbane (Book #2), Bloodrose (Book #3), Rift (prequel to Nightshade series)
Official Summary: 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?
Hmm. Make no mistake — I LIKED Nightshade. I really did. I’ll read the rest of the series. I’d probably even recommend it to those who really LOVE the paranormal genre or who are wanting to get into it. I just don’t think I LOVED it like everyone else did. I read it really intently and was on the edge of my seat sometimes but I just kind of finished it like — “Ok, cool, that was good and fun.” I was excited to move on to the series to be immersed in the world again but I wasn’t out of my mind dying to get the second book.
I think the best part of this book is the lore and the world-building. It was all so delightfully magical and it was easy to get swept into this world. It was the kind of intricate, thoughtfully crafted world building that I love and find myself enchanted by and Andrea Cremer holds you captive as she tells this fantastical tale. I really enjoyed learning about the roles of the Keepers, Searchers & Guardians and how complex their history is.
AND THE BEST PART, this isn’t some cheesy werewolfy world. No, friends, this is one fantastic werewolf story — it doesn’t fall flat in terms of learning the order of the world. It’s complex. It’s not one of those stories where you could just plunk in any ol’ paranormal creature as the main characters and the story would essentially be the same. I’ve seen paranormal that doesn’t build that world so much and I could have inserted vampires in place of werewolf and WAH LAH..the story is still the same aside from some minor details. Andrea Cremer’s world of werewolves is COMPLEX! There is a whole society! A rich history! Totally the stuff of paranormal I really dig! And her writing is fan-freaking-tastic.
I think the underwhelming part for me was the whole love triangle thing. I know, I know…everyone loves this love triangle. Maybe I’m just all jaded now about love triangles and I would have totally loved this before I was inundated with tales of love triangles? Either way. It didn’t feel THAT different to me. Ok, here’s the boy she’s SUPPOSED to be with and here’s the new guy that she kinda really actually likes. WHAT IS A GIRL TO DO? That romantical storyline can be interesting but I just never really felt like I really cared WHO she ended up with…I just wanted her to make up her darn mind and PICK somebody and stop being so fickle. And I think it kind of made me ambivalent to Calla. And she really didn’t stand out to me as this AWESOME heroine. I mean, sure, she kicks ass at times but I never really felt wowed by her as a character. She just really fell flat for me but luckily there were some other really great characters to make up for it.
And I know some of you are curious — I’m Team Shay. Just had to throw that out there.
Nightshade was a really fun paranormal read that dazzled me with its world-building and fine tuned lore. I was so intrigued by the world and the hierarchy and the history — Andrea Cremer writes it all beautifully and with intrigue! If you left it at that, I would have been just as head-over-heels as it seems most people were. Unfortunately for me, a really main part of this book — the romance — just distracted me from what I loved most about it as it didn’t seem as unique or as well developed as the world. I think if you are a fan of YA paranormal that is set in a fantastically built world and includes a romance, you’ll really enjoy this book. Unfortunately, the romance wasn’t the strong point for me as I think it is for others as I just didn’t find it as anything new or even that compelling for me. All in all, a really great start to an intriguing series that I will more than likely continue on with.