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?
Prior to reading Nightshade, I suffered from a serious case of cover lust. However, I can now honestly say that the content behind the flowers and all of the pretty purple-ness is very enjoyable. I admit that when I first started reading, I was a bit wary. I was worried that there wouldn’t be enough world building, and that Calla would prove to stoic to be realistic for me. As often happens between the beginning and the end of a book, my pre-conceptions were proved wrong.
Nightshade is a quick and enthralling read, filled with romance, danger action and captivating characters. I thought the plots were wonderfully tied together and the story kept me guessing at every turn. I’ve never read a werewolf story of this variety before, and I think that it’s an intriguing way of tying themes of oppression and liberation into the story. Cremer also adds sex appeal to her story, and while I found it well done, it is something to consider if you don’t like that sort of material or aren’t sure if it’s appropriate for readers of a younger age. At other times the writing did border on going over the top, but by and large Cremer successfully avoided such territory. I think Cremer will have readers contemplating and guessing between each installment of this series, as she ended Nightshade on something of a cliffhanger!
As great as the story was, it took me a while to warm up to the characters. Ansel is easily my favorite. I was kind of apathetic about Calla until the end of the story, when I felt I understood her more. I loved that she questioned what was expected of her. As for Ren, I think he’ll be the talk of the blogosphere, because he had both a pushy and emotional side. I found his character more believable by the end of the novel, albeit not necessarily trustworthy. I ultimately preferred Shay, though, because his character felt much more genuine and realistic to me.
Despite a few small criticisms, this was an enjoyable and engrossing read. Nightshade is a well-executed debut which will have bloggers and readers discussing long after its release. I look forward to reading the rest of the books in the series!
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book through Star Book Tours. I'll be purchasing my own when I attend the release party!