Monday, December 05, 2011

Review: Nightshade (Nightshade # 1)

Author: Andrea Cremer
Publisher: Penguin Books, Ltd. 
Release Date: October 19, 2010
Page Count: 452
Chapter Count: 35
Named Chapters: No
Buy It: Amazon / B&N

Calla is the alpha female of a shape-shifting wolf pack. She is destined to marry Ren Laroche, the pack's alpha male. Together, they would rule their pack, guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But then, Calla saves a beautiful human boy, who captures her heart. Calla begins to question everything - her fate, her existence, and her world and the orders the Keepers have asked her to follow. She will have to make a choice. But will she follow her heart if it means losing everything, including her own life?


Okay, let's just take a minute and enjoy this AMAZING cover. There were moments while reading this book, were I would just stop so that I could go back to gazing at the cover. I loved to separate both images and seeing the wolf within the girl. It was crazy awesome how they did this cover. Okay, onto the review now though.

I must say that I was hesitant going into this book. There was a part of me that really wanted to read it, but there was also a part of me holding me back because I honestly didn't think I would enjoy it. However, after I was finally able to get it in paper back and save a few bucks I took the plung and got the book. & I must say that I was pleasantly surprised. I rather enjoyed it. 

Calla's perspective was a breathe of fresh air. I rather enjoyed her as a main character. She wasn't afraid to speak her own mind and didn't let the male character's speak for her. However, I must say, for being the Alpha of her pack, she wasn't as strong as I wanted her to be. She let her pack get away with sooo much & there was also just so much that she was blind to that was going on in her pack. If she is supposedly the Alpha, she didn't act like a leader at all for me. That and she was gone from her pack for so much of this book while she was breaking the rules and hanging out and making out with Shay. And it was like the pack didn't know what was going on. Like it wasn't obvious. 

I also went into the book expecting to not like Ren. I must admit I have a thing for marriage's or matches that you are forced into or that are chosen for you. That and Ren's first appearance in the book left me on edge in regards to him. However, as the book wound on and I really got to see into his character, I found him winning me over. Even more then Shay. I must say, this is the first time, that I haven't come out of a first book in a series and not had a preference for one or the other of the romantic interests. I like both Ren and Shay & I honestly don't have a preference of one over the other. Even though I must say I may be leaning slightly more towards Ren, surprisingly.

I was kind of glad that Shay got turned in this first book. Simply because it puts him more on a level base with all the other main characters, since they are all shape-shifters. 

What I didn't like at the beginning, however, was the fact that Ms. Cremer talked about the 'Guardians' and the 'Keepers' as if the reader should already know what they are. It was quite confusing, because for a while there [until Calla finally explained who they were to Shay] I had know clue what she was talking about. It was confusing and frustrating me all at the same time. But once they were finally explained I loved the concept of them, it was new and fresh and the back history behind the Guardians and Keepers was something that I was honestly not expecting. It was painfully clear that the Guardians were being used, but maybe that was just me. I was rooting throughout the entire book for the Guardians to fight for their freedoms and not to sit back and be told what to do. They are powerful shape-shifters after all, why are you giving away so many of your freedoms?

& another problem with me was that I really just didn't see or truly feel Calla falling in love with Shay, but by the end of this book they were madly in love. It just didn't feel right for me. It just felt more like they were hanging out with one another and enjoying each others company. I mean, yes, some of the times they got it one [one in particular] was rather hot and heavy and quite sexy. But come on, she had that with Ren as well. I mean he was kissing that girl crazy. She was getting it from both of them, yet it was Shay she loved in the end? I have to think to myself that there is a part of her that has a soft spot for Ren as well. That's the only way I can make it make sense in my mind at least. 

The ending was sad that Calla had to leave her pack behind and make a run for it with Shay. But I guess in the end, if they wanted to be together, they had no other choice. So everything in the book was simply leading up to that moment.
Overall, while there were parts that I did not enjoy about it. I genuinely liked this book. I even went out and bought 'Wolfsbane' [the second book in this series] before I was even done with 'Nightshade'. 


Kristin said...

Great Review! I am hopefully going to get to read this one soon!


Cassie S. said...

@Kristin: I have enjoyed this whole series so far. I haven't gotten my hands on 'Bloodrose' (the last book in the series) yet, but I really look forward to getting it. I hope you are able to read them soon and enjoy them as much as I have. =D