Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Series: Nightshade #1
Release Date: October 19, 2010
Hardcover: 452 pages
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 caught my attention because of the beautiful cover. I didn't even bother to read the back or anything, so I trusted my gut and checked it out. Thank goodness I did! Nightshade was not a paranormal romance that was 90% romance and 10% paranormal. It was a perfect blend of both. Since the first page I couldn't find a stopping point. There was never a dull moment in this unpredictable plot. Andrea left me guessing page after page.
When I finally read the description, I kind of had an image of Calla being a weak character that doesn't know how to stand up for herself. I was way off! Even though I didn't like her as much, I started liking Calla when she said, "Finesse, my ass. I'm a warrior not your child bride." She's sarcastic with the funniest come backs. Although she has this tough-girl image there is a big heart under that. There's so much love and respect that she shows towards her pack and brother. Calla is a total warrior and a strong alpha.
There is plenty of action in this book but there is also that nice touch of romance. The alpha that is Calla's future mate is Ren. My first impression of Ren was that he's vain. From page after page, he begins to show that he can also be sweet and caring. Even though there were some of those moments, I'm still unsure of what I think about him. Shay on the other hand was a bit iffy to me. He's someone I'd want to be friends with, but at the same time I don't feel like I know enough about him to be his friend. I'm not talking about his history or anything I'm talking personality wise. All I can think to say about Shay right now is that he's charming and loyal. There isn't a guy that strikes me as THE GUY, but I'm kind of leaning towards Ren. Now I can't wait for the sequel, Wolfsbane which will be released July 26, 2011.
In the beginning I was intrigued by the cover and never payed much thought to it later. This week during Cover Crazy with my librarian, she pointed out that the flowers on the cover are called calla lilies. Calla = her name and lily = Ren's nickname for her. I thought that was a nice detail.
If you're looking for a great paranormal read, I'd highly recommend Nightshade.
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5