Friday, November 12, 2010

Jen Reviews "Nightshade"

Title: Nightshade (Nightshade #1)
Author: Andrea Cremer
Published: Philomel Books, 2010
How I Got It: Purchased myself
Rating: 4 stars


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 the book jacket)


What caused this book to skyrocket to the top of my to-read list and also convinced me to pre-order the book (and I never pre-order books)?  The ingenious marketing plan.  When I first heard about this book I thought it sounded interesting and of course added it to my constantly growing TBR list.  Then about a month before the book’s release one of the main characters, Shay Doran, started popping up all over the Internet.  You could actually interact with Shay.  He had his own Facebook page, a blog, and he’d post videos that addressed fans by name.  I really enjoyed following Shay’s adventures through Rowan Estate and hearing all of the strange happenings.  

Now onto the book! 

First, the cover is so amazing.  I fall hard for good book covers.  The dust jacket feels pretty.  I’m not sure how to describe it, but the texture is just...pretty!  Side note #1:  I love Calla’s makeup on the cover.  Hey, maybe next Halloween I’ll dress up as Calla. 

Nightshade starts off with Calla, the alpha female of the Nightshade pack, saving a human who was being attacked by a bear.  She didn’t recognize the boy, she thought he was a lost tourist.  Needless to say, Calla got a surprise when the human, Shay, shows up in one of her classes a couple weeks later.

This book has one of the most intense love triangles I’ve come across recently.  Our alpha female is torn between two worthy (but completely different) suitors: Ren, the alpha male of the Bane pack and Shay, the new kid at school.  All of her life Calla has known that she has been ‘arranged’ to marry Ren.  Since they are both alphas their packs will combine to form one larger pack.   Then just before the union Shay comes into the picture.  This makes Calla question if she should just assume her role as Ren’s mate or if she should take a chance and make her own decisions.  Side note #2:  One thing that drove me crazy throughout the book was how Ren was allowed to date different girls but Calla had to stay ‘pure’ until the union.

I don't want to get too much into the paranormal aspect.  It's too hard to not give away any major spoilers.  The Keepers, Guardians and Searchers are all quite fascinating.  The mystery that starts to unravel is riveting (but a little confusing, I had to reread some parts).  The dynamic of the werewolf packs and their traditions is interesting. 

Overall, I really enjoyed Nightshade!  I loved how strong of a character Calla is, yet she still gets flustered by a cute boy.  I'm looking forward to the next installment of the trilogy!

Side note #3:   There is one part of the story that I did not like at all.  It’s a pretty big twist and I did not see it coming.  It takes place in a cave...if you read the book you probably know what I’m talking about.  

So I'm pretty new to the paranormal genre.  I'd like to read more paranormal books, any recommendations?  I've only read the Twilight books and Shiver.  


  1. DYING to read this!! Great review, Jen! I was ogling over this cover the other day at Borders!

  2. Nice review. I haven't read this book yet but can hardly wait! And the new cover for Wolfsbane is gorgeous!

  3. Glad to hear that you enjoyed the book! I really loved it as well. The Ren vs Calla dating thing REALLY bothered me too, but I was intrigued by how Calla seemed to be slowly getting more and more annoyed by it as well. I actually contacted Ms. Cremer and she provided an interesting response in my review post, which is here if you are interested:

  4. Maybe try the Trisha Telep collection of paranormal short fiction, Kiss Me Deadly? Lots of new authors to 'meet', and a handful of the stories are set in current novelized universes (the Hush, Hush universe and the Killer Unicorns one, for example). I reviewed it if you're interested!

  5. I'm hoping to get this one read this week end.

    Kiersten White's Paranormalcy is a super paranormal book. I'd also recommend Kelley Armstrong's YA trilogy. Rachel Caine and Melissa Marr have great series out, too. :)

  6. I think it's so funny that everyone is saying how much they love the cover. It was actually part of the reason that I didn't take this ARC from my B&N I work at—that might have been a mistake. Have you read Blood and Chocolate by Annette Kurtis Klauss? That was a great werewolf book that sounds kind of similar.

  7. Nice review! I think there's been so much buzz about this book that I'll have to read it eventually but I'm really regretting getting hooked on so many Book #1's right now. I'm curious how this one compares to Sophie Jordan's Firelight which sounds like a really similar premise but with dragons instead of wolves.

  8. Great review! I agree...the twist in the cave was shocking. Some of my fav paranormals are 13 to Life by Shannon Delany, Shade by Jer Smith-Ready, The Demon's Lexicon & Covenant by Sarah Rees Brennan, and Intertwined and Unraveled by Gena Showalter.

  9. Thanks for all of the suggestions everyone! I'll definitely be looking into them! :)

  10. So glad you liked it! I've heard people rave about it and that always makes me a bit wary of the book for fear of disappointment, but I'll definitely check this one out. I think it will annoy me that Ren is allowed to date and Calla isn't, but it's something that's real in society right now, if a girl dates a lot of men she's more likely to be seen as a slut, while no one says anything if a guy does the same. Great review!

  11. I'm really glad yo hear you enjoyed it, despite some big twist I'm really curious about now :)

    As for recommendations, the first that pop in my mind is Paranormalcy by Kiersten White. It's an interesting world building with a bit of humor, too. Also, The Demon's Lexicon which is very different from others of the genre.

  12. This one has a great sound to it. I do have it on my WANT list though. :) Thanks for the great review!


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