Monday, December 13, 2010

ARC Review: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

Title: Nightshade
Series: Nightshade #1
Author: Andrea Cremer
Available: Now
Reading Level: Young Adult

5 out of 5 Stars

Description 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 thoughts:

Calla has always accepted the life she was born to live. She is a werewolf, also known as a guardian, destined to become the mate of fellow alpha Ren. Calla has never thought to question the life she leads, or the choices that have been made for her. All that changes when she saves the life of a beautiful boy named Shay. 

I have to start by mentioning how madly in love I am with author Andrea Cremer’s writing. It is sexy without pushing the limit, or coming off as forced just to give the book an “edge”. It is sexy just because it is. She also really brings the reader into the story. The descriptions make it hard to feel like you aren’t actually standing beside Calla as the drama unfolds. As you read it is obvious this book was created by an intelligent and strong woman. Andrea Cremer’s imagination is a definite asset to YA fiction. I also enjoyed that the plot veered from the typical werewolf story line that is running rampant in both Young Adult and Adult fiction. I’m a card carrying werewolf groupie who was grateful for this refreshing take. 

Calla is a strong character. I loved her curious and rebellious nature. She has spent her life believing what she was taught without questioning those in charge. Then Shay shows her a book that could change all she has known. She could walk away, but finds she longs for answers. The community Calla was raised in seemed almost cult like. The Keepers dictate the life the guardians (wolves) will lead. The female guardians are expected to ignore their sexuality so they are pure when they bond with their mate. The male guardians on the other hand, are encouraged to embrace their desires even after they are with their mate. Some of the behavior of the guardians and Keepers in this book is seriously unsavory, and punishments for breaking the rules are extreme.

This was a fabulous book, and a very quick read even though it was over 400 pages. Unfortunately, I found I didn’t really feel the connection between Calla and Shay. While I like them both as characters, I didn’t enjoy the love match. Ren is definitely my pick for the feisty female alpha. The fact that I can give this one 5 stars without swooning over the primary love interest speaks volumes. I’m a very character driven reader, who loves some warm fuzzy inducing romance. This is a book you should read because Calla simply rocks. She is unique amongst the world of Young Adult protagonists. The ending leaves us hanging, so readers who abhor the cliffhanger should proceed with caution. I despise cliffhangers, but admit that Nightshade is worth the stress of waiting for the next in the series. It is that good!

Nightshade also features a well developed cast of secondary characters. Calla’s younger brother, Ansel, and her close friend Bryn, are two of my favorites. Ren’s pack mates are also very intriguing characters. I hope we learn more about them as the series continues. I am very curious about the not so nice Sabine. While I wanted to hate her for her attitude, I couldn’t. It is obvious the life she has led has made her who she is. I couldn’t help, but to feel sympathetic towards her (even when she was being a royal bitch to Calla). I have to give kudos to the author. She gave readers an interesting setting with fabulous characters, and she did it all in a series and author debut. That is seriously impressive! I can’t wait to see where Calla takes us next.

This is a kind of sexy read with situations that might not be appropriate for the younger peeps. The author also touches on topics of abuse that may be too heavy for some. If you’re a parent looking for a book for a teen or tween I’d recommend giving it a read before handing it off. Not only to make sure it’s appropriate, but because it is a fabulous read. Fans of adult paranormal romance and urban fantasy will appreciate this one. 

Books in this series:

NightshadeWolfsbane: A Nightshade Novel

Andrea Cremer on the web:


Source: LibraryThing’s Early Review Program


  1. I'm so glad you enjoyed this, Christie! I thought it was fantastic, and I'm so glad it lived up to the hype. Great review, as usual :)

  2. I've really been thinking about picking this one up. After this review I have to! Thank you.

  3. Fabulous you say? Good to know :) Great review.

  4. Thanks for the review! I can't wait to read the book!
    Happy Readings

  5. I've been looking for this in our local bookstore and its not yet available . . . :(