Nightshade Nightshade, Book #1 By Andrea Cremer ISBN# 9780399254826 Author’s Website: http://andreacremer.com/
Brought to you by guest reviewer Erin
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 together, 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? (Amazon)
When I first heard about this book, I was really excited for it. Sounded a little like Blood and Chocolate, which I enjoyed. But then it fell of my radar, only to pop up again when the e-book was $2.99 a while back.
It started out strong, even if the pace was a little slow. Calla is the alpha female of her pack, the Nightshades, and a great warrior starts out incredibly strong. She is slightly nervous about her upcoming union with the alpha of the Bane pack, Renier, but resigned to her fate. Until a mysterious human whose life she saved while he was hiking, starts going to her school and her life gets turned upside down. Shay saw her in wolf form, and is determined to talk to her about it.
As soon as the boys start paying attention to her (physically- they seem to become deaf when it comes to what she has to say or her boundaries; there is only once in the whole book where she isn’t literally fighting and shoving their hands off her), she becomes a simpering little girl, destined to be only a love interest, no sign of the alpha anywhere. Her own pack members start ignoring her orders for those of Ren, their future alpha male, which she is annoyed at but does nothing to fix (not very alpha of her, if you ask me). Of course it seems like everyone knows more about the individual pack members than her, and she’s not quick to share any details with anyone, save her little brother. She occasionally takes control of some situations after this, but more often than not is bossed around by her boys.
Calla’s attraction to Ren felt forced; not in the way it was supposed to, but in the way she was attracted to him in close physical proximity but constantly annoyed and irritated by him otherwise. The way she feels when he touches her is never explained in a way that makes sense; is it because she’s been so sheltered? Because she has hyper wolf senses? It seems over the top. Her attraction to Shay makes more sense, but even he aggravates her as much as he interests her.
It took awhile to really get into the mythology of the world (almost halfway), despite terms like Keeper and Guardian being thrown around. But it moves quickly after that. I really enjoyed the history of this world, the way it tied in with philosophy and the human Renaissance era without going into too much detail. There is a ton of information about the world, so I’m sure the other books will have even more amazing detail. Once you start learning the details of their world the action starts to snowball, with the book ending on a huge cliffhanger. I’m torn between wanting to know what happens, and not wanting to deal with Calla being such a pushover. She started out with such a strong personality that I was extremely disappointed with her by the end. I can only hope she’ll gain some of her Alpha personality and independence back in the next two books.