From Goodreads: 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?
My review: Let’s talk about character building vs world building. For some reason, many Fantasy/Para books I read either do one much better than the other, or they balance each other out so that both are ok or good enough. In Nightshade, I was taken into a world where I could envision this town and the secrets it held so much that I felt I was actually there- being guided by Calla, a guardian, who is fearless yet soft, and someone who I would follow and respect. Ms. Cremer is a phenomenal debut author. It is difficult to bring in so many characters yet give them each a unique voice, especially when told from the MC’s POV in first person. Yet I felt that I knew and either loved or disliked each one on a personal level. They were not merely there to simply add to dialog or move the plot forward, they were apart of Calla’s life and as an alpha, Calla showed great courage in her predicaments and when it came time to protect the people (her pack) she cared so deeply for. Now, the love triangle, I am a sucker for a good love triangle, and the author honestly had me back and forth between Shay and Ren. Usually I decide early on whose team I’m cheering for, but both these swoon worthy guys made it difficult to pick. Ren is tough, he’s the alpha of his pack, and has an almost bad boy feel to him. Cocky, but underneath he truly cares for Calla. Shay, god love him, fumbling along trying desperately to infuse himself in Calla’s world. At some points I felt so bad for him. He is definitely strong in his own way, yet he has a humorous side that balances Calla, and provides an escape for her during a trying time in her life. I wanted her to pick both! But I think I’m looking forward to a little more male territorial rivalry in the sequel for that to happen ;) The plot was strong, voice and world was unique, and the romance was full of emotion and passion.
I can’t help but give Nightshade 5 flames! I want more!
Author: Andrea Cremer
Hardcover, 454 pages
Published October 19th 2010 by Philomel