AN INTRIGUING READ!
Author: Andrea Cremer
Publication: Atom Books
Release Date: 2010
I wanted him to kiss me- wished he could smell the desire that I knew was pouring off me.
You can’t, Calla. This boy isn’t the one for you.
Calla Tor has always known her destiny: graduation, marriage and then a life leading her pack.
But when she defies her masters’ laws and saves a human boy, she must choose.
Is one boy worth losing everything?
Nightshade begins in the mountainous town of Vail. The reader sees everything through the eyes of seventeen year old Calla Tor. Calla is a mythical werewolf, known as a Guardian, who can shift from human to wolf form at will. She is a member of the Nightshade pack, ruled by an ancient Keeper, or witch, named Lumine Nightshade.
The Keepers control the wolves, with their role being to protect them from their enemies, the Searchers. The Guardians, in return for the Keepers protection, receive houses, money, cars and jobs. The Keepers however control all aspects of the Guardian’s lives – including who they are to marry. As Calla’s parents are the alphas of her pack, she is soon to become the alpha female of a new pack. She betrothed to the alpha male Renier Laroche, from the rival Bane pack.
Calla is impartial to marrying Renier. He is nice looking, kind to her and it is their destiny. She doesn’t see it any other way. That is until she meets and saves a human boy, Shay Doran, from the clutches of a hungry bear. Shay is the new boy at school and he slowly begins to change her viewpoint about an arranged marriage and marrying for love.
The book gets into the storyline straight away. There are new words, labels and names for people being thrown at you constantly within the first few chapters. It takes a few re-reads of some sections to work out who is who and what is going on. Once you have the terminology down, the book is a great read! It has action, suspense, a love story, a heroine and a whole lot of mystery.
I loved how the main bulk of this story detailed Calla and Shay’s efforts to work out the origins of the packs, and where the Guardian, Keeper and Searcher history originated. It is rather engrossing as the reader is discovering all this information right along with the characters. The foreshadowing techniques used in the book were sometimes a little obvious, so it wasn’t as exciting as it could have been when main cruxes in the story were revealed.
Personally, I dislike when characters do not follow their destiny. I know that this makes the story and complicates the plot, but let’s just say that this is probably my own moral conscious getting in the way of following your heart. So when Calla begins to stray from her intended course, I began to cringe through the story. I think what made it hard to swallow as well, was that Renier, her intended mate was not the lecherous, rampaging wrench that you wanted her to run away from. Even though I was dealing with my own inner turmoil over this whole situation, Calla’s struggle with her choice made for a very engaging read.
The book was an overall extraordinary read. It had plot twists, mystery and introduced the reader to a whole new world. The story is very much unfinished at the end of this book, so thank goodness this is a three part series!