Author: Andrea Cremer
Who Should Read It? A great read for lovers of YA and lovers of dystopian fiction with big imaginations and an enjoyment of the paranormal.
What I Have to Say:
Nightshade was one whopping surprise of a book for me! I expected to like it, sure, but I never expected to LOVE it, and I certainly never expected it to make me think (even if only a little bit).
It started off slowly, which, as those that know my reading tastes will know, means that this book was right up my alley. I love books that start off lacking in action, instead full of explanations, story set-up, and character build-up. And that's exactly what this book had. Cremer didn't feel like she needed to pull her reader in with non-stop action, because the story and background was enticing enough in and of itself.
And thus, far before the intrigue started happening, I was intrigued. Because I wanted to know more about the background story, and I had come to love Cally's fierce alpha personality, Ren's over-arrogant, cocky self-assurance to cover up his lack of surety, and Shay's sexy, perfect-guy book lover persona. The rest of both of the packs, while being more background, had also come to be people I cared about. So, when action finally did start to happen, I was interested, and I cared about the outcome, because I cared about the people involved. I find that this is often not the case in books that start out action-packed.
The main thing made Nighshade so special, though, in my opinion, is that, though it is paranormal YA, it didn't have to be. There is SO much more to this book than meets the eye. The "werewolf" aspect definitely added some suspense and excitement to the book, but if werewolves would have been replaced with normal humans, it would have been just as amazing. I envisioned a world in which slaves exist and are brought up to believe that they are not slaves; a sort-of fantastic and fantastically horrifying dystopic future. While that's not what this book was, it easily could have been without changing anything else - same story, same plot, same characters, same intrigue. Just a different species. I feel like so many paranormal books rely far too much on the paranormal aspect to make things happen. This book doesn't, at all, and that just makes the paranormal seem like an added bonus, which is even better.
Overall, Nightshade was one well-written tight little story of, love, revenge, sacrifice, and betrayal; and while it could be read as your typical paranormal YA, if you let it take you deeper, and allow yourself to think about the ways a story like this could play out in the human world, it will leave you chilled to the bone. The ending is something to be commended, and I know I will be thrilled beyond belief when it finally comes time for the release of part two.
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?
Cover Story: I actually really like this cover, despite the firl being nothing at all like I would imagine. And the flower feeling wrong. It's quite lovely, though, and the purple is so appealing that, even though I think it's wrong for the book, I love it!
Disclosure: This book was sent to me via Shelf Awareness.